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Jerry Maguire – Help Me Help You

We recently launched the Candor Gauge, an app that helps you improve your impromptu feedback. So to celebrate, we wanted to share a clip from Jerry Maguire that embodies the spirit of the Gauge.

“Help me, help you.”

This is exactly what the Gauge is built to do. It allows people to help their managers, peers, team members… whoever, give better feedback. Better feedback helps people do better work and have more fun working together. So by asking someone to gauge your feedback, you’re asking them to help you help them.

This line is also a great embodiment of Radically Candid feedback, and possibly the shortest, quickest way to send a message with Radical Candor. It’s a very direct challenge — something isn’t right and needs to be fixed. And it shows strong personal caring — I want to help you! You can also see in Jerry’s (Tom Cruise) facial expressions and hear in his tone of voice that he cares and is sincere.


There’s a whole lot more in this full scene, a lot of emotion, some Obnoxious Aggression. But remember that if you can’t be Radically Candid, being Obnoxiously Aggressive is second best because you still get the Direct Challenge across. And Rod (Cuba Gooding Jr.) shows his appreciation for the Direct Challenges with his final line.

You think we’re fighting, and I think we’re finally talking!

We want your feedback! How do like our weekly series with media clips? How can we make it better? Let us know in the comments below or on Twitter.

Hit Me With Your Best Shot

We’ve all been taught since we were kids, “If you don’t have anything nice to say, don’t say anything at all.” But now in the workplace, we need to hear when things aren’t going well. We need people to tell us how we can do better, to go against this training they’ve gotten since they were babies.

Luckily, thanks to Pat Benatar, we’ve got the perfect chorus to inspire someone to move out of Ruinous Empathy and bump up their Direct Challenges.

Hit me with your best shot
Why don’t you hit me with your best shot
Hit me with your best shot
Fire away


Often, people aren’t challenging you because they’re trying to be “nice.” Once they know that you want to hear what they have to say, they’ll be much more likely to stop pulling their punches. Maybe you won’t use these exact words to encourage them, but if you do try it out Pat Benatar style, please send us a video :)

Do you have any other pump up jams to encourage Radical Candor?

Meat Loaf’s Radical Candor

Need your weekly dose of Radical Candor? Meat Loaf will sing it to you.

These lyrics show that he definitely gives a damn, and he’s also got to be willing to piss his girlfriend off to admit that he doesn’t love her. But what do you think, does “two out of three ain’t bad” come across like a feedback sandwich?

I tried to show you just how much I care

And all I can do is keep on telling you
I want you, I need you
But there ain’t no way I’m ever gonna love you
Now don’t be sad
‘Cause two out of three ain’t bad
Now don’t be sad
‘Cause two out of three ain’t bad


Let us know what you think in the comments. Any musical requests for our upcoming media posts?

SNL Clip: When Your Feedback Isn’t Heard

This clip of “One More Mission” from Saturday Night Live was shared with us on Facebook, and we thought it would be perfect for this Friday’s media post. There’s feedback flying all around in the clip, but let’s just focus on the section starting around 0:54, when Johnny O’Connor (Phil Hartman) enters and Harry Meyer (John Lovitz) tells him he’s through. Remember, Radical Candor is not measured at the speaker’s mouth, but at the listener’s ear. So although Harry may believe he is being super clear (at 1:50), Johnny is unable to hear the feedback. Harry has to keep at it until Johnny shows that he understands what Harry is saying.


Have you ever had the feeling that someone really wasn’t hearing what you had to say? Did you keep trying and use as many different ways of saying it as possible, like John Lovitz does? :)  Tell us your stories!

Glengarry Glen Ross Shows Us Obnoxious Aggression

Radical Candor is hard. Sometimes it’s much easier to let go of your direct challenge or not take the time to show you Care Personally. At moments like this, maybe you need a little kick in the pants to keep you motivated. :)

Try watching an extreme example of what happens when you’re not Radically Candid, like this classic example of Obnoxious Aggression.

This is the well-known “Always Be Closing” scene from Glengarry Glen Ross. Blake (Alec Baldwin) delivers a “pep” talk to the guys in the real estate office, urging them to do better. He issues strong challenges, but also actively shows multiple times that he does NOT Care Personally.

