Radical Candor Worksheet: 15 Ideas for Self-Reflection

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Are you trying to implement radical candor and want to know your current status? Do you need a radical candor worksheet to help?

Radical Candor by Kim Scott is about offering true honesty without losing your humanity and empathy. This radical candor worksheet has questions to help you reflect on where you currently stand and how you can improve.

Read on for 15 exercises on the radical candor worksheet.

Radical Candor Worksheet

Become a great boss through the straightforward, deeply human lessons of Radical Candor. These techniques maintain high employee satisfaction and drive stellar results that you’d never be able to accomplish otherwise. With the two guiding principles of radical candor—caring personally and challenging directly—you’ll build stronger relationships within your team and create a culture of sincere and helpful guidance, inspiring your team members to bring their best and most motivated selves to their work and their collaborations, every day. There are four topic areas in this radical candor worksheet.

Worksheet for Radical Candor Assessment

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.) 

Figure Out What Guidance Type You’ve Been Using

Use this radical candor worksheet to 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.

  • 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 Worksheet 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.”) 
Radical Candor Worksheet: 15 Ideas for Self-Reflection

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Like what you just read? Read the rest of the world's best book summary and analysis of Kim Scott's "Radical Candor" at Shortform.

Here's what you'll find in our full Radical Candor summary:

  • 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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