The CORE of Radical Candor: A Deep Dive into Effective Feedback 6 | 23

Jason and Amy discuss the nuanced art of feedback using the CORE model—Context, Observation, Result, nExt stEps, explaining how it can transform feedback into a powerful tool for growth and clarity. Whether it’s navigating simple day-to-day acknowledgments or tackling complex, emotionally charged feedback scenarios, they provide actionable strategies that can be immediately applied at work.

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Episode at a Glance — CORE Feedback

The CORE of Radical Candor: A Deep Dive into Effective Feedback 6 | 23 CORE feedback,radical candor podcast

Delve into the mechanics of CORE and learn how to implement it to foster a culture of open, productive dialogue and promote continuous development.

Whether you’re giving praise or criticism, the CORE model equips you to have more productive conversations. Issues that first seem simple can reveal complexities. And issues that seem hopelessly tangled can become “unstuck” by taking this systematic approach.

Strive for clarity first, solutions second. When you remove the pressure to have all the answers upfront, you open up space for new perspectives to emerge. That’s the true power of the CORE feedback model in action.

Radical Candor Podcast Checklist: CORE Feedback


  1. Use the CORE model, Context, Observation, Result, nExt stEps, to clarify your thinking before the conversation. And this applies both to what you plan to say as well as your mindset. Ask yourself, am I looking to be curious in this conversation? Am I looking to collaborate? And have I thought about what that other person might already know about this situation? Because it might be a little different than what I know.
  2. You want to humbly, as in ontologically humbly, share your context, observation, and result to check for understanding or alignment on the underlying problem.
  3. As managers, it is so tempting to want to give the person we’re talking to the answer, but not only is it acceptable, but in many cases, it’s actually better if that next step is when the other person can help you come up with a solution. So give yourself permission for the next step to be a question and an invitation to collaborate.
  4. We sometimes put too much pressure on ourselves to solve the problem in a single conversation. And as a result, we don’t always think that it’s actually a really big victory to just come to alignment on what the underlying problem is. To help us think about this, I want to say that a perfect next step at the end of almost any feedback conversation is to ask the question, do you agree? Do you think that I am right about my context, observation, and result? Checking for alignment is a perfectly good next step.

The TLDR Radical Candor Podcast Transcript

The CORE of Radical Candor: A Deep Dive into Effective Feedback 6 | 23 CORE feedback,radical candor podcast


[00:00:00] Jason Rosoff: Hello, everybody, and welcome to the Radical Candor podcast. I’m Jason Rosoff. 

[00:00:07] Amy Sandler: I’m Amy Sandler, and today it’s just going to be me and Jason talking your favorite topic, which is feedback. Kim is away, and so we’re going to take this time to go in more detail into a topic that we introduced in the second edition of the book, Radical Candor.

[00:00:27] This is the one with the more yellow color versus the sort of orange, red, would you call it yellow? Yeah. So if you’ve got that one, um, we introduced a few new things in that addition. And one of the things that we did that we want to chat with you all about today was CORE, C O R E, which is the model that we’ve been using for giving feedback.

[00:00:52] But I think Jason, in many ways, it’s not just a model of how to give feedback. It’s really how to get more clear on what we’re trying to communicate, uh, to someone. Would you say that’s accurate before we get into what it stands for? 

[00:01:04] Jason Rosoff: I wholeheartedly agree. 

[00:01:07] Amy Sandler: Excellent. So context, observation, result, next steps. If you want to call CORE, CORN, you’re welcome to do so. If you want to keep it top of mind, we’ve had a few different podcasts chatting about that. We’ll put them in the show notes, but what we have heard from our folks in the workshops that we teach is that it’s really at the top of the ideas that we communicate that people really appreciate most in terms of being actionable, such as, you know, Kim’s, uh, two by two Radical Candor framework, as well as, uh, order of operations and CORE is something that people really appreciate.

[00:01:45] So we did want to do a mini deep dive into it because it’s one thing to jot down the things you want to say, and it’s another thing to actually put it into practice. And so what we thought we would do for you all today was first of all, give you an example of maybe a, kind of a, an intro level CORE, uh, context observation result, next steps. Uh, and then an example that might be a little, uh, trickier, harder to put into practice. Jason, how does that sound? 

