Reward the Candor

One of the tips we shared in our post about how to get more feedback is to reward feedback to get more of it. If you want to get others to open up and tell you what they think, you have to show them that you appreciate it. It’s a risk for them to tell you what they think, and if the risk isn’t worth it — if they are punished for their real-talk or see that it is ignored — they won’t continue taking it. So if you want to encourage people to continuing giving you important feedback, reward the candor!

In the end, you get the behaviors you reward. If you reward candor, if you reward straight-forward talk, you will get it.

— Jack Welch, speaking at Stanford Business School

We learned about a great example of rewarding the candor when we were at Instacart earlier this year. Max Mullen, co-founder of Instacart, uses Instacart carrot pins to thank and recognize someone when they offer him Radical Candor. He gives them a carrot pin to wear and gives them an extra carrot pin to pass on. When someone offers them Radical Candor, they can reward that candor with a carrot pin as well.


Now, as you walk around the 350-person Instacart office, you can see people wearing their carrot pins and recognize that they’ve been successful in Challenging Directly and showing they Care Personally.

During the visit to Instacart, Russ was lucky enough to earn one of the pins because of his Radical Candor :) He also of course received one to pass along to the next person who gave him Radically Candid feedback.