May 05, 2023

Creating a culture of feedback: Lessons on radical candor from a Credera Women’s Network event

Amy Freet

Amy Freet

Creating a culture of feedback: Lessons on radical candor from a Credera Women’s Network event

Giving feedback is an essential part of communication in professional settings. It helps people understand their strengths and opportunities, and it can lead to significant growth and development when delivered effectively. However, giving feedback can be difficult, especially when it comes to providing critical feedback.

Recently, the Credera Women's Network led a lunch and learn event titled "Creating a Culture of Feedback." During the meeting, our HR team shared Credera's five stages of feedback cycle and all attendees spent time learning how we as individuals can give feedback with radical candor.

Exploring the radical candor framework

Radical candor is a framework for giving feedback that combines caring personally with challenging directly. The concept was introduced by Kim Scott in her book Radical Candor: Be a Kickass Boss Without Losing Your Humanity. According to Scott, radical candor is about striking a balance between showing that you care about the person and challenging them to improve.

Here are some of the lessons on giving feedback with the radical candor framework:

Focus on the person, not just their performance: Radical candor is based on the idea that you need to care personally about the person you are giving feedback to. This means taking the time to get to know them, understand their goals and aspirations, and build a relationship with them. Practically, this can look like taking a few minutes at the start of a call to ask them how their day was going or connecting with them on something like the weather or a sporting event from the night before.

Be direct and honest: Radical candor requires you to be direct and honest with your feedback. Don't sugarcoat your feedback or beat around the bush. Instead, get to the point and be clear about what you want to say. If you try to be “too nice,” then the actual feedback may get lost in your message.

Don't be afraid to be critical: Critical feedback is an essential part of growth and development. Don't be afraid to challenge the person you are giving feedback to, as long as you do it in a way that shows you care about them.

Give feedback regularly: Don't wait until the end of the year to provide feedback to your team members. Do your best to create a culture of ongoing feedback. Give feedback to your team regularly so they can make changes and improvements as they go.

Listen and be open to feedback yourself: Feedback is a two-way street. Be open to receiving feedback from others and listen carefully to what they have to say. This will help you improve your own skills and abilities.

After the session, Credera women broke out into smaller groups by office location to discuss what radical candor looks like practically. The session ended with encouraging group members to solicit feedback from others as well as to practice giving it. Credera has recently socialized the concept of "Feedback Fridays," where employees are encouraged to give feedback to team members via both formal and informal channels on a weekly basis.

Leveraging radical candor

Radical candor is a powerful framework for giving feedback that can help build strong relationships, improve performance, and foster growth and development. By focusing on caring personally and challenging directly, you can provide feedback that is both honest and compassionate and help others achieve their full potential.

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