Radical Candor concepts for quick reference

Since the coverage in the AACC podcast, episode 297, Radical Candor has been mentioned several times in various discussions around the forum. I decided to revisit that episode for my own review and use. Based on that I also decided to capture some of it in a short reference, along with quick links to the related moments in the podcast. It might be worth a look for anyone attempting to employ the ideas and apply Radical Candor in positive ways.

Nate’s examples of how each option relates to handling a person with bad breath:

  • Ruinous Empathy - Care’s Personally, Does Not Challenge Directly:

    • They say, “Nate, your breath is great.” but they know that he has bad breath and won’t tell him because they don’t want to hurt his feelings.
  • Manipulative Insincerity - Does Not Care Personally, Does Not Challenge Directly:

    • They say to Nate about his bad breath, “It’s nothing.”, but to everyone else they say “Hey, Nate has bad breath. Can you believe it? Oh my gosh, it’s horrible being around him. I can’t stand it.” and are spreading gossip or rumors.
  • Obnoxious Aggression - Does Not Care Personally, Challenge’s Directly:

    • In a meeting or public space, they say, “Nate, your breath smells bad.”, right in front of others.
  • Radical Candor: - Care’s Personally, Challenge’s Directly: (This is the desired approach.)

    • In an isolated setting or privately, they say, “Nate, I noticed that your breath wasn’t the best today. I’ve experienced the same problem. These things have helped me. I thought you’d like to know.

Radical Candor book that is the foundation of the content above.

10 Likes

We called it common sense and emotional intelligence when I joined the workforce in the mid 80s.

How is radical candor going to help me become a faster cyclist?

3 Likes

3 Likes
  1. If I have learned anything in life, it’s that common sense is not necessarily common. And emotional intelligence is equally questionable all too often these days.

  2. RC may have nothing to do with cycling (or it could when applied in appropriate settings), but in either event… that’s the reason I placed it in the “Uncategorized” category. That is essentially our “Off Topic” section of the forum, where numerous other non-cycling discussions exist.

10 Likes

uncommon common sense, LOL. The golden rule (do unto others…) is part of it too.

2 Likes
  • Maybe funny, but common sense is an oxymoron that I see more than I wish I would.
  • Yeah, Golden rule and the Platinum rule (Treat others the way THEY want to be treated) are all worthy of consideration and use. I mentioned them specifically in a post just a day ago, and that discussion was part of what spurred me in the direction of this topic.

  • To a degree, the RC related discussion seems more focused on potential confrontation, difficult discussion or sensitive issues than the two “rules” above, even though elements are at play in all directions.

1 Like

IIRC Intel in the 80s and 90s was famous for some of the RC concepts.

Interesting. A quick G search shows Andy Grove (behind Intel) had some related concepts, and may have been a part of the evolution of RC (but that is only from a quick skim of results at this time).

Care personally, challenge directly


Criticize the wins as well as the losses

Know your rock stars, know your superstars, and know when they may change off

Drive results collaboratively with the GSD Wheel

Take as good as you give — the good, the bad, and the ugly

6 Likes

While it wasn’t cycling related, I really enjoyed the conversation about RC. Listened to it a couple times, gonna read the book.

3 Likes

Thanks for posting! Radical Candor is something I have tried to be more mindful of both at work (especially since I work remote), as well as with my cycling team!

1 Like

Thanks for posting and bringing this back up. I found it interesting when Nate was talking about it on the podcast but had forgotten about it.

1 Like

Common sense is a fallacy and emotional intelligence is a fantasy.

Just my opinion of course. :slight_smile:

1 Like

I do think there’s some thing to it, in that it informs TR’s approach to education and sharing around cycling and training, and how they frame the opportunities for athletes for improvement with respect and integrity for the individual.

Playing along here in good faith to your question with a riff on @mcneese.chad’s examples, I suppose various postures could look like the following.

Ruinous Empathy: Care’s Personally, Does Not Challenge Directly:

  • They say, “Jim, you’re killing it with your training! Your fitness and progression levels are awesome!” but they know that I’ve plateaued and won’t tell me because they don’t want me to actually get faster.

Manipulative Insincerity: Does Not Care Personally, Does Not Challenge Directly:

  • They say to Jim about repeated failed workouts, “It’s nothing. Don’t sweat it. We all fail workouts.”, but to everyone else they say “That dude never accepts adaptations and always goes for the Stretch or Not Recommended workout. No wonder he’s flailing.

Obnoxious Aggression: Does Not Care Personally, Challenge’s Directly:

  • In a meeting or public space, they say, “Jim, give it up. You’re getting old and you’ll never get faster. Might as well do something useful and hold the couch down,” right in front of others.

Radical Candor: Care’s Personally, Challenge’s Directly (This is the desired approach.):

  • In an isolated setting or privately, they say, “Jim, I noticed that you weren’t responding well to your training plan. I’ve experienced the same problem. Here are a few things that have helped me get faster. I thought you’d like to know as I’ve heard you say that you want to get faster too.
4 Likes

:rofl:, not sure why I found this so funny. Sounds like something I would say to one of my cycling buddies.

1 Like

as do business considerations…

For those who think in pictures I’ve taken your example and put it into a 4 box model:

1 Like