The purpose of feedback is to help people achieve more success, and it’s one of your core responsibilities as a boss. Creating a strong feedback culture means soliciting it, giving it, and encouraging it between others. Feedback is a great place to start applying the concepts of Radical Candor.

Applying Radical Candor to feedback

Feedback is praise and criticism. The reason Radically Candid feedback is hard is that criticism can feel mean, and praise can feel patronizing.

The purpose of criticism is to help people know what to do better. When giving criticism, most people fear being Obnoxiously Aggressive, so they tend to retreat to vague Ruinous Empathy. But when getting criticism most people would rather hear it straight. Focus on being both kind and clear to give Radically Candid criticism.

The purpose of praise is to help people know what to do more of. When you praise others to be “nice” or to try make them feel good, it comes across as Ruinous Empathy or Manipulative Insincerity. Make your praise specific and sincere to help people repeat their success.

How to get started

Creating a culture of feedback on your team will improve your relationships and help your team achieve more success. We recommend starting with these steps:

  1. Get feedback from others — Show everyone how you benefit from their candor. Lead by example.
  2. Give feedback — Remember to Challenge Directly and show that you Care Personally. Use our tips for moving towards Radical Candor, and make sure to find out how your feedback feels to the person receiving it.
  3. Encourage feedback — Take simple, visible actions to push your team to give each other praise and criticism.

Learn more about each of these steps in the advice columns and articles on our blog, and try out the Candor Coach iOS app to get help improving and tracking your feedback conversations.