[00:02:16] Jason Rosoff: Let’s do it. Okay, so I wanted to say a couple of things before we dive in, which are the reasons why CORE, so CORE is valuable because it encourages you to think about what you want to say before you go into the conversation.

[00:02:32] So for yourself, the practice that we recommend to everybody in a workshop is before you go into a conversation, take the CORE model, take the, that C O R E and jot down just a quick note for yourself. What is the context? Uh, what was your observation? What was the result that you think was important for the other person to be aware of? And what are the next steps that are either in your head or that you would recommend, uh, to, to that person? And the reason why that’s useful is when you never know what you’re going to encounter when you get into the actual conversation. So that’s one thing. 

[00:03:04] The other thing is what makes these situations tricky. There’s two different ways that I’ve seen them become really tricky. One of them is when this, the actual thing that you’re giving feedback on is complex and maybe it’s not obvious what to do about it. So I want to get, I want to give one example, but the other one is where things get tricky, which is when you think the situation is simple and maybe it is, is even objectively simple, but there’s some emotion or information that you’re missing in that situation, which sort of appears in the discussion that you weren’t prepared for. And that can make it tricky also. So we want to talk about how you can use CORE to prepare yourself, but how to stay flexible enough so that when you actually get into the discussion, you don’t get, you don’t get stuck.

[00:03:51] I guess that’s like the core of the earth, right? It’s like, there’s a magnetic pull to the core. But you don’t want to get, you don’t want to get stuck there. So let’s start with a simple, uh, a simpler situation. Amy, what’s the example that we give all the time in the workshop? 

[00:04:08] Amy Sandler: We give an example, uh, and again, to be clear, this is for both praise and criticism. So sometimes people automatically go right to CORE feedback, criticism, um, and of course we’ve been asking for feedback, et cetera. Now we’re giving feedback, but feedback can be both praise and criticism. So for both praise and criticism, the context is the exact same thing. So the context is the quarterly budget review meeting with the CFO. That’s the context. 

[00:04:36] So we try to keep it pretty tight. You know, what’s the situation in which the, uh, the feedback, uh, the thing that you want to give feedback on, uh, occurred. So that’s the context. Do you want me to keep going? 

[00:04:49] Jason Rosoff: Yeah, let’s do the, let’s do the praise example first and then the criticism example.

[00:04:53] Amy Sandler: Okay. So the observation, and here’s where we want to keep this to identifiable, either work product or behaviors. And so that’s another reason why we really want to be in that meeting, you know, oh, I heard you did this and that is very different than something that I observed directly. So the observable work product in a praise case could be, there was a complex, uh, analysis, that growth rate on slide twelve, it was accurate. So it was complex and it was accurate. Uh, another example of praise could be you answered the CFO’s questions succinctly. 

[00:05:35] Jason Rosoff: So those are the observations. So the context is in that meeting with the CFO. 

[00:05:38] Amy Sandler: Mm-hmm.

[00:05:38] Jason Rosoff: The observation is there was a complex analysis that, uh, you presented well. And so, what’s the result?

[00:05:48] Amy Sandler: So this is where it gets pretty interesting because I think this is where, you know, what is the result that matters? What would be meaningful for this person, for the team, et cetera? Um, how well do you know this person to kind of align the, uh, thing that you observed to their results? So maybe the result in this example is, I’m confident we’re going to get the funding request.

[00:06:09] Maybe that’s the most important result. Maybe the most important result is the CFO is going to go to our team for these types of analyses going forward. Maybe the most meaningful result is you’re on track for promotion. 

[00:06:22] Jason Rosoff: Yeah. Or, and, uh, similarly, maybe the most meaningful result is, hey, this was an area of development for you, and this was a demonstration of significant improvement.

[00:06:33] Amy Sandler: Yeah. And the reason why I think that’s a great one is because we’ve been having these ongoing development conversations. And so this would reflect like, hey, you know, I gave you this, uh, this task to kind of rise to the occasion and you did exactly even better than I might’ve thought.

[00:06:52] Now, this is interesting, Jason, because usually at this time, we will say, so context, observation, result, which still sounds like CORE, even though we haven’t quite finished. We’re reflecting looking back, like we’re talking about a thing that happened. Right? 

