If you’re already familiar with the Radical Candor framework, you know that we’ve labeled the axes “Challenge Directly” and “Care Personally”. Radically Candid praise and criticism is high on both of those axes. We also sometimes call them the “Willing to piss people off” and “Give a damn” axes. To really understand how this plays out in each of the quadrants, it‘s helpful to walk through a real-life scenario.
Let’s imagine you have spinach in your teeth.
How would people tell you?
With Radical Candor, they would pull you aside and tell you quietly and kindly. You would learn that you had spinach in your teeth and be able to fix the problem, and you would feel minimal embarrassment.
With Obnoxious Aggression, they would call you out loudly in front of everyone. You would learn that you had spinach in your teeth and be able to fix the problem, but you would feel pretty embarrassed.
With Ruinous Empathy, they would be too reluctant to tell you because they might make you feel embarrassed and it would be awkward for both of you. You wouldn’t learn about the spinach in your teeth until much later, maybe after many more people had noticed it.
With Manipulative Insincerity, they wouldn’t tell you, but would talk about it with others to make themselves look “cool”. You wouldn’t learn about the spinach in your teeth until much later, and even more people would know about it.
Watch our Co-Founder and COO Russ act out these scenarios in this video from Zendesk Relate Live Ascend: