Radical Candor

Andrea Della Corte ~ posts about books coaching newsletters rss

Radical Candor

On October 10, 2018 in peopleware 4 minutes read

Table of Contents

This book by Kim Scott promotes the idea that a successful leader is both blunt and empathetic at the same time (radically candid, but caring at the same time). She is not a tyrant, and not a sensitive quiet type either.

Types of feedback

“The source of everything respectable in man, either as an intellectual or a moral being is that his errors are corrigible…. he is capable of rectifying his mistakes, by discussion and experience. Not by experience alone. There must be discussion, to show how experience is to be interpreted…. The whole strength and value of human judgment depends on the property that it can be set right when it is wrong” — JS Mill, Philosopher, 1916

The book recognises the following types of feedback:

Radical Candor is what you want to aim for in your feedback, that perfect balance between caring and challenging. In many ways, it’s completely intuitive. If you care about someone, you’ll want them to succeed. When you care, you will be motivated to give direct feedback for their benefit, not for any other reason.

Radical Candor doesn’t always come easily. We’ve grown up being told that if you haven’t got something nice to say, then don’t say anything at all. Of course it’s easier to let these opportunities slip by, to not take the time to build the necessary relationships.

As leaders, however, the truth is that it’s not only our job to do this, it’s our moral obligation. This guide looks at making it easier.

Getting it

Giving it

Fostering it

Making backstabbing impossible

Making it easier to speak truth to power

Support employees true motivations

While there’s nothing wrong with working a job just to pay the bills, you’re bound to have people in your team who have big dreams they’re hoping to realize.

Managers should support the dreams of their staff and help them approach those dreams in a realistic fashion.

To do this, you must first talk (and listen) to your employees so that you understand their aspirations, and they know that you are personally invested in helping them get on the right path.

To understand your employees’ dreams and identify those important motivators, use one of three kinds of conversations.


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