Radical Candor Podcast

Podcast Season 4, Episode 9: How to Be a Thought Partner Instead of a Micro or Absentee Manager

On this episode of the Radical Candor podcast, Amy and Jason discuss managers who have low, almost non-existent involvement in their team’s work, aka absentee managers; those with extremely (maybe excruciatingly) close involvement, aka micromanagers; and thought partners — the ones who empower, enable and encourage their teams to do the best work of their lives. While a lot of us have tendencies to act in absentee or micromanager mode, it’s hard for us to want to look at ourselves that way. Listen to this episode if you want to understand how to be a true thought partner.

Listen to the episode:

Radical Candor Podcast Episode At a Glance

One of the best ways to keep the people on your team engaged is by actively partnering with them.

To help you figure out when you’re being a good partner rather than slipping into micromanagement or absentee management, Kim developed a simple chart to help you better partner with the people who report to you.


Radical Candor Podcast Checklist

  1. In order to be a true thought partner with each of your employees you need to be involved, listen with the intent to understand versus respond and ask relevant questions.
  2. Share what you know and ask questions when you don’t. Remember, a true thought partner thinks of themselves as someone who is alongside their employees listening, advising and helping.
  3. What matters is how much your direct reports think of you as a thought partner. Actively solicit feedback from the people who work for you to make sure you are indeed practicing thought partnership versus micro or absentee management.

Radical Candor Podcast Resources

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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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