20 Radical Candor Discussion Questions to Think About

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Are you looking for Radical Candor discussion questions? Do you want to better understand and apply the lessons of Kim Scott’s book?

Radical Candor by Kim Scott is about building a culture of open and honest communication. These Radical Candor discussion questions will help you think through and apply the key points of the book.

Keep reading for 20 Radical Candor discussion questions in six areas of the book.

Radical Candor Discussion Questions

Kim Scott covers a number of topics related to build and maintain radical candor. The following topics each have Radical Candor discussion questions.

Assess Your Radical Candor

Before getting into the methods of practicing radical candor, it’s helpful to figure out how you’re already on track, how you can improve, and what your goals are. 

  • How have you recently demonstrated the “caring personally” aspect of radical candor? (For example, you remembered your employee’s anniversary or celebrated an employee’s personal accomplishment.) 
  • How have you recently demonstrated the “challenging directly” aspect of radical candor? (For example, you spoke to an employee honestly about her slipping performance, or challenged a colleague’s budget cut proposal.)
  • In what ways do you think you could improve in “caring personally” and “challenging directly”? (For example, asking team members more about themselves, or being more straightforward with feedback.)
  • What are you hoping to accomplish by practicing radical candor in your workplace? (For example, you’d like to see more satisfied team members, or spark a boost in productivity.) 

Set Up Your Self-Care Practice

Coming up with a method of self-care is vitally important to making sure you’re able to bring your best self to work and build strong relationships with your team members.

  • What is an activity that you’ve recently been turning to when things get stressful? (Such as meditation, time with your family, or reading books.) 
  • How can you create a regular self-care practice out of this activity? (For example, you can meditate for 30 minutes every morning before work, or commit to having dinner with your family 5 times per week.)
  • What reminders can you create for yourself, to ensure that you’re staying committed to your self-care practice? (For example, setting an alarm for meditation time, or putting family dinner into your work calendar.) 

Find Ways to Grant Your Team Autonomy With These Radical Candor Discussion Questions

Giving your employees a sense of autonomy is a good step toward building a trusting relationship with them. 

  • Describe one of your practices that might unnecessarily hold control over your team members. (For example, you hold constant “update meetings” during projects, or build project teams without input from those affected.)
  • How can you transfer ownership of this responsibility to your team members? (For example, team members schedule their own update meetings and set the agenda, or team members create their own project teams.)

Figure Out What Guidance Type You’ve Been Using

Think about how you usually give guidance to your employees to figure out where you should ramp up your efforts in caring personally or challenging directly.

  • Think of a recent situation where you had to give one of your team members praise or criticism (or both). Describe what you said to them.
  • What aspects of your praise or feedback do you think were radically candid? Keep in mind that radically candid praise and criticism is sincere and specific.
  • What aspects of your praise or criticism do you think weren’t radically candid? Explain how the praise or criticism might have been obnoxiously aggressive, manipulatively insincere, or ruinously empathetic.
  • Try reframing your non-radically candid praise or criticism so that it’s more sincere and specific. Describe what you should have said instead. 

Reflect on the Importance of Radically Candid Guidance 

Acting with radical candor will take some extra time and effort on your part. Reflecting on how it feels to receive poor guidance can help you stay committed to the extra work of being a good boss. Reflect with these discussion questions from Radical Candor.

  • Think of a situation when a boss gave you guidance in a way that didn’t demonstrate radically candid behavior. (For example, she waited several weeks to criticize a project, or made her criticism personal.) Describe the situation, and your boss’s feedback. 
  • Describe how your boss’s feedback made you feel. (For example, frustrated because a problem was too far in the past to fix, or defensive because your boss was attacking you instead of the problem.)
  • How could your boss have improved their feedback? 
  • How do you think the problem would have been solved differently if your boss was focused on giving radically candid guidance?

Radical Candor Discussion Questions to Recognize Your Influence

As the boss, it’s important to recognize how you may be unconsciously influencing the culture you’re attempting to build. 

  • Think about a recent behavior of yours that was not aligned with radical candor (such as interrupting an employee, or ignoring a colleague who was clearly upset). Describe the behavior.
  • What message do you think your behavior sent to your team? (For example, the message that interrupting and not listening is okay, or that they should avoid the discomfort of negative emotions.)
  • How can you recommit yourself to the culture you’re trying to build, and demonstrate correct behavior to your team members? (For example, at your next staff meeting you say, “I apologize for interrupting last week. That wasn’t a good example of the respectful listening I expect to see. Please feel free to call me out if I do it again.”) 
20 Radical Candor Discussion Questions to Think About

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  • How you have to be direct with people while also caring sincerely for them
  • Why relationships are an essential part of successful leadership
  • How to create a strong team culture that delivers better results

Rina Shah

An avid reader for as long as she can remember, Rina’s love for books began with The Boxcar Children. Her penchant for always having a book nearby has never faded, though her reading tastes have since evolved. Rina reads around 100 books every year, with a fairly even split between fiction and non-fiction. Her favorite genres are memoirs, public health, and locked room mysteries. As an attorney, Rina can’t help analyzing and deconstructing arguments in any book she reads.

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