Video Tip: Move away from Ruinous Empathy

Do you think your feedback is often Ruinously Empathetic? If so, you’re not alone. In our experience, most feedback mistakes fall in the Ruinous Empathy quadrant. People tend to back down from their Direct Challenge because they want to be “nice.” But don’t despair, we’ve got advice for moving away from Ruinous Empathy and towards Radical Candor.

Listen to a story and a simple piece of advice in this video of Kim answering an audience question at Slack HQ earlier this year:

There’s a point that Kim makes at the end of this clip that we want to reiterate. She clarifies that “Just say it” is advice for those who exhibit Ruinously Empathetic tendencies. For those who fall in Obnoxious Aggression, this isn’t the right reminder — they are already saying it, and they need to focus more on showing that they Care Personally. But the reason we summarize our message as “Just say it” so frequently, including in our recent Radical Candor video, is that most people are more likely to behave with Ruinous Empathy than Obnoxious Aggression. However, not everyone is, which is why we introduce the Radical Candor 2×2 framework with two axes. Challenge Directly AND Care Personally. We hope that even though we simplify our message in some situations, you won’t lose sight of the spirit of Radical Candor. Radical Candor ≠ Front-stabbing.

But… all that said, you’re most likely behaving with Ruinous Empathy and not at risk of front-stabbing :)

For more detailed tactical tips than what’s covered in this short video, read our full post about how to stop behaving with Ruinous Empathy and our post about how to give Radically Candid feedback.