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Podcast Episode 4: Ruinous Empathy and Criticism

Giving criticism isn’t usually something that people look forward to, but it needs to be done! If you don’t give criticism when it’s needed, you end up hurting people you care about by being “too nice.” Kim and Russ both share stories about learning this the hard way and some tips to help you avoid Ruinous Empathy.

Listen now:

At a Glance

Last week, Kim and Russ introduced the idea of praise and Ruinous Empathy — showing you Care Personally, but failing to Challenge Directly. This week, they revisit Ruinous Empathy when it comes to criticism.

Have you heard this saying?

If you don’t have anything nice to say, don’t say it at all.

When you become a manager, it’s now your job to say it! Criticism is necessary in the workplace; it helps people know what to do better.

Kim and Russ share stories of when Ruinous Empathy led to cringeworthy outcomes.

Why didn’t anyone tell me? I thought you all cared about me.

They answer a listener question about what to do when criticism conversations lead to tears and emotion. And the episode ends, as always, with specific tips you can put into practice right away.

This Week’s Candor Checklist

Tip 1: Just say it! If you see something, say something.

Tip 2: Go into a criticism conversation with both your criticism and your objectives written down.

Tip 3: Accept the fact that you may not have a solution in hand.

Get the full details on these tips by listening to the episode!

Candor T-shirt Winner!

This week we announced our first Candor t-shirt winner! As you know, we’re doing a giveaway for everyone who leaves us a review on iTunes, and this week’s winner is cjhough — Congrats!

You could win a t-shirt too — just leave us a review on iTunes to be eligible. We’ll be randomly selecting listeners from iTunes reviews and announcing them on our show. Tune in each week to hear if you’ve been selected.


We’ll have a new episode of Radical Candor next week!

To get new episodes automatically, subscribe on iTunes, Stitcher, or wherever you get your podcasts. You can also sign up here to get an email alert whenever we release a new episode.


Tell us what you think, and share your stories with us!


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