[00:07:07] Jason Rosoff: Yeah. Yeah. And importantly, I think what we have learned is that looking back is not enough. Like if you don’t paint a picture of how this information is going to be useful to the person in the future. When it’s praise, it’s very easy to sort of brush it off, right? To say like, oh, it’s a team effort and everybody worked really hard on it. But that’s not the reason why you give the praise in the first place. The reason why you give that praise is to help the person grow and develop. And it also helps to recognize when they’re doing well, especially if this was an area of development for somebody. 

[00:07:43] Amy Sandler: Yeah. And so to your point on the development one, um, you know, you could say as a next step, hey, I’d love for you to do that, uh, that same process, walk through that with the CEO next week. Like this is sort of a keep it up. You know, one of the things Jason, you and I’ve talked about is that you can think about praise and criticism also is like a start, stop, continue. So in this kind of rubric, which many folks are familiar with, the praise would be continue. 

[00:08:09] Jason Rosoff: Yup.

[00:08:09] Amy Sandler: Like keep doing what you’re doing. And then another, um, way that we can include that challenge or that sense of forward momentum with praise is to ask someone to show, hey, I’d love for you to show the team how you built that, uh, that analysis. I think we could all learn from you for that, you know, so kind of minting experts, um, sharing, sharing the wisdom with other team members.

[00:08:33] Jason Rosoff: Okay. So let’s now imagine that the meeting did not go quite as well as we planned. So same situation in the, 

[00:08:42] Amy Sandler: Uh, uh. 

[00:08:43] Jason Rosoff: In the meeting with the CFO. Uh, now what, what did we observe? 

[00:08:49] Amy Sandler: Well, there was an error in your deck and you weren’t able to answer the follow-up questions.

[00:08:55] Jason Rosoff: Okay. And what was the result? 

[00:08:58] Amy Sandler: And of course, I’m hearing that the, closed caption under that, which I think I’ve shared before, is like, and you’re a terrible person, even though that’s not what I said. I just said there was an error in your deck, but I’m just saying it might be mistranslated or misheard.

[00:09:11] Um, but that’s why it’s so important to keep it to the observation. And then again, this is where the most important result is, you know, maybe now you’re not on track for promotion or maybe, uh, the CFO is going to, you know, double check our analyses going forward, right? Or, you know, we’re not going to get the funding request until we do some additional work.

[00:09:33] Jason Rosoff: And what are the next steps in that case? 

[00:09:35] Amy Sandler: What we really want to do, and one of the things we talk about is like, hey, let’s move this from kind of looking back to looking forward more of a development opportunity. And one of the things Jason, I think we’re going to get into this in more detail, is that we want to show this person we’ve got their back, like we’re with them. We are supporting them. So like, hey, uh, let’s meet next Tuesday. Let’s go through the deck and prepare for any questions that the CEO might have. So we’re doing this looking forward and we’re going to, uh, support that team member in a way that, um, that we think could be helpful. But we also could ask what would be most helpful for them to prep for the CEO meeting, for example. 

[00:10:15] Jason Rosoff: Yep. That makes sense to me. So we’ve got this relatively clear situation where there is a very observable instance of behavior and work output, and in one case it went well and it leads to praise, and in another case it didn’t go so well and it leads to some criticism.

[00:10:31] In both cases we’re talking about how we carry what we’ve learned by looking at the past forward, uh, and I would say like those are, relatively straight, straightforward. And the good news is like preparing those ahead of time is really helpful because even in those straightforward situations, it’s really easy to get into the room and sort of forget, you know, you are the deer in the headlights. You sort of forget what it is that you came there to say. 

[00:10:56] So I think that, uh, it’s really helpful to take note of what you wanted to say. And I want to say those situations can become complicated because, for many reasons, and here is where the flexibility usually has to lie. Your context observation and result, I think, let’s talk, let’s focus on the criticism for a second.

[00:11:18] The context is, you know, in the meeting, you made some errors in the analysis that you prepared for, for the meeting. And as a result, you know, we’re at risk of not getting the funding. I think you can confidently say that from your perspective, all those things are true. Uh, but the next steps, I think the, there’s often a question about what is the best way for us to proceed from there.

[00:11:39] And the reason why we want to be flexible is because maybe you think that the problem is that this person made some mistakes or they’re being careless or something in the way that they did the analysis. But if you said, hey, I noticed that this thing happened, right? There were some errors and as a result, there, there was some resistance to giving us the funding we were looking for. Those things I noticed happened. 

