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Fighting Bloviating BS with Radical Candor

Radical Candor can be applied not just in feedback conversations, but in all interactions. Think for example about Radical Candor during meetings, brainstorming, public relations, etc. Each of these types of communications have their own unique challenges related to Radical Candor. For example, here’s a tricky situation sent to us by a reader: As an entrepreneur, pre-funding, having invested a great deal of life-savings into our young business, putting it all on the line to pursue my dream, I am…

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Soliciting Feedback from Your Boss

What happens when your boss doesn’t give you feedback? At first it will seem like your boss is extremely pleasant to work with, but as time goes by you’ll start to realize that the only feedback you’ve received is “good job” and other vaguely positive comments. You’ll start to get the feeling you’ve done some things wrong, but you’re not sure what, exactly. You’ll never know where you stand, and you won’t be given an opportunity to learn or grow.…

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How Can I Stop My Ruinous Empathy?

For those of you who are familiar with our Radical Candor framework, you’ll remember that Ruinous Empathy is in the upper left. High Care Personally, low Challenge Directly. It categorizes behavior in which someone is trying to be “nice” in an effort to spare people’s feelings -- by not saying what needs to be said, by lying, or by just offering a verbal pat on the back. People whose behaviors fall in this quadrant often recognize it right away when…

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Self-Awareness and the Candor Gauge

A question from one of our readers: I was facilitating an internal assertiveness workshop, and one of the dynamics I noticed was that, while everyone was engaged, and I think took away some useful insights, there was a thread of lack of personal awareness that seemed to stop some folks. People said things like, “I’m already pretty assertive, but I could see how this could be helpful.” This isn’t a new phenomenon in my experience. I’ve been doing workshops and…

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Video Tip: How Often Should I Give Feedback?

Speaking earlier this year at Slack, who is also one of our investors, I got a question about the frequency of feedback: I feel like I don't find that many opportunities where I can give someone constructive feedback. Am I just ignoring things? How often should one be doing this? There is one rule of thumb that applies to criticism in general, but is especially good advice when you're really busy and nerves are frayed. It's best summed up by…

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How to Give Humble Feedback

Here’s a question that I get pretty often: “How can I be more humble?” The first time a person in a class I was teaching asked this, I sat there with my mouth hanging open. It was all I could do not to break into the song from the 70’s show HeeHaw. “Oh lord, it’s hard to be humble, when you’re perfect in every way!” https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=c5XXoXQXkXs How can you answer a question like that?? I didn’t take it seriously until…

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How to Introduce Radical Candor in Your Organization

When we talk about Radical Candor at companies or with individuals, we see a lot of heads nodding in agreement. People understand that Radical Candor can improve performance, reduce politics and make work more fun. But how do you make sure that these ideas that resonate in the moment actually get implemented, rather than forgotten? Here’s a question from one of our readers: As a CEO who hasn't been practicing Radical Candor, is it advisable to transition into the practice…

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3 Steps for Offering Radical Candor to Executives

DILEMMA: Providing criticism to senior executives can be a daunting undertaking. How do you practice Radical Candor with executives, especially if you know they haven’t been receptive to criticism in the past? We received this question from one of our readers: How do you solve the problem of senior executives who tend to shut down and adopt an Obnoxious Aggressive position when faced with criticism? I’ve found that the Obnoxious Aggressive ones are often challenged internally by feelings of embarrassment…

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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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