How can you care personally and challenge directly? With radical candor.
Author Kim Scott has changed the landscape for management and communication. In this fireside chat with Ryan Smith, she dives into how to put radical candor to work for you. Kim Scott is the author of the NYT and WSJ bestseller Radical Candor. Kim led AdSense, YouTube, and Doubleclick teams at Google before joining Apple University. Kim has been a CEO coach at Dropbox, Qualtrics, Twitter, and is the Co-Founder of Radical Candor LLC.
Ryan Smith co-founded Qualtrics in 2002 with the goal of making sophisticated research simple. He was named to Fortune’s 2016 40 Under 40 and was listed as one of Forbes’ “America’s Most Promising CEOs Under 35” in 2013. Ryan is a graduate of Brigham Young University.
Building Relationships Through Radical Candor
The goal of radical candor is for people to enjoy their work and their coworkers more.
“Radical candor should feel like brushing and flossing, and not like a root canal,” says Kim. Radical candor doesn’t have to be overly formalized. It can take the form of impromptu two-minute conversations that happen all day long.
What can you do if you don’t have a boss who is actively looking for feedback?
- Start by soliciting feedback, rather than sharing yours.
- Focus on the good stuff. We end up forgetting what we like about our coworkers if we only focus on what annoys us.
- Ask permission: Is it okay if I share some feedback? This helps to build trust.
Ryan: “We spent a day offsite at Stanford to learn together. The before-and-after of that day was so amazing. We try to have experiences together and learn to avoid fighting for priorities and budget. If there is nothing but a virtual bond between people, it will be easily disrupted. When you have experiences together, we found that our longest relationships succeed. We apply that same concept to our customer base.”
Kim: “Relationships don’t scale. None of us have more than a small number of real relationships. But culture does scale. When relationships are strong, that scales. Radical candor is about putting the phone away, looking each other in the eye, and talking. It’s about listening as much talking, and helping people communicate in a way that’s authentic and real.”
Telling the Story
You can also use radical candor to tell your company’s story. “Your customer base should know your style and the way you communicate,” says Ryan. “If you don’t establish this, someone else will establish it for you.
It’s hard to measure the value of community — yet people value community more than things that are easier to measure. Community offers you a way to get closer to the customer, without spam or inauthenticity. Bringing people together for common experiences moves the needle in authentic connections like nothing else.