Kim Scott is the New York Bestselling Author of a new book, Radical Candor: Be a Kickass Boss without Losing Your Humanity Kim is also the co-founder of Candor, Inc and co-host of the podcast Radical Candor. She led AdSense, YouTube, and Doubleclick Online Sales and Operations at Google and then joined Apple to develop and teach a leadership seminar. Kim has been a CEO coach at Dropbox, Qualtrics, Twitter, and several other tech companies
Radical Candor is demonstrated when one cares personally for someone and also challenges them directly. Great bosses can be source of growth and joy. It is evident that they care about you. They will also tell things that you need to hear. The framework consists of four points:
1. Radical Candor – praise and then criticize
2. Obnoxious Aggression – when you challenge but don’t care (praise that doesn’t seem sincere or criticism that isn’t delivered kindly)
3. Manipulative insincerity – when you neither care nor challenge (non-specific praise or criticism that is not clear)
4. Ruinous Empathy – compassion without providing honest feedback
How does Radical Candor contribute to an employee experience? It will give you a witness to your life and it will help you grow in the way you want to grow. When you are doing great work, you want it recognized, when you mess up, someone will let you know.
Scott gives four steps on how to get to Radical Candor. First, come up with a go-to question. People don’t want to tell you so it’s difficult. Think of a question. For example: Is there anything I could do or stop doing that would make it easier to work with me? Whatever question works for you – figure out how to ask it
Second, embrace the discomfort. The only way to get the feedback is to make it more uncomfortable for them not to answer. So – after you ask the question – shut your mouth…count to 6…
Third,listen with the intent to understand – not to justify or respond. You cannot be defensive or you will not get any more feedback in the future from that person.
And finally, reward the candor. Give them a reward for telling you – if you agree with the feedback, fix the problem. And then tell the person and thank them for helping you. If you disagree, first of all focus on what you can agree with…then say I want to follow up in a few days. Then explain why you disagree. Sometimes the only reward is a fuller discussion of why you disagree.
Scott says some of the most common mistakes are showing employees care but not challenging them directly (Ruinous Empathy), getting so busy we fail to show we care personally or challenge directly and just flatter people – (Manipulative Insincerity), being reluctant to have ‘getting to know you’ conversations – these are the basis for the beginning of caring, and criticizing the feedback.
Do you have a ‘bad boss’? No matter how terrible your boss is, you can be a good boss. You don’t need to imitate yours. You can create a good micro culture.
Start by soliciting feedback and understanding what would make your boss’ job better. Ask if you can provide some criticize. If you can – create this culture with your own team – and then work with your boss to create it.
If you can’t get to the point where you can get radical candor with your boss – if you can’t criticize your boss, you might want to start to look for a new job
● Do leaders need to find a purpose for their employees or is it the responsibility of the employees to find purpose in their work?
● What makes a good employee?
● Is it possible to learn to have career conversations?
● Efficient workplace practice ideas
● Why Kim Scott wrote her book
● Examples of bad bosses and good bosses
● How to have Radical Candor
My new book, The Employee Experience Advantage (Wiley, March 2017) analyzes over 250 global organizations to understand how to create a place where people genuinely want to show up to work. Subscribe to the newsletter here.