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Luis Felipe Ciochetta
Luis Felipe Ciochetta

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Book notes: Radical Candor - Part 1, Chapter 1

Hello folks

I was about to finish my reading of "Radical Candor" when I realized that I should have documented my whole study process like I am doing with other subjects I am studying.

So I am starting the book over and this time I will write notes and publish them here.

Disclaimer: if you never heard of this book, it is a book about managing people, it is not a technical book about programming


Part 1 - A new management philosophy

Chapter 1 - Build radically candid relationships

"This is not babysitting, it's called management and it is your job"

^ So this is one of the first things she says in the book and well, I am someone that has complained in the past about having to babysit adults because they just could not focus.

  • Emotional labor (aka babysitting) is a huge part of management.
  • Bosses have three responsibilities: guidance, team-building, and results.
  • Good relationships are the key to good management.
  • There is a direct correlation between a manager's responsibilities and relationships with his direct reports. good guidance, team building, and achieving results make for better relationships, and failing to fulfill these responsibilities leads to bad relationships.
  • There are two dimensions that can predict good relationships, "caring personally" and "challenging directly".

^ These two dimensions are very important, they are the foundation from where the Radical Candor framework emerges.

  • Caring personally here means that you should know people who work with you on a personal level, not caring only about what affect their job.

^ Ironically, if this framework is correct, caring about the stuff that is not job-related has a big impact on the contributor's job;

  • Challenging directly here means telling the truth, delivering feedback about bad situations, making hard choices, firing people. Basically, not being afraid to piss people off.
  • When you have a relationship with someone where you care personally and challenge directly, you have a radically candid relationship.
  • Radically candid relationships make for better communication, trust, and group cohesion.
  • The job of a boss doesn't need to go in the direction of crushing his direct report's souls, it can be to mitigate the misery and bring joy to the work.
  • People do not become bosses because they don't care about other people, and yet, this is how lots of people feel about their bosses.
  • There is a fear of caring personally because it does not seem professional. Being professional should not mean hiding your feelings or thoughts, neither changing your personality. People are not comfortable doing those things. So you should not hide who you are and create a safe space for other people to do the same.
  • You, as a boss, should not feel superior to your direct reports, being the boss is a job, not a value judgment.
  • Challenging people is to embrace conflict as a way to grow, to give people the chance to correct themselves.
  • Conflict may lead to hurt feelings, do not dismiss or disrespect the feelings of other people, instead, show them you care personally, and that's the source of the conflict.

"The hardest part of building trust is to invite people to challenge you just as directly as you are challenging them."

  • You should encourage people to challenge you in the same intensity, the one that can lead to hurt feelings. This can be hard, but it will lead you to learn about yourself.
  • Radical candor is not about being rude or front-stabbing people. This would not be caring personally. Nor is it about talking about everything that comes to mind, it's about meaningful conversations.
  • Both caring personally and challenging directly are different from person to person. Not everyone feels comfortable with the same levels of intimacy and conflict.

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