Why It’s Important for Leaders to Utilize Radical Candor


Organizations and businesses often face several challenges that can be solved in various ways. An increasingly popular method is radical candor, which business leaders adopt to solve and streamline workplace issues. However, what is radical candor, and how can leaders apply it in their workplace?

What is Radical Candor?

Generally, this method of leadership communication describes a leaders’ ability to challenge others directly while showing personal care. If done correctly, this helps business leaders and those around them develop trusted relationships and work their best throughout their careers. The axis of condor includes manipulative insincerity, obnoxious aggression and ruinous empathy, and radical candor.

For this model to benefit the organization, it should be used in the right context. Leaders and employees should already establish a level of respect and trust within the team. Otherwise, without empathy, other members can deliver harsh criticism disguised as radical candor.

What Leaders Should Know About Radical Candor

  • It is the Ability to Simultaneously Care Personally and Challenging Directly

    The underlying concept of radical condor hasn’t been understood by most leaders owing to its recent popularity. However, it is a simple and powerful idea that organizations striving to perform better should adopt. The concept underlies two crucial skills of any leader, a genuinely caring personality and being able to directly challenge others.

    Any radical candor leader should act within the intersection of these two phrases. Leaders should create emotional and personal bonds with employees that give them motivation and confidence in their relationship. They should use the gained openness and trust to give direct feedback, including tough words if necessary.

  • It Starts from Leadership

    With a better understanding of the radical candor concept, most people wonder where this principle starts. Well, it starts with leadership. While this might be obvious, leaders should be the first ones asking for feedback before giving his/her subordinate feedback. Unfortunately, many leaders want to be heard, and only a few want to hear from others. However, leaders will only be heard and gain influence if they learn how to listen.

  • Radical Condor Works in All Directions

    Whilst radical condor appears to be a valuable tool that fosters leader-subordinate relationships, it works in all other directions, including between peers. Most people use this concept to manage direct feedback with employees and colleagues. However, there is no reason why the same concept cannot be applied to improve any other relationship and communication with people outside your business.

  • It Goes Beyond Leadership

    Several studies conducted within the workplace environment proved a direct correlation between the level of radical condor and employees’ net promoter scores. Essentially, organizations with high levels of radical condor had higher employee net promoter scores. Such correlation is true because radical condor builds and fosters trust and empathy among colleagues while challenging them in their role. This combination is ideal for maintaining high levels of employee engagement and loyalty.

Why Leaders Should Use Radical Candor

Leaders should use this module for many reasons. For starters, rare and candid feedback in most work environments is rare because most managers don’t want to come off as harsh or insulting. However, by utilizing radical condor effectively, leaders can provide praise and criticism in equal measures.

Since radical condor might come off as an unnatural act, leaders should ensure that they remain constructive and effective during their interactions. Furthermore, leaders should evaluate their interactions and gauge feedback. That said, to get started with radical candor in your work environment, leaders should give feedback, encourage feedback from others, and gauge feedback.

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