Radical Candor: Micro Review

I read Radical Candor sometime back and recently did a re-read. This is something that has really influenced or reinforced my leadership style — caring personally and challenging directly which makes up the top right quadrant of the radical candor framework that Kim Scott proposes in this book. The book aligns very well with one of my philosophies — “If there is an elephant in the room, grab it by its tails and bang it repeatedly on the table (metaphorically speaking of course. I love elephants). But do it nicely :)”

If you are a people manager or a mentor, this is one book that I will highly recommend. This is a very effective framework for providing effective feedback and help with development conversations with the folks on your team. This helps balancing being nice to people and being honest about their opportunities for growth and development.

In the book, she outlines how we are bought up in a way that its hard to provide constructive criticism — “If you don’t have something nice to say, don’t say it”. Well, that doesn’t work very well in a high performance environment where you want to help your team members to grow.

The author walks you through her framework as well as the process of how you start with yourself (ability to receive radical candor) before you give it to others. And then how do you encourage a culture of radical candor. She outlines many great practices around how to balance praise and constructive feedback/criticism.

BTW, this is a book for everyone even though it might benefit people managers more. A must read. Also if you are short on time, here is asummary talk that she did on this a while back — https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=f-Tcr0T9Tyw