Bold, Brave & Brilliant, Team Med Global’s Leadership Success Club, wrapped up the year by reading and discussing “Radical Candor: Be a Kick-Ass Boss Without Losing Your Humanity,” by Kim Scott. While the book received mixed reviews from club members, the readings did prompt group discussions that led to 17 valuable leadership lessons. These included:

Trustworthiness. When you’re entrusted with confidential information – whether organizational or interpersonal – it’s important to keep it to yourself. Regardless of your job title, it’s important that you can be trusted as a confidant.

Honesty. Whether you’re just settling into your leadership role or have been in a leadership role for decades, honesty will serve you well. Being honest is easier in theory than in practice, but it’s important to remain strong.

Accountability. No one is perfect. You’re not expected to be perfect. You are expected to step up and admit when you’ve made a mistake. Leaders expect accountability from others, so they should expect the same of themselves.

Embrace Candor. It’s difficult to ask for candid criticism and then experience the discomfort of hearing what the other person has to say. It’s important to resist the temptation to fill the silence. Instead, keep breathing and remember that you have the opportunity to learn so much in that space. Over time and with practice, it does get easier.

Listen to Learn. When we are talking with someone, we are often so busy formulating our response that we don’t truly listen to what the other person is saying. Leadership involves active listening – with the intent to understand, not to respond.

Give and Take. Seek radical candor from others and be prepared to return it. Doing so demonstrates that you are working toward true leadership.

Watch for Reactions. When you give guidance, pay attention to the other person’s response. Gauge whether or not the other person correctly interpreted what you said. If not, invite questions and provide clarifying statements.

Situation, Behavior & Impact. When giving feedback, first name the situation you witnessed, then name the behavior you observed – whether positive or negative. Finally, name the impact that what you observed has on the situation at hand.

Immediate Feedback. Leadership means providing timely feedback. Don’t wait until next week, next month, or the next performance review. Immediate feedback either delivers positive reinforcement or enables the person to correct an error.

Public vs. Private. While it’s best to adapt to an individual’s preference, the rule of thumb is to praise in public and criticize in private. Most people welcome acknowledgment in a group setting but prefer to receive candid criticism in a one-to-one setting.

Reframe Language. It’s easy for the person receiving criticism to feel shame, or as though they’re bad or wrong. Make sure to disconnect the action from the person performing the action. For example, say “That’s wrong” instead of “You’re wrong.”

Ask for Permission. People are less likely to be open to feedback if they’re caught off guard. Instead of springing feedback on another person, ask, “Would it be helpful if I told you what I thought?”

Explain. Show. Explain Again. People have different learning styles. It can be helpful to explain a task or concept, then demonstrate it, and then explain it again. This helps each of your direct reports become better professionals.

Make Room for Feedback. Make sure your team members feel comfortable giving you feedback. Ask questions, leave space for feedback, and offer thanks for feedback – even if the feedback makes you uncomfortable. For example, ask, “What could I do or stop doing that would make it easier to work with me?”
Support Growth. Understand what motivates each person on your team. Talk with team members about their career plans. Help them manage and grow their careers.

Be a Role Model. Recognize that other people are watching, hearing, and observing you – always. Remember that your words and actions impact how others perceive you and themselves.

Implement Radical Candor. Radical candor is designed to foster highly effective leaders and is based on this sequential order: 1) Solicit criticism; 2) Give praise; 3) Give criticism; 4) Gauge the criticism and adjust; 5) Encourage praise and criticism among others.

Sign up for the next season of Bold, Brave & Brilliant: TMG Leadership Success Club here:

If you’re ready to step into leadership, let TMG University connect you with a career coach who can help develop a roadmap for your success. Contact maggie (at) teammedglobal (dot) com to learn more.