Radical Candor Podcast

Podcast Season 4, Episode 4: Get Shit Done Step 1 — Create a Culture of Listening

Our next several episodes of the Radical Candor podcast are going to be shorter explorations of the nuts-and-bolts details about each step of the Get Shit Done Wheel. First up is listening. Kim, Jason and Amy discuss how to create a culture of listening because if you can get your team members to listen to one another, they’ll fix things that you as the boss didn’t even know were broken.

Listen to the episode:

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Three key steps to creating a culture of listening are:

  1. Create a simple system for employees to use to generate ideas and voice complaints,
  2. Make sure that at least some of the issues raised are quickly addressed, and
  3. Regularly offer explanations as to why the other issues aren’t being addressed.

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  1. Your one-on-one meetings should be really reserved for listening to people. What ideas do people have that they don’t have time to work on? What are the problems that people are wrestling with? If you’re the boss,  treat your one-on-one meetings as an opportunity to listen and have a real conversation with folks.
  2. Create a culture of listening to understand. Repeat back the issues they raised, as you understand them, to ensure you’re on the same page. You can say, “So what I hear you saying is…” 
  3. Surveys are not listening but you can adopt a simple system that allows people to easily generate ideas and bring up problems like a Slack channel, a weekly ideas meeting or other tools. Bring people along. Keep them informed whether their ideas will be implemented. If you’re not able to implement an idea, at least acknowledge that the idea is there so that people continue to create this culture of sharing ideas and perspectives.

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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.

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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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