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How to be Radically Candid about B.O.

In an article about Radical Candor in the Financial Times recently, Mrs. Moneypenny described a Dreaded Moment for a boss. This is an experience that anyone who’s been a manager for over 10 years has had: the employee with extreme body odor. When I taught a class called "Managing" at Apple, I would bring up the awkward case of body odor as a case study, and in each class I taught, several managers would describe how they handled the situation, and one…

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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 with Strangers

A number of people have asked this question recently: I can see how Radical Candor works when I already have a relationship... but what about with people I barely know. Isn’t it too risky? I won’t pretend it isn’t risky. It is. But not being Radically Candid is also risky. And the rewards of being Radically Candid for you and for the other person can be enormous. In fact, the idea of Radical Candor was born for me when a…

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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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Setting a Tone of Radical Candor with a New Team

I recently received this question from one of our readers: Hi Kim, I'm just moving into a new role at a new company, and I have a clear opportunity to set a tone for Radical Candor within my function team / direct reports on joining. I wonder if you might be kind enough to offer some advice as to how you would create the optimum conditions for Radical Candor within my new team. I'm a relatively transparent line manager, and…

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Being Radically Candid with people in remote offices

We received this question from one of our readers: Are there any key things to keep in mind when being Radically Candid with people who aren’t in your office?  I want to make sure I’m being thoughtful about those team members specifically who I don’t see face to face. - A Reader My thoughts: 1) Talk over video conference to people in remote offices more frequently, ideally every day even if just for 5-10 minutes. When you are physically present, you…

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Update on Radical Candor Dilemma #1

The reader who wanted advice on Being Radically Candid With a New Team that's Demotivated wrote in with an update, which I thought was worth sharing. Here it is: I’ve had about half of the conversations, and I feel like they are going well.  I’m definitely getting some nuggets that I would have never thought of before. Here are a couple of examples: When they were hired, they were very under the radar, but as they became more and more successful,…

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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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