Master the art of feedback in 3 steps with the essentials of Radical Candor

Salomé Murciani
Salomé Murciani
Content Manager at NUMA
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Kim Scott wrote this famous book after managing teams at Google and Facebook. Throughout her experience, she reckoned the value of feedback and its power to help teams and managers grow. Here are our main takeaways from the book.

1. Get your colleagues to trust you

Why it matters :

"Teamwork begins by building trust.” said Patrick Lencioni. To do so Kim recommends that you start by “caring personally”: getting to know them and getting them to know your intentions.

Do it now : 

  • Start your one:one meetings by checking-in and let them know they can ask for help when they need it.
  • Use asynchronous communication to go deeply through topics and focus your time during one to ones on what really matters.

Stop it now : 

  1. Use your one:one as reporting meetings
  2. Talk only about professional topics during one to ones

2. Encourage them to give you their feedbacks

Why it matters:

Asking for feedback is a good way to start building a “radically candid” relationship: accepting to be challenged directly by people who care personally.

Do it now: 

  • Ask for feedback in front of the whole team: it can make it easier for your colleagues to talk.
  • Adopt a positive attitude when you receive feedback from your colleagues.

Stop now: 

  1. Trying to instil a culture of feedback by asking for some on your one:one meetings, the risk is for everyone to be intimidated.
  2. Misinterpreting the feedback you receive and call into question the candor of your colleagues.

3. Challenge and praise them with the right feedback

Why it matters:

Feedback is a powerful lever to help your colleagues develop their skills and discover new areas of improvement. You wouldn't want to ruin the positive effect it can have by giving them the wrong way!

Do it now: 

The COIN method (or SBI) can help you formulate constructive feedback and bring value to the one receiving it.

  • Context: when did you notice the action or behaviour
  • Observation: which action or behaviour had a positive (or negative) impact 
  • Impact: the objective consequence of the action or behaviour on the performance, the team...
  • Next Step: encourage good behaviours or make a detailed plan to help them move forward in more difficult areas.

Game-changer tips: 

  • Set the scene and let your colleagues know when you’re about to give them a feedback
  • Take a step back to properly formulate a feedback. Even when you give a praise to a colleague, you have to be careful not to say “Well done” but instead indicate which action or behaviour had a positive impact.
  • Make sure to follow-up the feedbacks you give. If you can’t remember it, your colleague could question its value or your sincerity...
  • Try to keep a ratio of 3 to 1 between praise and challenge feedbacks. It may be counter-intuitive but if you don’t, your colleagues could lose themselves trying to meet your expectations without ever knowing when they do good.

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