Kim Scott

Radical Candor

Radical Candor by Kim Scott

The skills to focus on building might surprise you.

In management it can be difficult to know where the lines are between too much and too little of any particular quality. When management becomes micromanagement, when easy going becomes disconnected. One of the author’s first examples of her own prior inexperience is described as complaining to her mentor about having listened to her people’s personal stories of grief and triumph through the day only to find herself emotionally exhausted and unable to focus on what she believed was “real work.” Scott felt like she was babysitting instead of leading. Her mentor told her the following, which changed her perspective entirely:

“This is not babysitting. It’s called management and it is your job.”— Leslie Koch, quoted in Radical Candor

Philosophy in Chapters:

The first half of the book is broken up into four cores philosophical tenants covered in one chapter each.

  • Build Radically Candid Relationships
    Develop trust with your direct reports. Care about the people themselves, and not just in a work capacity. Challenge them by providing honest feedback.
  • Get, Give, and Encourage Guidance
    Don’t let positive results hold you back from providing guidance for improvement. Don’t deliver negative feedback in a way that becomes personal. Labeling someone negatively hinders drive for improvement. Don’t be mean, be clear. Be as candid with praise as you are with criticism.
  • Understand What Motivates Each Person on Your Team
    How does the job fit into each team member’s life goals? Determine if your team members are Super Stars who are ambitious and on a fast growth trajectory, or reliable Rock Stars who have found their groove and are on a slow growth trajectory. Both are important.
  • Drive Results Collaboratively
    Lay your power down and work collaboratively. Nobody likes being ordered what to do. Be eager to change your mind.

The second half of the book goes on to offer tips and techniques for achieving each philosophical point explained in the first half. The combination of both the “why” and the “how” is what makes Radical Candor such a powerful learning tool.

“Relationships, not power, drive you forward.”— Kim Scott

Snag a copy from these retailers:

Barnes & Noble