Ever since Kim Scott’s book "Radical Candor" hit the shelves, this phrase has been popping up all over the business world. Essentially, radical candour means extreme honesty or frankness, and Scott argues that adopting this concept into your business can offer keen advantages.
From a management perspective, radical candour refers to speaking honestly with your employees. In other words, you’re direct about what you expect from your employees and you don’t sugarcoat criticisms. Arguably, this helps to prevent miscommunication and avoid confusion.
However, to be effective, radical candour shouldn’t be a one-way street. If you want to include this concept in your business, you also need to encourage your employees to embrace radical candour. When your employees speak honestly, you get criticisms and tips for improvement that you might not get otherwise. In some cases, this level of honesty can even make your work place safer.
To explain, look at famed business writer Malcolm Gladwell’s thoughts on airline crashes. In "Outliers," Gladwell argues that the poor safety record of some airlines comes from a lack of communication in the cockpit. In particular, he claims that co-pilots often have information that could prevent a crash, but they’re afraid to speak up to the pilot. While respect for authority is often cast as a positive, in these situations, it’s led to plane crashes that could have been avoided.
Whether you’re a pilot, a baker, or a candlestick maker, you probably want a safe and successful work environment. There are a number of ways to achieve that, but if you’re looking for something new, you may want to try radical candour. In addition to using it with your team, you may even want to try it when communicating with your clients.