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Tips to Avoid Obnoxiously Aggressive Praise

If you think you've given praise that was Obnoxiously Aggressive, check out these tips for moving towards Radical Candor! Praise Sincerely Focus on the good stuff — but if you don’t mean it, don’t say it! If somebody has rated your praise as Obnoxiously Aggressive, you’re not showing that you really do Care Personally. When you see something you genuinely like, just say it! Praise helps people turn great work into insanely great work You’re not “babying people’s egos” when you…

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Glengarry Glen Ross Shows Us Obnoxious Aggression

Radical Candor is hard. Sometimes it's much easier to let go of your direct challenge or not take the time to show you Care Personally. At moments like this, maybe you need a little kick in the pants to keep you motivated. :) Try watching an extreme example of what happens when you're not Radically Candid, like this classic example of Obnoxious Aggression. This is the well-known "Always Be Closing" scene from Glengarry Glen Ross. Blake (Alec Baldwin) delivers a…

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Video: You Have Spinach in Your Teeth

If you’re already familiar with the Radical Candor framework, you know that we’ve labeled the axes “Challenge Directly” and “Care Personally”. Radically Candid praise and criticism is high on both of those axes. We also sometimes call them the “Willing to piss people off” and “Give a damn” axes. To really understand how this plays out in each of the quadrants, it‘s helpful to walk through a real-life scenario. Let’s imagine you have spinach in your teeth. How would people…

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Radical Candor in Kabul

I received a great question from a reader recently that I wanted to share. I've been sending your article to all the leaders I know. One of them asked this: In your discussions with Ms. Scott, did she discuss avoiding the perception that you are in the Obnoxious Aggression quad when your intent is Radical Candor?  With perception so often complicating reality, a supervisor utilizing Radical Candor might find themselves chatting with the HR department for being “aggressive”.  Military leaders…

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Radical Candor Misfire

Here is a story from a reader about a boss who was trying to be radically candid, but didn't quite hit the mark. My manager's effort to give me guidance was a total misfire. Here are some key differences between what I experienced and the technique your article describes: 1) Feedback was given in a cramped, unattractive conference room (not on a walk as your first encounter). 2) Feedback was presented in written form initially which escalated the conversation to…

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What to do when you’re being Radically Candid but everybody thinks you’re a jerk…

Dozens of people have asked me some version of this question over the past few days. Here are some ideas… Remember, you may be wrong. Make sure that when you criticize people you aren’t giving them the impression you’re 100% sure you’re right. Remember, a challenge is an invitation to fight back. You are saying what you think, so that they can either correct your thinking, or you can correct theirs. And if you are wrong, cop to it loudly,…

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