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Resolve to Be a Better Leader in 2017

It’s that time of year. A time for new beginnings. A time for renewal and resolution. Like many, you may be feeling inspired and committed to a set of New Year’s Resolutions. But have you committed to any that will help you be a better leader in 2017? Maybe you’re not sure where to start, what leadership resolutions to choose. John Farmer, one of our engineers, and I developed a list of “Leadership New Year Resolutions” to help you start…

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Why Feedback Helps Teams Achieve Results

Most people don’t have any problem imagining how quality feedback can improve a relationship between two co-workers, and specifically, how it improves the relationship between managers and their direct reports. It just makes sense! The relationship between feedback and operating results, though, is often less clear in the minds of the customers that I talk to every week. Can feedback actually have a direct impact on the success of a company? To answer that question, let’s first look at the…

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How to Improve, Not Kill the Annual Performance Review

Q4 will be over before you know it, and you know what that means for so many companies: it’s performance review time! For some of you, you’re groaning and shaking your heads -- wishing you didn’t have to go through this burdensome process. Others are feeling relieved because your company has done away with formal performance reviews. We all know that the Performance Review gets a bad rap, but are they all bad? The Movement Against Performance Reviews There’s an…

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How to Have Effective 1:1s

There are a lot of ways to think about holding one-on-one meetings (1:1s) with the people on your teams. Heck, here at Candor, Inc. we don’t even fully agree on one exact prescription. We have a few tips below for thinking about how to have effective 1:1s. Have them Have regular 1:1s. I have to start at the beginning here, because it’s simply not the case that all managers are holding regular 1:1s. This is a cardinal sin. 1:1s are…

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4 Ways to Help New Managers Succeed

I’ve had a 22 year operational management career, and naturally, I’ve had a lot of new managers in my organizations over the years. ‘New managers,’ in this case, means ‘new-to-management’ not so much ‘new-to-me’ or ‘new-to-the-org.’ I’m talking specifically about people new to the practice of management. Oh yeah, I was also a new manager once, many moons ago as a young Lieutenant in the US Marines. So I really understand the struggles and challenges of being a new manager.…

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The Problem with Career Conversations Today

There are a long list of things that every manager needs to do every day, every week, every quarter, to be successful. One of these, which we’ve been heavily focused on to start, is feedback. We believe that feedback is at the center of what managers need to do to build good relationships and drive performance on their teams. But a manager’s responsibilities do not end there! And with our vision to help people enjoy their work and do the…

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How Can I Stop My Ruinous Empathy?

For those of you who are familiar with our Radical Candor framework, you’ll remember that Ruinous Empathy is in the upper left. High Care Personally, low Challenge Directly. It categorizes behavior in which someone is trying to be “nice” in an effort to spare people’s feelings -- by not saying what needs to be said, by lying, or by just offering a verbal pat on the back. People whose behaviors fall in this quadrant often recognize it right away when…

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Gauge Your Feedback

We want to help you create a culture of great feedback. In order to do that, we think you need to give feedback, get feedback, encourage feedback and gauge your feedback. Feedback: Give it. Get it. Encourage it. Gauge it. Give it Give feedback that shows you Care Personally and are willing to Challenge Directly. Try our HIP approach to giving Radically Candid feedback. Get it You have to work hard to get candid feedback from the people you work with, especially…

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‘Solid’ Praise Isn’t Good Enough

‘Solid’ tends to be a neutral to slightly positive word. The times I’ve found it to be an effusive praise word, it’s been accompanied by a bunch of non-verbals: excited eyes, voice inflection, physical histrionics. You can hear someone saying it, “Dude, that 3-pointer Steph dropped was SOLID as hell, man!” You know, or something similar, maybe more likely about a LeBron block? As a praise word around the office, though, I’ve found the use of the word ‘solid’ to…

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Ruinous Empathy is a Waste of Your Time

Hi there - I'm Russ, and this is my first blog post for Candor, Incorporated. My Little League baseball players call me Coach Russ, and I'm going to run with that in this and future posts. Enough of the intros, let's get into it. I'll admit it. In adulthood, I've always had a problem with some of the disingenuous phrases that serve as social lubrication. For example, it drives me crazy when someone says, "Let's get together sometime, I'll set…

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