How to Be Radically Candid: Q&A with Kim Scott, Part 1

Get-It-Done Guy sits down with Kim Scott to discuss how to show care for others by giving feedback and getting vulnerable.

Stever Robbins
2-minute read

How to Be Radically Candid: Q&A with Kim Scott, Part 1

Get-it-done Guy: Today I'm here with Kim Scott, founder and CEO of Candor Inc, and author. Her latest, Radical Candor, is a guide to compassionately productive management and relationships. Kim, welcome.

Kim Scott: Hi!

GIDG: So tell us. What is radical candor?

KS: Radical candor is the ability to care personally about someone while at the same time challenging them directly. Sometimes, it's helpful to understand radical candor by understanding what it's not. For instance, when you care about someone but do not challenge them, that is ruinous empathy and not radical candor. When you do challenge someone and do not care for them, that is called obnoxious aggression and not radical candor. And when you neither care nor challenge that is manipulative insincerity. Radical candor includes both caring and challenging.

GIDG: And how do you measure radical candor?

KS: I would argue that it gets measured at the other person's ear, not at your mouth. If the other person knows that you care about them when you're giving feedback, then it's radical candor. If they feel like you're trying to humiliate them, it's not radical candor. So it really depends on how the other person feels. And if the other person feels terrible, it's not your job to back off your challenge, but rather to react with basic human compassion. A crucial part of radical candor is being humble. A reason that I call this "radical candor" and not "radical truth" is because claiming to have the "truth" about something implies that you are certain, as if you have some pipeline to truth that they do not. You cannot give your feedback as if you have a gift; you have to use your language to express that you know you are not always right and that you're not perfect either.

Listen to the full interview by clicking the link above! You'll catch insights such as:

  • What to do when someone takes criticism personally
  • The importance of a shared vocabulary 
  • Why vulnerability is essential to radical candor
  • And much more! 

Tune in next week to catch Part 2 of the interview! Plus, listen to a special audiobook clip from Radical Candor below:



Kim Scott is the author of Radical Candor: Be a Kickass Boss without Losing your Humanity, published by St Martin’s Press and available for purchase now at Amazon, Barnes and Noble, Indiebound, and Booksamillion. Plus, check out the audiobook at Audible, Amazon, or iTunes. Kim is also the co-founder and CEO of Candor, Inc., which builds tools to make it easier to follow the advice she offers in the book. She also hosts the Radical Candor podcast.

About the Author

Stever Robbins

Stever Robbins was the host of the podcast Get-it-Done Guy from 2007 to 2019. He is a graduate of W. Edward Deming’s Total Quality Management training program and a Certified Master Trainer Elite of NLP. He holds an MBA from the Harvard Business School and a BS in Computer Sciences from MIT.