[00:12:04] And if your next step is, help me understand how that happened, or what we might do to prevent that from happening in the future, by asking a question instead of saying, I need you to be more on top of those details, right? Thhat’s the thing that when people hear next steps, usually they think of I’m giving you instructions, right?

[00:12:24] I’m going to tell, me the boss is going to tell the employee what to do. And the downside is if I said, you know, I really need you to be on top of those details. And then Amy, and Amy, you said to, you said, well, I actually delegated that part of the work to somebody else. Uh, and now you’re in this weird position where it can sort of feel like difficult to figure out like, okay, so how do I get out of this? I was wrong. The assumptions that I made were wrong. Whereas if you ask the question instead, like, hey, I noticed this thing happening. I’m curious how we can avoid it in the future. 

[00:12:59] Then you’re putting yourself and the other person in a position where to your point, you’re on their side, you’re brainstorming, and you’re not telling them automatically that they did something wrong. You’re just open to their perspective. And that I found to be a really helpful thing when people in my workshops tell me, hey, I’m not quite sure what the right next step is, even in a relatively straightforward situation, I’m like a great way to get started on that part of the conversation is to ask a question. 

[00:13:29] Amy Sandler: I really appreciate that. And Jason, I’m thinking even in the model, we talk about kind of the, the C, the O, the R, and then the next steps and sometimes before we get to the next steps, even having some kind of pause or check in of like, hey, uh, just checking for alignment on like, were we in the same meeting? Like, did we see the same. The same thing happened there, right? Because maybe what actually happened was, well, I had the numbers up and we had just gotten, you know, a new update three slides before. And I didn’t know that the growth rate was twenty percent. I was going off of fifteen percent, something like that. 

[00:14:10] Jason Rosoff: Right, right, exactly.

[00:14:21] So the whole idea is like to be prepared, um, but not be inflexible, that’s the whole purpose of CORE. And for that situation, I like, I think it’s so important to give yourself the out. If you’re, if you don’t feel really confident about making a particular recommendation, even if you’re the boss, I think this is the, like the, this is the place where I see people struggle the most, which is they’re like, I’m the boss. I should know how to fix all the problems that my team encounters. 

[00:14:51] But that is not accurate. It’s not, um, omniscience is not a job requirement for being a manager. You don’t need to have all of the answers. And so you can ask a question and it turns out that that’s a really helpful mindset to have because you’re going to run into situations that are arguably less objective than that. So, well, let’s switch. 

[00:15:12] Amy Sandler: So Jason, actually, before we go on, just to finalize on this one, because this is maybe a more simple one. So if we were going to pause and check for understanding after the result, what would be a helpful question or inquiry after, you know, and as a result, I’m not confident that we’re going to get the funding request, or it seems like we’re going to have to do some extra work.

[00:15:34] Like, what would be in this more simple example, a way to ensure alignment with that other person before moving on to the next step? 

[00:15:43] Jason Rosoff: There’s a couple of ways out. One of the ways out is to say, uh, did you walk away from the meeting with the same impression and what would you recommend that we do about it? Right? Like the, there’s like a two, there’s no such, I’ve learned there’s no such thing as a two part question. That’s two questions.

[00:16:04] Uh, I have two questions for you. Did you feel or notice the same thing? And do you have a recommendation for what to do about it? Is probably the most thoughtful way that I could imagine. And I would say if we’re, if you’re talking about someone, you know, if it was you and I, Amy, that’s definitely the approach that I would take.

[00:16:23] If I was talking to someone who’s like really new in the job or in their career, you know what I’m saying? In their career, I might say, I might change that a little bit. I might say, I have some ideas for what we could do, but I’m curious to get your perspective. Right? Like that might be the approach that I take.

[00:16:39] Amy Sandler: And are you saying the, I have some ideas so that they feel like, oh my gosh, now it’s all on, now this person thinks they’re trying to be helpful. And now not only did I mess up, I have to come up with some solution. And now I’m feeling even more stressed. 

[00:16:52] Jason Rosoff: Correct, because maybe the person says, I didn’t notice that that happened. You know what I’m saying? 

[00:16:56] Amy Sandler: Yeah. 

