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Radical Candor: Inside Out

Updated: Sep 1, 2020

I have to say, I love Kim Scott's concept of Radical Candor. I deeply appreciate the idea that we could aim to speak openly, directly, and with a commitment to caring personally. So often we are focused on delivering feedback we forget to think through the content.

I have been thinking a lot about what it takes to be radically candid with ourselves. How do we care personally for ourselves and speak directly to where we may pursue growth. So often, we wait or rely on feedback to seek opportunities for self-improvement...but why wait?

In my work with job seekers, we are perpetually facing rejection in the absence of feedback. Wondering why didn't they pick me? What's wrong with me? Yet, more often than not it just might not be the right fit. Wouldn't our time be better spent thinking about who we are, what we are intrinsically motivated to offer the world, and where we can be radically candid about areas for development?

All too often I find the inner voice can be cruel. Vicious even. Saying worse things than others ever could. Shredding ourselves at the first sight of failure.

Rather than going down that ugly spiral might we choose to get centered, think critically, and get really honest with ourselves. In so doing, we might also avoid the opposite pitfall where we let ourselves off the hook entirely...opting for more of the same in an effort to avoid changing.

But where do we start? Where do we look for self-awareness?

1. Start with a little exploration...what comes easily? What takes effort? The areas that require effort often hold the key. It's natural for us to work really hard for certain skills that continue to evade us. Organization continues to be that thing for me--try as I might to Marie Condo my home, there is perpetually room for growth--- and consistency. In my quiet moments, I know this is something I want to work on.

2. Gut check- do I want to pursue growth for me or for others? or both? Chances are good that if we are just being performative the change we seek to see in ourselves will never stick. The more we want something for ourselves the more we will embrace the learning and practice it takes to adopt new ways of being.

3. What will we lose if we don't try something different? We inherently resist change. If we didn't we would all be our best selves 100% of the time. But what is the cost of staying the same? Doing the same things over and over again and expecting a different result? Is it a personal rut? A professional missed opportunity?

Radical candor is something we can start today. We can look in the mirror and ask ourselves....what would make me better?

When in doubt just try it out, we don't have to commit to a character overhaul-- and I would honestly warn against it ... Let's embrace what's working, notice an opportunity for growth and leverage all of our creativity, commitment and follow-through to make ourselves proud. After all, the feedback we give ourselves might be the most important.

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