How to Apply Radical Candor to Your Work Culture

by Cameron Ripley  |   |  Company Culture  |  0 comments

2 min to read ✭ Kim Scott’s book, Radical Candor, is not only a valuable read, but a great point of inspiration for not just Nonprofit Leaders, but any sort of person in a management or leadership role. If you're looking to up your leadership game or your management style or even your mentorship, this is for you!

What Is Radical Candor?

Radical Candor is being able to directly challenge your employees and team members while at the same time caring personally. When this is done right it allows people to be more themselves at work and that can really take both the productivity and happiness to the next level for your team.


What Isn’t Radical Candor?

Radical Candor isn’t Ruinous Empathy, Obnoxious Aggression and Manipulative Insincerity. These are the types of things we want to avoid. Obnoxious Aggression is what happens when you challenge but don’t care. It’s praise that doesn’t feel sincere or criticism that isn’t delivered kindly.

Ruinous Empathy is what happens when you care but don’t challenge. It’s praise that isn’t specific enough to help the person understand what was good or criticism that is sugar-coated and unclear.

Manipulative Insincerity is what happens when you neither care nor challenge. It’s praise that is non-specific and insincere or criticism that is neither clear nor kind.


How To Roll Out Radical Candor?

Radical Candor can be difficult to roll out, but once you start to practice it and make it a part of your culture it becomes the number one employee retention tactic. It may seem difficult and even unnatural at first because we aren’t used to this framework. You might not even get it right the first time you try to roll this out, but nothing is done right or perfectly the first time you try it, so it definitely takes a lot of practice and repetition for it to stick. However, once it is applied correctly it can change your work culture for the better.

One way we here at Community Boost rolled out Radical Candor is during our annual retreat we made sure to create a space where we went through an exercise of practicing radical candor feedback. Everyone on the team participated and we took the time to each take accountability and say these are the things you’re doing really well and these are the areas you can really improve on.

It took a while, but once this space was created everyone was able to openly share their feedback. As a person in leadership, it can be scary or even daunting to roll something like this out, but sometimes you just have to rip off the bandaid. Once you get through that hard part, all the benefits start to roll in. Implementing radical candor was so healthy and it really took our team to the next level when it came to moving faster and working better together.


Radical Candor isn’t just a one-time thing. It should be done both formally and informally because it can really change your work culture for the better and drive great results for you and your team!

Cameron Ripley

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