Kim Scott Radical Candor podcast

Podcast Season 2, Episode 15: What’s In It for Me? The Peer-to-Peer Feedback Dilemma

How can you get your employees more engaged at work if they’re not invested in the company long term, and is it your obligation to be Radically Candid with a peer at work who you know is lying? On this episode of the Radical Candor podcast, Amy and Jason answer listener questions, discuss their stints working in food service (their experiences involve mayonnaise and organized crime) and muse whether or not people can be more like Clay Christensen.

Listen to the episode:

The Question

Our first question on this episode of the Radical Candor podcast comes from a listener who manages a restaurant. “I work at a well-established restaurant in San Francisco. I manage a team of about 20 people. Being in the restaurant industry, I feel like there is a lack of commitment to the company for the employees. There are also a few different BIG personalities that sometimes clash. I am struggling with making my team care more and figuring out how to navigate through the challenges of getting a team to communicate and work together in such a high-stress and fast-paced environment.”

The Radical Candor Checklist

  1. Make sure employees understand the goals of the organization and what the establishment values. Once everyone has a clear understanding of the shared goals and values, communicate clearly about how the team plans to work together to meet those challenges.
  2. Let people know why their work is important and show them what success looks like.
  3. Celebrate success and recognize people when they meet goals. You can take some inspiration from this company that created a fun employee-recognition program.

The Question

Our second question season 2, episode 15 of the Radical Candor podcast comes from someone experiencing a moral dilemma. “I am in a situation with a colleague who is severely underperforming and has been for at least a year. He has recently begun to lie about his work to others while in a group setting. Other people believe him, while I know he is blatantly lying. Is this something you would still consider being radically candid about? We are peers who report to the same manager.”

Radical Candor
The late author, innovator and HBS professor Clay Christensen with Radical Candor’s own Amy Sandler

The Radical Candor Checklist

  1. Remember, most people don’t lie because it’s fun. Often, folks lie in an attempt to cover up a mistake. If you plan to approach a peer you know is lying, go into the conversation envisioning a positive outcome for you and for them.
  2. Radically Candid feedback is helpful. Be clear about how you intend to help your colleague.
  3. Don’t go into the conversation if you’re feeling emotional. Make sure you are able to manage your emotions so you can approach the conversation from a place of curiosity versus blame.
  4. Remember this quote from the late Clay Christensen.

Many of us have convinced ourselves that we are able to break our own personal rules ‘just this once.’ In our minds, we can justify these small choices. None of those things, when they first happen, feels like a life-changing decision. The marginal costs are almost always low. But each of those decisions can roll up into a much bigger picture, turning you into the kind of person you never wanted to be.

If you give in to ‘just this once,’ based on a marginal-cost analysis, you’ll regret where you end up. That’s the lesson I learned: it’s easier to hold to your principles 100 percent of the time than it is to hold to them 98% of the time. The boundary—your personal moral line—is powerful because you don’t cross it; if you have justified doing it once, there’s nothing to stop you doing it again.

Decide what you stand for. And then stand for it all the time.” ― Clayton M. Christensen, How Will You Measure Your Life?

Just Work is Available for Pre-Order

Radical Candor podcast


Pre-order Kim’s new book, Just Work: Get Sh*t Done, Fast & Fair, to learn how we can recognize, attack, and eliminate workplace injustice ― and transform our careers and organizations in the process.

We ― all of us ― consistently exclude, underestimate, and underutilize huge numbers of people in the workforce even as we include, overestimate, and promote others, often beyond their level of competence. Not only is this immoral and unjust, but it’s also bad for business. Just Work is the solution.

Just Work is Kim’s new book, revealing a practical framework for both respecting everyone’s individuality and collaborating effectively. This is the essential guide leaders and their employees need to create more just workplaces and establish new norms of collaboration and respect.


Radical Candor Podcast Listeners Get 10% Off The Feedback Loop


Improvising Radical Candor, a partnership between Radical Candor and Second City Works, introduces The Feedback Loop (think Groundhog Day meets The Office), a 5-episode workplace comedy series starring David Alan Grier that brings to life Radical Candor’s simple framework for navigating candid conversations.

You’ll get an hour of hilarious content about a team whose feedback fails are costing them business; improv-inspired exercises to teach everyone the skills they need to work better together; and after-episode action plans you can put into practice immediately.

We’re offering Radical Candor podcast listeners 10% off the self-paced e-course. Follow this link and enter the promo code FEEDBACK at checkout.


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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