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Agile Coaches' Corner shares practical concepts in an approachable way. It is for agile practitioners and business leaders seeking expert advice on improving the way they work to achieve their desired outcomes. If you have a topic you'd like discussed, email it to, or tweet it with #agilethoughtpodcast.

Aug 23, 2019

Radical Candor Sketch Note Joining your host, Dan Neumann, today is his AgileThought colleague, Christy Erbeck. Christy is a Principal Transformation Consultant at AgileThought, with over 25 years of experience in domestic and international consulting, training, and coaching, working in both software development and non-product-focused environments, including manufacturing (discrete and process), distribution, and sales and marketing. On top of all that, Christy is also a Certified Dare to Lead™ Facilitator.

Today, Dan and Christy will be discussing Radical Candor based on the fantastic book by Kim Scott of the same name. In her book, Kim courageously shares some of the missteps she has made as a manager in her career and how she created tools and techniques to help others not make the same mistakes she did. Radical candor is all about building new behaviors and new skill-sets that help managers and leaders to create a healthy environment for everyone to work in.


Tune in to get Christy’s insight on exactly what radical candor is, what it isn’t, how to begin implementing the radical candor framework and apply it successfully in your workplace!


Key Takeaways

What is ‘radical candor’?

  • Radical candor is the result of caring personally about people and challenging them directly
  • Placing the ‘person’ before the business
  • Radical candor shows how to be a successful leader while retaining humanity and creating a healthy environment for everyone to work in

What isn’t radical candor?

  • “Telling it like it is” you’re speaking to a person directly but doing it in a way that shows you do not care about them
  • Believing the idea: “If I’m not direct or mean you won’t take the feedback seriously” (AKA obnoxious aggression or ‘front-stabbing’)
  • Ruinous empathy (which is when you care without challenging)

What is the radical candor framework?

It is a simple framework illustrated in Kim Scott’s book that teaches leaders how to build better relationships at work, as well as fulfill their three key responsibilities (which are: creating a culture of feedback, building a cohesive team, and achieving results you are all proud of)

What are some important tenets within radical candor?

  • Setting boundaries
  • Establishing a relationship with the person you want to speak directly to
  • Providing feedback right away in an honest, quick, transparent way
  • Really understand the people that you work with, care deeply for them, and be willing to ‘dance’ with them (or, ‘be in the arena,’ as Brené Brown would say)

Christy’s tips for beginning to apply radical candor in the workplace:

  • Ask for feedback before giving feedback (show your people that you can take it)
  • Take action where it’s appropriate (related to that feedback)
  • Learn from the feedback you are given you will grow from it

Mentioned in this Episode:

Christy Erbeck (LinkedIn)

Radical Candor, by Kim Scott

Agile2018 Conference

Sheryl Sandberg

Agile Coaches’ Corner Ep. 25: “Talking Feedback with Christy Erbeck”

SBI Model

Brené Brown

Agile Alliance

Kim Scott’s ‘Radical Candor’ Agile2018 Conference Keynote on Agile Alliance

Radical Candor on Blinkist

Chris Shinkle at Agile2019

Thinking in Bets: Making Smarter Decisions When You Don’t Have All the Facts, by Annie Duke


Christy Erbeck’s Book Pick:

The Dance of Connection: How to Talk to Someone When You’re Mad, Hurt, Scared, Frustrated, Insulted, Betrayed, or Desperate, by Dr. Harriet Lerner


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