The Mindful Leadership Blog

Just In! Mean What You Say. Say What You Mean. Just Don’t Say it Mean!

July 20th, 2017


What’s hot?

Radical candor is the smokin’ hot new leadership tool. It’s the sweet spot between being obnoxiously aggressive and ruinously empathetic. Kim Scott developed the radical candor approach to leadership based on her years as an executive at Google and Apple.  Her book, Radical Candor: Be a Kick-Ass Boss Without Losing your Humanity is a boss’s guide to becoming a better leader.


So what?

Even though radical candor requires a leader to care deeply about people, it is not a walk in the park.  Most leaders know how to be nice. What we’re not so good at is dealing with the discomfort of confronting people when we don’t agree or don’t get the results we need.


What to do?

  • Get to know each team member personally – their strengths, limitations, what they care about deeply, their hopes and dreams.  Demonstrate that you care.
  • Ask people to give you candid, constructive feedback.  Accept it with grace vs. getting defensive.  Be a role model for radical candor.
  • Keep in mind that when you withhold or sugar-coat crucial information about a person’s performance, it is a disservice. And, to believe they can’t handle bad news is an insult.
  • Communicate your message concisely without attack.  Most people sense when they are coming up short.  No need to rub their nose in it.
  • Be as attentive to what is going well as you are to what is not working.  Give regular specific, reinforcing feedback. Don’t try to make all of the people happy all of the time – aim to make them productive all of the time.

Leave a Comment

(will not be published)