[00:16:56] Jason Rosoff: Like I had no idea that that’s what happened in the meeting. Uh, and so they’re still orienting themselves to the new infer, to that new information and it might be really difficult. And so I think both of these things are different examples of using the sort of next steps part of CORE as a way to demonstrate that you have, that you’re, you have the other person’s back, that you’re there to support them. And for a person who’s, you know, uh, who’s got tons of experience, like presenting in front of groups and stuff like that, a straightforward offer to collaborate is probably going to come across as helpful, whereas a person who maybe is inexperienced saying, you know, I’m open to your perspective and I have a couple of, you know, thought starters, ways for us to proceed might be seen as more helpful than, uh, uh, a sort of straightforward collaboration.

[00:17:46] Amy Sandler: Great. 

[00:17:46] Jason Rosoff: But the reason, the connection I was making before is like, that’s what the reason why this mindset thing is so important is to get out of the mode of say, of thinking at the end of every piece of feedback, I need to tell the other person what to do is that you’re going to run into situations that aren’t nearly as straightforward, meaning like there’s more like, it’s more likely that you disagree on some combination of the observation, the result, and the next steps. So you might say, this is a situation that I had with a peer manager when I was at Khan Academy. Our teams seemed to be in a constant state of, I would call it minor conflict, irritation. There, there was like a constant feeling of friction between the two teams.

[00:18:33] Uh, and I went to this manager and at first my approach was, hey, like, I think we need to do this, this, and this thing because like the teams aren’t working particularly well together. And in the moment, uh, my peer seemed to agree with me, but then as I was starting to try to implement the suggestions that I had made, or the, I guess it were like the orders I had given, I ran into some trouble and it didn’t seem like uh, he wasn’t holding up his end of the bargain.

[00:19:05] You know what I’m saying? Like, so I was telling my team to do these things, but his team was continuing to do the same things that they were doing before. And I was like, Hmm, that, that’s odd. You know, I thought we had come to agreement and alignment, uh, as to what to do. And I actually went back to this person and was like, hey, I thought we agreed, uh, to do this. And he was like, no, you agreed that we were going to do this. Uh, and I was like, okay, okay, let’s take a step back, here’s what I am, seeing, are you seeing 

[00:19:40] Amy Sandler: Radical Candor, party of one! Radical Candor, party of one! 

[00:19:45] Jason Rosoff: Here, here’s what I am noticing in this situation. Are you noticing the same thing? And we were, so the good news is on the context and observation, like every time our teams were interacting with each other, we noticed that there was like some friction in the way they were working together, tempers tend to be a little bit higher, et cetera. So we were agreed on that.

[00:20:06] Um, but it turned out like, he was like, look, I think this is like good creative friction. And so the mistake that I had made was I had made this big assumption, which is like, this is negative, this is bad. Like the friction that we’re experiencing is bad, and we should do something to address it. And by failing to follow CORE, I created a situation where, uh, we didn’t, we weren’t, and by being a bit of a bulldozer, we weren’t aligned.

[00:20:35] And I started to try to do some work and it turned out like neither, uh, I wasn’t doing quite the right thing. And, uh, my, my peer was not, uh, was not excited about the, changes that I was trying to make. And I think I went into that meeting, that first conversation with the mindset, I have to fix this, right? My team brought me this problem and it’s my job to fix it. So I went in there with that mindset. If I instead got in there with the mindset of like, this is my peer and we should be collaborating. I should be curious about the way that my, um, uh, this other manager is thinking about this and I should have questions for, uh, for him at the end of this conversation, right?

[00:21:15] I should share my context. If I had the language, then I would have known I should share my context, observation and results, and say, hey, do we agree that this is what is happening? Um, and this is what the impact is. And if I had done that and said, hey, do you agree with me? Already I would have found out that there was disagreement, right?

[00:21:33] Because he would have said, I don’t agree that the result is that we’re slowing down or that the work is less good. Um, I agree that, you know, maybe tempers are a little high, but like he, he was seeing it as like creative friction in a positive way. And so that’s why this mindset is sort of like curiosity mindset and thinking of the next step is to check for understanding to what your point earlier, Amy, uh, and or check for agreement or alignment on the actual underlying problem, uh, and then move on to solutions. It’s really especially helpful when there’s a high probability of disagreement. 

[00:22:12] Amy Sandler: I think that’s such an important point and I have observed, I think there’s a lot of us who have maybe been trained like come to me with solutions and you know that somehow it’s not okay to come more with questions annd co creation and collaboration So I think it’s a really important point. The other thing I’ll add to that when it comes to kind of the pre conversation, both the work of, you know, thinking about your core and also your mindset.

