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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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Ruinous Empathy Can Wreck Client Relationships

Our Candor Coaches, myself included, frequently field questions about how to apply the principles of Radical Candor beyond employee-manager relationships. Often we are asked how to practice Radical Candor with clients. Similar to the old adage that’s been instilled in us since kindergarten, “if you don’t have anything nice to say, don’t say anything at all,” many operate from the idea that “the client always knows best.” Unfortunately, this can sometimes be a straight line to Ruinous Empathy — when you care personally about…

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Radical Candor is Growing Because Relationships May Not Scale, But Culture Does

What started as an epiphany after receiving candid advice from a stranger (“it’s not mean, it’s clear”) has not only become a bestselling book – Radical Candor: Be a Kick-Ass Boss Without Losing Your Humanity – it’s also blossomed into a company dedicated to bringing Radical Candor to teams around the world. Over the past year, we’ve seen a huge appetite for the management philosophy and its practices, and as a result, Radical Candor the company is growing. While almost all the problems we’ve seen companies encounter are covered…

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What Jonathan Courtney, Co-Founder of AJ&Smart, Learned From Silicon Valley’s Top CEO Coach On Being a Better Boss

A few weeks ago I had the pleasure of being a guest on Jonathan Courtney’s podcast, The Product Breakfast Club to discuss my experiences as an author and CEO coach teaching Radical Candor in Silicon Valley and around the world. Below is a transcript of our conversation about the concepts of Radical Candor and how they can empower teams to do the best work of their lives. For those of you who’d prefer to listen than read, check out the podcast episode. I’ll…

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Feedback, the Law, and Mandated Manipulative Insincerity

I spend a lot of time these days showing people how to put the Radical Candor framework of “Care Personally + Challenge Directly” into practice by providing frequent feedback, and how to use the framework as a way to guide difficult conversations to avoid falling into Ruinous Empathy, Obnoxious Aggression, or Manipulative Insincerity. When it comes to difficult conversations, some of the most difficult are around gender.  I have found that gender politics and fear of tears pushes men away from being as radically candid with…

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To Compete With a Work Martyr, Don’t Play the Game

It’s frustrating to work with somebody who expects to be rewarded for being more miserable than you are, who’s constantly trying to engage in a contest about who can work longer hours, who has masochism confused with commitment. These people are known as work martyrs. And if your boss is too blind to see what’s going on, it’s even harder. I used to try to compete with work martyrs. But, truth be told, work martyrs aren’t always as bad as you think.…

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A Happy Marriage of Growth and Stability

I recently learned that my great-grandfather Taylor Malone started a company with my husband’s great-great uncle, Joe Hyde, in Memphis, Tenn., my hometown. Oddly, it took us 11 years of marriage to learn this. We just found out thanks to a visit to a cemetery in Connecticut, but we’re happy to know now. It’s a great story about how we all need a balance of growth and stability to build great teams, to have successful careers, and to live the lives…

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What’s the Ideal Manager-Employee Relationship?

You may have seen me featured as "The Candid Boss" for The Muse, an online career resource destination. One of the questions I am often asked is, can managers and employees be friends at work? An even more essential question to ask is, what does an ideal manager-employee relationship look like? How is it different from a friendship? The “boss-employee” relationship is relatively new. For most of human history, we accomplished our great collaborative feats through terrible brutality — forced labor. During…

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The Star Intern: A Mentor’s Radical Candor Journey

We recently heard from Dimitar Simeonov, who shared his story about reading Radical Candor while managing an intern when he was working at Twitter as a senior data scientist. While Dimitar's no longer at Twitter, at the time he had been there for four years and was responsible for the intern’s technical mentorship. Thanks for sharing the learning and the love, Dimitar! *** Two weeks in as an intern mentor, I had a dilemma. My intern was performing with the cadence and…

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Rolling Out Radical Candor: Part One

We love working closely with teams rolling out Radical Candor, and offer coaching, training and customized workshops. We can help teach you to: Share the ideas with your team and learn how to tell your feedback stories; Practice key skills like soliciting feedback, offering meaningful praise, and giving helpful criticism; and Create a culture of guidance so that all the burden of feedback doesn’t fall on your shoulders. We also work with leaders to help you build more cohesive teams…

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