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A new management philosophy

Radical Candor™ is Caring Personally while Challenging Directly. At its core, Radical Candor is guidance and feedback that’s both kind and clear, specific and sincere.

Radical Candor Build Team

Why is something so simple so hard to do?

You’re told you have
 to be professional

Your entire working life you’ve been told to be professional. Too often, that’s code for leaving your humanity at home. To build strong relationships, you have to Care Personally.

This can be as simple as showing enough vulnerability to admit when you’re having a bad day, and creating a safe place for others to do the same.

Radical Candor approach
Radical Candor approach

“If you don’t have anything nice to say…”

Since you learned to talk you’ve likely been told some version of, “If you don’t have anything nice to say, don’t say anything at all.” Then you become the boss and the very thing you’ve been taught not to do since you were 18 months old is suddenly your job.

In order to succeed, you have to Challenge Directly. Challenging people is often the best way to show you care. It does not mean that whatever you think is the truth; it means you share your (humble) opinions directly.

Need help overcoming these specific guidance and feedback challenges? We’ve got a suite of resources to help you get you started.

A compass for candid conversations

Because Radical Candor can be hard to put into practice, we developed a simple guidance and feedback framework that you can keep top of mind in the heat of the moment.

Use the Radical Candor Framework to Guide Your Conversations

Understanding what is not Radical Candor can help you better understand what is. These behaviors that everyone falls into at one time or another are not personality types.

Remember that these phrases are not labels. Please don’t write people’s names in these boxes; use the framework as a compass to guide your conversations to a more productive place.

The Radical Candor Framework is a trademark of Radical Candor, LLC.

approach conversation 01

Obnoxious Aggression™

Obnoxious Aggression, also called brutal honesty or front stabbing, is what happens when you challenge someone directly, but don’t show you care about them personally. It’s praise that doesn’t feel sincere or criticism and feedback that isn’t delivered kindly.

Learn more

Ruinous Empathy™

Ruinous Empathy is what happens when you want to spare someone’s short-term feelings, so you don’t tell them something they need to know. You Care Personally, but fail to Challenge Directly. It’s praise that isn’t specific enough to help the person understand what was good, or criticism that is sugar-coated and unclear. Or simply silence. Ruinous Empathy may feel nice or safe, but is ultimately unhelpful and even damaging. This is a feedback fail.

Learn more

approach conversation 02
approach conversation 03

Manipulative Insincerity™

Manipulative Insincerity — backstabbing, political or passive-aggressive behavior — is what happens when you neither Care Personally nor Challenge Directly. It’s praise that is insincere, flattery to a person’s face and harsh criticism behind their back. Often it’s a self-protective reaction to Obnoxious Aggression. This is the worst kind of feedback fail.

Learn more

And REMEMBER…

SAYING “IN THE SPIRIT OF RADICAL CANDOR” while acting like a jerk still means you’re acting like a jerk.

Radical Candor jerk

Build a Radically Candid culture
of Guidance and Feedback

Change is hard. We can help.

Radical Candor Keynotes

Inspiring Keynotes

A Candor Coach will introduce key concepts, share their own stories, and provide tips and tactics to get you started on your Radical Candor journey.

Radical Candor Workshops

Immersive Workshops

Develop a shared vocabulary and practice Radical Candor's order of operations: solicit feedback, offer specific praise, and give criticism that’s kind and clear.

Feedback

Laugh & Learn

The Feedback Loop program includes a workplace comedy starring David Alan Grier to help you develop a candid culture of effective feedback.