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Book Club--Radical Candor

Join us for an informal discussion of Radical Candor: Be a Kick-Ass Boss Without Losing Your Humanity by Kim Scott. The NU Skill Shops team will provide you with your own copy within a short time of registering.

The meeting will be held in the Library Rare Book Room on January 11 from 10:00am to 11:30am.

The Book Club is aimed at faculty and staff who are interested in developing their management skills. Its purpose is to help participants become more self-aware and skillful managers in a setting where we learn from each other. This is accomplished through informal discussion of a book, article, or report we read in advance.



Thursday, January 11, 2018
10:00am - 11:30am
Rare Book Room
  Faculty Track  
Registration has closed.

Questions to Get Us Thinking in Advance.

Source: https://www.radicalcandor.com/blog/discussion-questions-radical-candor/


  • Describe an experience when you didn’t give direct feedback but you wish you did.
  • Who are the best leaders you’ve worked for in your career? What made them so exceptional? What can you learn?
  • Tell a story about the worst boss you ever had. What did they do that made them so bad? How can you avoid those mistakes?

Chapter 1: Build Radically Candid Relationships

  • What does the book say are the key responsibilities of a boss?
  • Many people mistakenly call Radical Candor the same as brutal honesty. What is the difference between Radical Candor and brutal honesty?
  • What are some ways that you show you Care Personally at work?
  • Do you think Challenging Directly is a strength or a weakness for you?

Chapter 2: Get, Give, and Encourage Guidance

  • Describe an experience when you received feedback that you appreciated and that was delivered in a helpful and caring way.
  • Describe an experience when you received feedback in a way that you didn’t learn from because you resented the way it was delivered to you.
  • Have you ever been so nice that it ended up working against you?
  • Have you ever felt there was no way to not be mean if you needed to get your desired outcome?

Chapter 3: Understand What Motivates Each Person on Your Team

  • Have you ever underestimated an employee’s contributions because they weren’t gunning for a promotion? What happened? Did you regret it?
  • Have you ever clipped the wings of an employee on a steep growth trajectory? What happened? Did you regret it?
  • Are you more at risk of being an absentee manager or a micromanager? What kinds of situations push you towards one of these modes?
  • Are you currently on a gradual or steep growth trajectory? Were you ever on the opposite one?

 Chapter 4: Drive Results Collaboratively

  • Have you ever tried to tell a team of people what to do? What were the results?
  • Which step(s) of the Get Stuff Done (GSD) Wheel are easiest or most comfortable for you? What steps do you tend to skip? Where do you get stuck?
  • Are you a quiet listener or a loud listener?
  • Do you want to foster a culture of debate on a team? If so, how will you do it? If not, why not?
  • How do you help your team make decisions? Are you worried you grab too many decisions?

Chapter 5: Relationships

  • How do you build trust with your direct reports/ staff? What strategies or activities have been most effective, and how can you tell?

Chapter 6: Guidance

  • Have you solicited feedback from your direct reports/staff? If so, how have you done it, and has it been successful?
  • Do you have a go-to question for soliciting feedback? What is it?
  • What are some of the ways that you have rewarded criticism?
  • Which of the book’s tips for giving guidance did you find most helpful?
  • What’s something you could do tomorrow with someone on your team to offer Radical Candor?

 Chapter 7: Team

  • Do you or can you begin facilitating “Career Conversations” with your direct reports, as a way of caring personally and helping them map out their career trajectories?
  • Do you know the balance of rock stars and superstars on your team? How do you think about growth for different people?
  • Did any of the book’s suggestions for hiring and firing resonate as applicable to your team/company?

 Chapter 8: Results

  • How do you approach 1:1 meetings? How’s that different than the recommendations laid out in the book? Will you change your 1:1’s?
  • How do you help nurture new ideas? Are there ideas from the book that you’ll adopt?
  • Do you hold staff meetings? How do they compare to the approach in the book? Any recommendations that you’ll incorporate?
  • Do you think the Big Debate or Big Decision meetings described in the book would help your team?
  • What do you think about the number of meetings suggested in this chapter?
  • How do you prevent meeting-creep from taking over the time your team should be spending executing?


Event Organizer

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David Schoen