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It’s Not Radical Candor If You Don’t Care Personally

What makes Radical Candor radical is that it’s a deviation from the norm, which tends to fall somewhere between acting like a jerk and avoiding confrontation altogether. The purpose of Radical Candor is to create a new normal where guidance is both kind and clear, not to reinforce bad behavior. This means that if you don’t Care Personally about the person you’re delivering feedback to, you’re exhibiting Obnoxious Aggression, not Radical Candor. Ever since the book Radical Candor: Be a Kickass Boss…

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Keeping it Real

The good news is that the term “Radical Candor” has entered the lexicon. The bad news is that there’s a risk it becomes a meaningless buzzword. We need your help to fight this. Please let us know which ideas in the book or the podcast you have rolled out with your team. What’s working? What’s not? If you’re willing, we will feature your stories in our blog and email newsletter. If you want it kept confidential, we will honor that…

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Radical Candor is NOT Brutal Honesty

We have learned something really important from the way that the press sometimes covers Radical Candor. And we want your advice on how to communicate this idea more clearly. We want to learn to describe Radical Candor in a way that is not open to misinterpretation: too often press articles assert that Radical Candor is the same thing as brutal honesty, as front-stabbing, or that it is some sort of license to be a jerk. It is none of those…

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Video: From Obnoxious Aggression to Manipulative Insincerity

Most of us don't consider ourselves to be jerks or rude people. So if we discover that we've been Obnoxiously Aggressive, we're chagrined! Unfortunately, the natural tendency then is to back off the Direct Challenge. Obnoxious Aggression turns into Manipulative Insincerity. In our latest video, Candor Trainer Stephanie Usry tells her stories about following this journey. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=yaDhSO2j898 Next time you find yourself being Obnoxiously Aggressive, remember this story. Instead of backing off your Direct Challenge, push yourself higher on the Care…

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Video: A Story About Obnoxious Aggression

Obnoxious Aggression can feel like a harsh label. But does this statement sound like something you might say? I will assert for the record that I am not a jerk. But I do sometimes behave like one. With the chaos and stress of work, it can sometimes be hard to take a step back and make sure we're showing we Care Personally. We all make mistakes, but it doesn't mean we're bad people. In this video, Kim tells a story…

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Video: Ruinous Empathy Leads to Obnoxious Aggression

We recently shared a video of Russ telling a story about Ruinous Empathy. He talked about a time when he withheld his direct challenge in order to be "nice," but the story doesn't end there. In this next video, he tells us how his feedback turned from Ruinous Empathy to Obnoxious Aggression. As you watch, you may recall similar situations when you behaved a certain way because you were angry, tired, busy, etc. Remember that the quadrants in our 2x2 are not labels…

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Tips to Avoid Obnoxiously Aggressive Criticism

If you think you've given criticism that was Obnoxiously Aggressive, check out these tips for moving towards Radical Candor! Criticize kindly This doesn’t mean sugar coating. It means seeing your criticism as an act of kindness, meant to help the person improve. If others have rated your criticism as Obnoxiously Aggressive, you’re not showing that you Care Personally. Try to pause for just a moment and imagine the face of somebody you really care about. Bring the kindness you’d show…

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Video: A Story of Obnoxious Aggression

If you've watched our Radical Candor video and wondered about the full stories behind the clips we included, you're in luck! We've got the complete versions to share with you, starting with our featured Obnoxious Aggression story. Obnoxious Aggression means Challenging Directly without showing that you Care Personally. Joe Dunn, one of our Radical Candor evangelists, tells the story of a time he gave Obnoxiously Aggressive feedback in a meeting. We think everyone can relate to how he ended up in…

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Praise & Obnoxious Aggression

Praise can be Obnoxiously Aggressive when it is given without any care for the recipient. Belittling compliments are one of the best examples of this. Below is a perfect example: an email that a boss at a legendary Silicon Valley company sent out to his team of about 600 people, 76 of whom had just gotten bonuses. It sort of screams, “I’ll praise you if it gets more work out of you but I really couldn’t care less how you…

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Criticism & Obnoxious Aggression

Obnoxiously Aggressive criticism is often referred to as “front-stabbing”. It’s when you criticize without Caring Personally. A couple months after joining Google, Kim had a disagreement with Larry Page about his approach to an AdSense policy. She wrote an email to about 30 people, including Larry, which proclaimed his approach to be against his own mission and implied that he was recommending the policy because he was focused on increasing Google’s revenue rather than doing the right thing for users.…

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