Let this clip remind you that Radical Candor is not the same as front-stabbing. That’s Obnoxious Aggression.



Do you have ideas of media clips that illustrate Radical Candor, Obnoxious Aggression, Ruinous Empathy or Manipulative Insincerity? Send them our way!

Huey Lewis on Soliciting Radical Candor

A number of people have written in asking for advice on reacting to and soliciting feedback from their boss. The short answer is, try to make it easy for them to say what they’re really thinking.

I am in the process of writing a much longer response to the question of how to ask for feedback in our advice column, but on the way to work this morning I realized Huey Lewis probably said it better and faster than I ever will. Granted, he was talking about his girlfriend not his boss, but it’s surprisingly relevant.

It’s worth reading the words:

Girl don’t lie
Just to save my feelings
Girl don’t cry
And tell me nothing’s wrong
Girl don’t try
To make up phony reasons
I’d rather leave
Than never believe

If this is it
Please let me know
If this ain’t love
You’d better let me go

If this is it
I want to know
If this ain’t love, baby
Just say so

Of course, when you’re soliciting feedback, you’re generally not trying to encourage your boss to fire you, so the whole breakup/ “you’d better let me go” metaphor is overly ominous–though in extreme cases it might apply.

But here’s my rewrite of the song to make it more about fixing problems than getting fired :)

Boss, don’t lie
Just to save my feelings
Boss don’t lie
And tell me nothing’s wrong
Boss don’t try
To make up phony reasons
I can fix it
If you tell me what’s wrong

If this is bad
Please let me know
If this ain’t good
You’d better tell me so

If this is bad
I want to know
If this ain’t good, boss
Just say so

We will give you more detailed advice next week. Soliciting feedback from your boss is a tricky thing to do…and a heavy topic for Friday. So just enjoy the song for now.

Happy weekend!

Rocky Balboa Cares Personally and Challenges Directly

Coach Russ has all of us here at Candor, Inc. convinced that Rocky delivers the epitome of a Radically Candid speech. In this speech to his son, Rocky shows that he cares deeply and issues very clear, direct challenges. What he has to say isn’t easy, but he knows it needs to be said. He motivates change.

We encourage you to use this speech as inspiration to give the feedback that you know is needed. If you don’t say it, you’re not giving people the opportunity to fix what’s wrong!

And we dare you to watch this clip without tearing up.

The Beatles Probably Didn’t “Work it Out”

We’ve been listening to “We can work it out” by the Beatles recently. The Beatles really seemed to want to work it out, but with their lack of Radical Candor, we’re pretty sure the relationship was doomed. Check out how their approach stacks up – it offers good insights into work relationships, too:


Beatles - We Can Work It Out, Radical Candor Edition

Have you seen an example of Radical Candor, Obnoxious Aggression, Ruinous Empathy or Manipulative Insincerity in a movie, TV show, or song? Tell us about it in the comments, or tweet it to us @Candor and we’ll check it out for this series!

Radical Candor in “The Sound of Music”

We’re starting a Media Fridays series where we’ll show videos, songs, TV show clips, etc. that are fun examples of Radical Candor, Obnoxious Aggression, Ruinous Empathy, or Manipulative Insincerity.

First up, The Sound of Music. Maria criticizes her boss, Captain von Trapp, with Direct Challenges (pretty strong ones!), but she also shows over and over that she Cares Personally. Maria doesn’t hesitate to “Just say it!”

As often happens, Captain von Trapp doesn’t react well to Maria’s criticism at first. Radical Candor is hard. It doesn’t always get the reception it deserves, especially at first.

If you have a couple of hours this weekend, watch the whole movie to appreciate the positive impact that Maria’s criticism eventually has on Captain von Trapp, his relationship with his children, and his relationship with Maria. Spoiler alert: she gets her job back :)

Have you noticed a character being Radically Candid, Obnoxiously Aggressive, Ruinously Empathetic or Manipulatively Insincere? Tell us about it in the comments, or tweet it to us @Candor and we’ll check it out for this series!

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