The former Google employee who worked out the value of honest feedback has something that all managers can learn from. In simple terms, her model of Radical Candour offers hope to those people who feel trapped in a world where being anything but nice is considered the same as harassment, bullying and betrayal.
But, if someone in the Manager’s chair is to do their job, then they will have to exercise the courage needed to tell people when they aren’t cutting it, no matter the potential discomfort of both parties. Let’s call this The Conversation.
And here is the rub.
The longer someone is permitted to go uncorrected, the more challenging they will ultimately find The Conversation.
And, the longer someone’s inappropriate, incorrect or just plain incompetent work goes uncorrected, the more they will object to The Conversation.
And, the more they object to The Conversation, the more likely it is that everyone will lose.
It’s about responsibility.
As much as we might just want to be nice, the longer we put off dealing with issues, the greater will be the likelihood of a poor outcome. The longer we put off telling someone the truth about what they do, the longer they will have a distorted view of who they are.
The sooner we engage with radical candour, the less likely it will be considered personally, and the sooner the other party can begin to re-align themselves toward the desired mastery and autonomy.
The longer we leave it, the more likely it will be considered an affront to who they are, and the more likely they will be to resist any productive action.
And that leads us even further to the right.
But, it does beggar the question: who is being radically candid with the managers, and what happens when we allow them to persist in operating to the left of the line?