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Radical Candor Review

horia141 profile image Horia Coman Originally published at horia141.com on ・2 min read

This is my review of Radical Candor by Kim Scott. This is a management book as you can surely surmise. The central idea is that one should practice radical candor in a work environment - a style of interacting with others where one both seeks and offers good and constructive and sometimes hard to hear feedback.

While I found the idea worthy, the book itself felt quite the slog. The message itself is OK, and there’s ample storytelling, justification, and instruction around it. But that can only fill so much book. Hence the bigger part of the book deals with general “modern” management approaches. The kind of stuff you can read about in The Manager’s Path or An Elegant Puzzle. It’s also stuff that I am more or less doing as a manager. Hence my earlier characterization as a slog.

The most worthwhile part was the first one consisting of four chapters. These only dealt with radical candor in itself and why one should care, with copious examples and an analysis of the various facets of it - from relationship building to delegation.

The second part focused on implementation. From this only the last chapter I found useful, but mostly because it had a bunch of easy to apply tips and tricks for time management, meeting structuring, etc. Stuff I could steal right away.

Even given all of the above I am not 100% would want to commit to such a thing, and follow the protocols. I do think a large part of this is achieved via simpler things like building a human relationship with your colleagues and reports, and having structured career conversations. The rest can surely help, but the delta might not be sufficient.

Anywho, at least the highlighted chapters are interesting and worth to dig deeper into. And if you’ve never read any other management book this one isn’t a bad start at all.

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