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Radical Candor: Leaving Brutal Honesty Behind

Radical Candor: Leaving Brutal Honesty Behind

According to Kim Scott, Radical Candor happens at the intersection of Care Personally and Challenge Directly. It’s about being brutally honest, but always aiming for improvement.

When I was growing up, my parents used to say that I was “really honest” when I was really just being rude.

From my perspective, I wasn’t hurting anyone. I genuinely thought I was helping people by telling them the brutal, unadulterated truth.

This behavior stayed pretty much the same through college. I truly thought I was just being honest…and that’s a good thing, right?

Then I started my first job…

Six months after I was hired, my boss asked me for a one-on-one meeting after a feedback session with my co-workers. I was so nervous. I knew that the meeting wasn’t going to go well…all I had to do was look at my co-workers’ faces. I absolutely thought my ass was toast. But when I entered his office, my boss stood up and smiled:

“You need to take care of your coworkers, they are your friends too, and we need to have a big picture focus here. Your attitude is affecting your team’s work and performance, and that needs to change.“

I started to be more conscious about my feedback and the words and language I chose during meetings. I was still very direct, but my comments were now constructive and improvement-oriented. But I still felt like I wasn’t quite getting it right.

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