[00:22:39] So my mindset is being curious, but also like, sometimes we’ll do an exercise where we’ll have folks think about what is this other person know about the situation? Like just from your best guess, but starting to put yourself in this other person’s shoes, because so often with these conversations, we’ve been thinking about it for days and weeks and months. And they might have no idea. So even just to think about, like in your case, like what does my peer think about and getting curious. And then you can even check, but even just doing that as an exercise for yourself can start to create a little more empathy and curiosity. 

[00:23:19] Jason Rosoff: Yeah. And to build on that for a moment, again, I didn’t have this technology, the CORE technology available to me. It’s not something that I was aware of at the time. I think if I had just gone, well, let’s call him Tom. I kept, I was like, okay, if I had gone to Tom and I was like, and I just shown him what I wrote down, if I had known about it and I said,

[00:23:38] Amy Sandler: Yeah.

[00:23:38] Jason Rosoff: Here’s what I think is going on. And here’s what I think the next steps are, that would have been better. You know what I’m saying? Like that, even that would have been better, even if I didn’t have the right mindset. 

[00:23:49] Amy Sandler: Yeah.

[00:23:49] Jason Rosoff: And I, but I was like willing to, uh, to get Tom’s perspective. I felt like that, if I was just willing to share my perspective and to get Tom’s perspective in return, to share my perspective clearly. I think we would have been better off than,

[00:24:03] Amy Sandler: You know, as you’re saying that it’s almost reminding me of when we talked about like how AI could be helpful for managing difficult emotional things, because in some ways by you showing that to Tom, you’re kind of like, I see you as an equal partner. Like here’s sort of my, part of the conversation. What’s your part, almost without the emotional back and forth where we might get more tripped up. That’s actually what I’m thinking of. If, not that we want to encourage people to do these conversations asynchronously and by text, but there’s something about kind of that download of here was what was on my mind. I bet I am wildly off base. So you, you share your perspective with me. 

[00:24:44] Jason Rosoff: Yeah, I think that the, that ontological humility is what you just described, right? Which is like, I like, I’m probably, there’s probably many things wrong about what’s, what I’m thinking. Um, and the root, uh, like the root of my ideas, it like, like what, when I’m attributing to root cause is probably flawed.

[00:25:06] I probably have some misperception about what the root cause is. I fundamentally believe that if I had gone through that exercise, I respected Tom enough that I would have shared, you know what I’m saying? I would have been more clear as opposed to walking in there and being like, oh, I need to solve my team’s problem.

[00:25:22] Um, I didn’t have another way to approach it. So like that, to me, that, that is the essence, the true value of CORE is forcing us to get clear in our own minds, what we think is going on. And then the invitation that goes along with CORE is like humbly share that with the person you’re talking with. And it’s likely that you’ll be able to find some kind of resolution.

[00:25:44] Amy Sandler: That’s great. And the last point that I would want to bring in, Jason, is on these potentially more complex examples where we might, we don’t necessarily know what the best next step is to give people permission to ask a question or to say that they don’t know, uh, that we can figure this out together.

[00:26:03] So in that case, what would be a good next step, uh, for you and Tom, just to stick with this example. Well, let’s say, you do get to alignment maybe on what the issue is, but you don’t know how we’re going to solve this. How would you get to that next step, uh, to close out that first conversation?

[00:26:22] Jason Rosoff: Yeah. Think, thinking back on it, it really did take several months to, to resolve. We had multiple of these conversations where we brought back additional observations, shared what we thought was going on. But at each, at the end of each of those conversations, we had a next step. And so it, it was one of those situations where I thought, you know, I can solve this instantly, but it turned out that was the wrong way to approach it.

[00:26:47] There was no quick solve to this. And the solution, that if I was allowed to put the solution into place that I first recommended, we probably would have lost some of that creative friction that was actually helping the product get better. Um, and we would have been over indexing on sort of smooth interactions over disagreeing, effectively disagreeing about what should happen to the product. So ultimately the time was very well spent. The teams did wind up working better together at the end of this and we were making the product better because we were allowing for some of that tension to to live in the process, in the same in, the way that it should when you’re doing something where there are differing opinions about the best way to accomplish it.

