Radical Candor Podcast

Podcast Season 5, Episode 16: Appreciation (That’s What The Money’s For!)

On this episode of the Radical Candor podcast, Kim, Amy and Jason discuss terms that are often used interchangeably but actually mean different things: Praise, Recognition, Appreciation and Gratitude. Kim also takes on the role of Don Draper to act out a scene from Mad Men’s beloved episode “The Suitcase.” Listen to learn why  — in most cases — “that’s what the money is for” is not sufficient recognition or appreciation. (A deep dive into Peggy and Don’s complicated relationship is a whole other glass of whiskey not covered in this episode — but if you haven’t watched “The Suitcase,” it’s a must-see. (Listen to our bonus episode about the writers and actors strikes.)

Listen to the episode:

Radical Candor Podcast Episode At a Glance — Appreciation


In what many people cite as the best episode of Mad Men ever, Peggy tries to let her boss Don know that she’s unhappy about not receiving recognition or appreciation for her ideas, in particular an idea she came up with that Don won an award for. 

Don (Kim): You gave me 20 ideas and I picked out one of them that was a kernel that became that commercial.

Peggy (Jason): But you got the CLIO award!

Don (Kim): It’s your job! I give you money, you give me ideas.

Peggy (Jason): And you never say thank you.

Don (Kim): That’s what the money’s for!

What could Don have done differently to praise, recognize and show Peggy appreciation?

ChatGPT Breaks Down Praise, Recognition, Appreciation & Gratitude:

Radical Candor Appreciation

Praise, appreciation, gratitude, and recognition are all related to acknowledging and expressing positive feelings or feedback, but they differ in their nuances and contexts. Here’s an overview of their distinctions:

  • Praise: Praise refers to the expression of approval or admiration for someone’s achievements, qualities, or actions. It often involves highlighting specific accomplishments or traits. Praise can be given for various reasons, such as a job well done, talent, creativity, or effort. It is typically used to motivate, boost confidence, and reinforce positive behavior.
  • Appreciation: Appreciation involves recognizing and valuing someone’s contributions, efforts, or qualities. It focuses on acknowledging the person themselves, rather than just their achievements. Appreciation often conveys a sense of gratitude and respect. It can be expressed verbally or through actions and demonstrates an understanding of the person’s worth and the impact they have.
  • Gratitude: Gratitude is a feeling of thankfulness or appreciation towards someone for what they have done or the positive impact they have had on one’s life. It involves recognizing and acknowledging the kindness, support, or generosity received from others. Gratitude is typically directed towards individuals, and it emphasizes a sense of indebtedness or a desire to reciprocate their kindness.
  • Recognition: Recognition involves acknowledging someone’s achievements, contributions, or efforts publicly or within a specific context. It often involves granting formal or informal acknowledgment for a job well done. Recognition can take the form of awards, certificates, promotions, or public acknowledgment. It aims to honor and give credit to individuals for their accomplishments or positive impact.

In summary, while praise focuses on approval and admiration for specific accomplishments, appreciation recognizes and values someone’s overall contributions or qualities. Gratitude expresses thankfulness for the positive impact someone has had on one’s life, and recognition involves acknowledging achievements or efforts in a more formal or public manner. Each of these expressions plays a role in affirming and motivating individuals in different contexts.

Radical Candor Podcast Checklist


  1. How long do you spend making sure you have all the facts right before you criticize somebody? When giving praise, it’s important to praise what is in fact best and most important. Be specific about what’s most relevant. A friend worked extremely hard on some analysis for the CEO of his company, and the only thing that got praised was the formatting of the presentation. No amount of criticism of his ideas could have been as discouraging as the flip praise of something he thought was unimportant.
  2. Focus on the good stuff! Recognition allows you to celebrate wins and encourage praise between people. It’s easy to make recognition a regular thing. If your company uses Slack, you can create a #kudos channel (this is great for remote teams). If you use Google Docs, Office 365, or other software with collaborative editing, you can easily create a shared document for shout-outs. You can also sign up for Bonusly to create a workplace recognition and rewards program — we’ll put the link in the show notes.
  3. If you think money is the only appreciation people need for doing a great job, you’re doing Radical Candor wrong. When you see something, say something. Let people know what they’re doing well so they can do more of it, and where they can improve so they can do less of what’s not working.

Radical Candor Podcast Resources for Appreciation

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Radical Candor podcastThe Radical Candor Podcast is based on the book Radical Candor: Be A Kickass Boss Without Losing Your Humanity by Kim Scott.

Episodes are written and produced by Brandi Neal with script editing by Amy Sandler. The show features Radical Candor co-founders Kim Scott and Jason Rosoff and is hosted by Amy Sandler. Nick Carissimi is our audio engineer.

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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