On this episode of the Radical Candor Podcast, we’re going to talk about the steps to follow for a successful debating process. If you skip the debate phase of the Get Sh*t Done Wheel, you’ll make worse decisions, you’ll be unable to persuade everyone who needs to implement, and you’ll ultimately slow down or grind to a halt. Kim, Jason, Amy and producer Brandi discuss a time when a debate went awry and what they should have done instead.
Listen to the episode:
Radical Candor Podcast Episode At a Glance
Big Debate Meetings should be reserved for debate, but not decisions, on major issues facing the team.
They serve three purposes:
- They lower tension.
- They allow you to slow down key decisions when appropriate.
- They foster a larger culture of debate.
The norms of these meetings are also pretty straightforward.
- Make it clear that the goal of debate is to work together to come up with the best answer. There should be no “winners” or “losers.”
- Encourage people to come with data versus recommendations and to not be afraid to disagree with one another.
- The sole product of the debate should be a careful summary of the facts and issues that emerged, a clearer definition of the choices going forward, and a recommendation to keep debating or to move on to a decision.
Radical Candor Podcast Checklist
- Check your ego at the door. Make sure that individual egos and self-interest don’t get in the way of an objective quest for the best answer. Nothing is a bigger time-sucker or blocker to getting it right than ego. On a broad level, this means intervening when you start to sense that people are thinking, “I’m going to win this argument,” or “my idea versus your idea,” or “my recommendation versus your recommendation,” or “my team feels …”
- Pause for emotions and exhaustion. If you don’t, people will make a decision so that they can go home; or worse, a huge fight stemming from raw emotions will break out.
- Ask participants to switch roles halfway through each debate. This makes sure that people are listening to each other and helps them keep focused on coming up with the best answer and let go of egos and hierarchical positions. Get your Radical Candor ‘Duty to Dissent’ swag: mugs, ping-pong paddles and stickers.
Radical Candor Podcast Resources
- Radical Candor Podcast Season 4, Episode 2: Use the GSD Wheel So No One Feels Sad, Bad or Left Out
- 6 Steps to Successfully Debating (Not Killing) Ideas
- Invitational Rhetoric — Sonja Foss and Cindy Griffin
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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.