[00:27:29] Amy Sandler: What I really appreciate about the idea of the next step, especially when you share that story, Jason, is just, I think the pressure that so many of us, especially if we are managers, put on ourselves, like I have to have it all figured out. And not only is it potentially impossible to figure it out, but you’re not even going to get to as good an outcome.

[00:27:48] So I think it takes some of the pressure off. It can be, I think, simpler to think about, okay, what is that next step? So you talked about, well, maybe the next step is to bring some examples, or the next step is to update your team. And then the next step is how can we figure out how to bring some of that creative friction in?

[00:28:02] So in the same way that you said that there is no two parted question, there’s sort of two questions. In a way, it’s just breaking things down into a series of next steps. And I think that can, you know, these conversations can have some emotion, they might feel difficult, but at least people don’t have to feel like, oh my gosh, I’ve got to solve this huge problem in this one conversation.

[00:28:24] Jason Rosoff: Yeah. And I, the enemy of progress in a relationship, it is really, ossification, like ossification of positions, you know what I’m saying? And so the whole process of externalizing our thinking by writing down CORE is a, is just such a helpful tool. And I hope that people who are listening to this will think really hard about how they might, what opportunity they might have in front of them to externalize their thinking, to share that thinking transparently and see what kind of positive effect that, and be open to the other person’s perspective, and see what kind of positive effect that can have on the, not only the speed, but the sort of nature of the solution that you come up with.

[00:29:10] Amy Sandler: Now it’s time for our Radical Candor checklist tips to start putting Radical Candor into practice. Tip number one, use the CORE model, context, observation, result, next steps, to clarify your thinking before the conversation. And this applies both to what you plan to say as well as your mindset. Ask yourself, am I looking to be curious in this conversation? Am I looking to collaborate? And have I thought about what that other person might already know about this situation? ‘Cause it might be a little different than what I know. 

[00:29:46] Jason Rosoff: Tip number two, you want to humbly, as in ontologically humbly, share your context, observation, and result to check for understanding or alignment on the underlying problem.

[00:29:59] If we go back to my example with Tom, if I had been clear about those things sooner it would have saved us some back and forth. Because we would have realized we weren’t in agreement about the underlying problem. And it’s really hard maybe even impossible to make significant progress on a problem if you, with somebody else if you don’t agree on what that problem is.

[00:30:18] Amy Sandler: Tip number three, as managers, it is so tempting to want to give the person we’re talking to the answer, but not only is it acceptable, but in many cases it’s actually better if that next step is when the other person can help you come up with a solution. So give yourself permission for the next step to be a question and an invitation to collaborate.

[00:30:41] Jason Rosoff: Tip number four, to double down on tip number three. We sometimes put too much pressure on ourselves to solve the problem in a single conversation. And as a result, we don’t always think that it’s actually a really big victory to just come to alignment on what the underlying problem is. And to help us think about this, I want to say that a perfect next step at the end of almost any feedback conversation is to ask the question, do you agree? Do you think that I am right about my context, observation, and result? Checking for alignment is a perfectly good next step.

[00:31:21] Amy Sandler: Now, the big question I have for you is, CORE, CORN, tomato, tomato. We wanted to spend a moment at the close of this show to say thank you to Jason Miller who sent us a fun piece of fan art saying he loves CORN.

[00:31:39] Uh, and he wrote in, Kim, uh, I’m with you on preferring CORN as a feedback model. I like it so much I made you this CORN slide. Enjoy. And it showed a really cute, uh, piece of corn with hands and, uh, and expressive eyes, very happy, uh, piece of corn saying context, observation, result, next steps. Uh, we’ll put that in the show notes as well. So, thank you, Jason Miller, for sharing your creativity with us.

Radical Candor Podcast Resources: CORE Feedback

CORE Feedback


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The Radical Candor Podcast is based on the book Radical Candor: Be A Kickass Boss Without Losing Your Humanity by Kim Scott.

Radical Candor podcast

Episodes are written and produced by Brandi Neal with script editing by Amy Sandler. The show features Radical Candor co-founders Kim Scott and Jason Rosoff and is hosted by Amy Sandler. Nick Carissimi is our audio engineer.

The Radical Candor Podcast theme music was composed by Cliff Goldmacher. Order his book: The Reason For The Rhymes: Mastering the Seven Essential Skills of Innovation by Learning to Write Songs.

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