Radical Candor is intended to be a self-help book for managers, but I’ve found it has changed my perspective on many of my relationships both professional and personal. The premise is pretty simple: the most important thing you can do to create healthy productive relationships with people you care about is to tell the truth no matter how uncomfortable it is.
That doesn’t mean you should say whatever you think without any filters. But, when you gloss over problems or avoid them because you are afraid of hurting someone, you often hold that person back and inhibit a strong connection based on trust.
The author, Kim Scott, built her career in Silicon Valley at Google and then Apple University. Scott does a lot of name-dropping and I’ll admit I found that a little annoying. Her goal at those companies was to create unfiltered truth zones where people are comfortable pointing out what’s going well, what’s not going well, admitting mistakes, and making commitments to fix them.
For Scott, the key to radical candor is caring personally and finding time to have real conversations with the people you work and/or study with because everything that happens is personal, no matter that it’s happening in an office or a classroom. When you take the time to build those positive personal relationships, others are more receptive to constructive feedback, even feedback that is hard to hear.
If you’re the kind of person that tends to avoid confrontation and uncomfortable situations, this book may change the way you think.