radical candor podcast

Podcast Season 2, Episode 3: Unhappy Cats In a Pond—Challenging Directly During a Crisis

In its most basic form, Radical Candor is a framework to facilitate communication that is kind, clear, specific and sincere. It’s about being able to Care Personally and Challenge Directly at the same time. While this kind of communication is always important for building trust and maintaining relationships, it’s even more important during a crisis when anxieties are heightened and everything is uncertain. Kim, Jason and Amy unpack how to Challenge Directly during a crisis without losing your humanity.

Listen to the episode:

The Radical Candor Checklist

Tip 1: Enter the conversation from a place of curiosity versus judgment — you can’t hold curiosity and judgment at the same time.

Tip 2: Remember, the secret to productivity during a pandemic is to do less.

Tip 3: Manage your own emotions: figure out what’s yours, what’s theirs, and what really matters.

Tip 4: Don’t call people names. Remember the Center for Creative Leadership’s SBI Model. SBI means:

  • Situation: context or a specific situation in which a behavior manifested.
  • Behavior: the behavior you are seeing that is not ideal (in this case) or the behavior you are seeing that is leading to success (in the case of praise).
  • Impact: the articulation of the Impact of the behavior.


Pretending that everything is business as usual when working during a crisis will create more problems than it will solve. Whether you’re a manager, a coach or an individual contributor, be honest with yourself and others about what you’re capable of accomplishing and what you need to stop doing. While this sounds easy and maybe even obvious, it’s much more difficult than it seems because it goes against basic human instincts.

Happy, Happy, Joy, Joy: Learn why Matthieu Ricard is the happiest man alive.

Herding Cats: Experience what Jason’s job feels like during times of chaos.

What is Radical Candor?

New to Radical Candor? Here’s the quick and dirty on how to Care Personally and Challenge Directly to do the best work of your life and build the best relationships of your career.

The Feedback Loop Special Offer

We’re giving our podcast listeners 10% off the individual self-paced course. Go to ImprovisingRadicalCandor.com and enter promo code FEEDBACK at checkout.

Binge-worthy, not cringe-worthy, this Netflix-style digital learning program includes:

  • An hour of hilarious content about a team whose feedback fails are costing them business, delivered over 5 episodes.
  • Improv-inspired exercises to teach you the skills you need to think more quickly on your feet and work more effectively with others.
  • Quizzes and action plans you can put into practice immediately.

Giving and receiving feedback is crucial to your success, but we know it can be uncomfortable. So put on your PJs, get comfy on your couch, and Let’s Get Radical! (Sorry, popcorn not included.)

Watch the trailer >>

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

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.

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