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Radical Candor from a School Principal

One of our podcast listeners, Nadia, wrote in to share this story with us and gave us permission to share with you as well. It’s such a great story about advice that Nadia received years ago, that has stayed with her all this time. We’ve re-written her story here: When I was in middle school, so about 15 years old, I was chairperson of the Middle School Council. Each week I met with the principal of my school, Adam Heath,…

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Video Tip: Radically Candid Criticism is In Person

Radically Candid criticism is delivered in person. Remember, Radical Candor gets measured at the listener's ear, not the talker's mouth. Since communication is mostly nonverbal, it's really hard to know if your criticism is Radically Candid -- or not -- if you can't see how it lands. The only way to know if you've been kind and clear is to see how the other person is reacting. Watch the video to get Russ's tips for giving criticism in person: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=uvOrgWhVjyk…

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Tips to Avoid Obnoxiously Aggressive Criticism

If you think you've given criticism that was Obnoxiously Aggressive, check out these tips for moving towards Radical Candor! Criticize kindly This doesn’t mean sugar coating. It means seeing your criticism as an act of kindness, meant to help the person improve. If others have rated your criticism as Obnoxiously Aggressive, you’re not showing that you Care Personally. Try to pause for just a moment and imagine the face of somebody you really care about. Bring the kindness you’d show…

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Tips to Avoid Manipulatively Insincere Criticism

If you think you've given criticism that was Manipulatively Insincere, check out these tips for moving towards Radical Candor! Criticize kindly and clearly Just say what you really think. It’s not mean if it’s clear enough. If others have rated your criticism as Manipulatively Insincere, you’re not showing you care or challenging them directly enough. It’s hard to break free from the “if you don’t have anything nice to say don’t say it at all” advice that was pounded into…

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Tips to Avoid Ruinously Empathetic Criticism

If you think you've given criticism that was Ruinously Empathetic, check out these tips for moving towards Radical Candor! Criticize clearly Don’t try to spare people’s feelings by leaving out the details — that is not nice, it’s just unclear. If others have rated your criticism as Ruinously Empathetic, you’re not Challenging Directly enough. Try clearly explaining what you think directly to them. Just say it! When you don’t say it, you rob the person of a chance to fix…

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Tips for Radically Candid Criticism

Giving criticism is hard! Check out these tips for offering Radical Candor: Radically Candid criticism is kind and clear Easy to say, hard to do. Being kind means caring about what’s best for the person long term, not just what feels easiest right now. Being clear means leaving no room for interpretation about what you really think — while also being open to the possibility that your opinion is wrong. Be helpful When you are really clear about what’s wrong and…

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In Person Feedback is Best

Giving feedback in person is one of the tenets of our HIP approach to Radically Candid feedback. Having real, human, in person feedback conversations is important for two reasons: The clarity of your feedback gets measured not at your mouth, but at the other person’s ear. So if you can’t see the reaction, you won’t really know if the other person understood what you were saying. If you don’t know whether what you said was clear to the other person,…

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Tips to Avoid Manipulatively Insincere Praise

If you think you've given praise that was Manipulatively Insincere, check out these tips for moving towards Radical Candor! Praise specifically and sincerely The more vague your praise is the less genuine it feels. If somebody has rated your praise as Manipulatively Insincere, you’re not showing you care or challenging them directly enough. Try saying “I like the way you ___” It’s hard to be non-specific after that opening. And when you’re precise about something you admire and why, your sincerity…

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Tips to Avoid Ruinously Empathetic Praise

If you think you've given praise that was Ruinously Empathetic, check out these tips for moving towards Radical Candor! Praise Specifically Just saying “good job” is not helpful, and saying, “you are great” can actually be counterproductive. If somebody has rated your praise as Ruinously Empathetic, you’re not challenging them enough. Try being specific enough to show how to build on the success. Your job is not to be a cheerleader It’s to offer praise that shows exactly what was great…

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Tips to Avoid Obnoxiously Aggressive Praise

If you think you've given praise that was Obnoxiously Aggressive, check out these tips for moving towards Radical Candor! Praise Sincerely Focus on the good stuff — but if you don’t mean it, don’t say it! If somebody has rated your praise as Obnoxiously Aggressive, you’re not showing that you really do Care Personally. When you see something you genuinely like, just say it! Praise helps people turn great work into insanely great work You’re not “babying people’s egos” when you…

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