Radical Candor
Radical Candor

Episode 72 · 2 months ago

Radical Candor S4, Ep. 13: Get Sh*t Done Step 7—Create a Culture of Learning Where it's Safe to Fail


Once your idea has been implemented, you probably think you're done with this whole Get Sh*t Done Wheel thing — but there’s one more step, Learn. On this episode of the Radical Candor Podcast, Kim, Jason and Amy talk about how creating a culture of learning can make it safe for people to fail, help mitigate future mistakes and ensure everyone knows how to repeat success. Sounds simple, right? Not so fast. There are two things that can get in the way of learning. Listen to find out what they are!

Radical Candor Podcast Episode At a Glance

Kim, Jason and Amy discuss why it’s important to learn from mistakes and successes alike to keep improving. And why denial is actually the more common reaction to imperfect implementation than learning.

Let’s face it — no one wants to admit they have an ugly baby, but not admitting it doesn’t mean it’s not true.

There are two main barriers to learning:

1. The Pressure to Be Consistent

You obviously can’t change course like this lightly, and if you do, you need to be able to explain clearly and convincingly why things have changed. Revisit the listen, clarify, debate, and decide steps with an inner circle.

When it was time to persuade the broader team again after you've reached a new conclusion, it is important to take a deep breath and share, patiently and repeatedly, how you got there, and to call out the change in direction explicitly.

2. Burnout

Sometimes we’re overwhelmed by our work and personal lives, and these are the moments when it is hardest to learn from our results and to start the whole cycle over again.

In 2019 — before the pandemic even began — burnout was officially recognized as a work-related phenomenon by the World Health Organization and characterized by 3 dimensions:

  • feelings of energy depletion or exhaustion;
  • increased mental distance from one’s job, or feelings of negativism or cynicism related to one's job; and
  • reduced professional efficacy.   

Kim says, “The essence of leadership is not getting overwhelmed by circumstances.” How do people walk this line, and how can managers set expectations for their teams to help them avoid burning out? Listen to the episode to learn more!

Radical Candor Podcast Checklist

  1. Sometimes you have to say whoops-a-daisy. Don’t let the pressure to be consistent keep you from acknowledging when things could have gone better. If you have to change course, you need to be able to explain clearly and convincingly why things have changed. This often means revisiting the listen, clarify, debate, and decide steps of the Get Shit Done Wheel.
  2. Make it safe for everyone to fail and create a culture that fosters a positive relationship between learning from failure and self-development. You can only accomplish this if you’ve built a trusting relationship with each person reporting to you, and there can only be real trust when people feel free at work and everyone has a safety net.
  3. Show up for yourself. Put the things you need to do for yourself on your calendar, just as you would an important meeting. Don’t blow off those meetings with yourself or let others schedule over them any more than you would a meeting with your boss.
  4. Make workflows and learning visible using tools like Kanban boards and by “walking around” the office. If you’re virtual, you can check in using a collaboration tool like Joyous.
  5. Quantify the benefits of what you’ve learned. This allows you to celebrate failure along with success and it also destigmatizes failure.   

Radical Candor Podcast Resources

Hello everybody, welcome to the radical candor podcast. I'm Kim Scott, co founder of radical candor and just work, and I'm Jason Rosa, CEO and Co founder of radical candor, and I made me say on there your host for the radical candor podcast. On our last episode we talked about step six on the get ship done wheel, which is how to successfully implement your kick ass idea. Once your idea has been implemented, you probably think you're done with this whole get ship done wheel thing, but alas, there is one more step and that is learn. Kim, you write in radical candor that it's human nature for us to become attached, often unreasonably attached, to projects we've invested a lot of time and energy into. It can take almost superhuman discipline to step back, to acknowledge when our results could be a lot better or simply no good, and learned from the experience. You also share a story about a colleague of yours who once built a team and that was getting absolutely terrible results, but he just couldn't admit it. Those of us who are trying to point it out to him were mystified when we finally got through to him. He exclaimed it's unbearably painful to admit it when you have an ugly baby him. Were those his exact words? Yes, those were his exact word, and then everyone had great compassion for him. I don't know if I did the voiceover right, because I don't know how someone like makes that declaration so terribly painful to admit it when you have an ugly baby. On today's episode we're going to talk about why it's so important to learn from mistakes and successes alike, to keep improving, and why denial is actually the more common reaction to imperfect execution than learning. So, Kim, you identify two barriers to learning. The pressure to be consistent is one of them, and also burnout. Let's start with how the pressure to be consistent can derail learning. So this is a hard one for me to talk about because some of the feedback that I have gotten, which I think is legitimate, is that I change things too often and I frustrate my colleagues. I think all of you can probably didn't. We have the T shirt story about Jason is nodding gave. Happens from time to time. Yeah, so it is accurate feedback that I like to change things, perhaps too often. At the same time, I think for me, as someone who enjoys innovating, enjoys changing and also like in part of the creative process, for me, not for everyone, is an extreme version of launch and iterate. So I think I've said this before, but when I write, my editor at some point just has to pride that he said, I'm gonna pry This manuscript out of your fingers. You cannot touch it anymore. You can't keep changing things, and so for me I struggle as a person, as a writer, as a CO founder, with this, because often it's true that I'm flip flopping or erratic or that I lack principles. I've also been accused of paddling back and forth across the Rubicon, and all of this is legitimate feedback. But also I think that it's true what John Maynard Kane says that when the facts change, I changed my mind. And sometimes maybe it's a failure of imagination on my part, but things kind of feel good in my head and then I get them on paper or build them and then then I notice what's wrong. Like it would be better if I could figure out what was wrong before I wrote the thing and before we built the thing. But sometimes it's not possible. So you obviously can't change course lightly because you've got to understand that changing things creates collaboration tax on your collaborators and you don't want to drive that tax up unnecessarily. So you've got to be able to explain why things have changed. That means revisiting, unfortunately or fortunately, the listen, clarified debate, the side wheel and sort of not just imposing the changes on people, but say, but proposing the changes, I think. So that's why I have all these thoughts about the pressure to be consistent, because, I mean, I'll give you another example. When I was teaching managing at Apple, I realized that there were some big problems with the framework that I set up. It was an early version of the radical candor framework. You want me to...

...describe it, or is this know that I think I'm really interesting, sort of the origin story before the origin story? Yeah, so the early version of the radical candor framework was on the vertical access was smiley face to frown me face and on the horizontal axis was unclear to clear. And that was the original framework and it didn't quite work. But I didn't quite know what was wrong with it and every time I tried to change it, the team would just flip out and say, you can't make any changes. We have launched this course and now it's set in stone. And for me this was incredibly frustrating because I was noticing that things were broken, things were not quite right, and I really wanted to change it, but I wasn't no longer allowed to innovate, and I think that was part of what led me to leave. There were other bigger things that led me to leave, but that was part of the frustration and part of the joy actually of being able to go write the book, because then I spent literally three months just fussing with the axes and the words and the axes and I changed it five times a day probably, but since I was working alone at this point, only my husband noticed. It was like have you lost your mind, what are you doing? And so I think like when you want to really innovate, you need to realize that there are times when you need to go hold up alone and just like indulge your obsessions, because it'll be too frustrating for the people around you. So those are a couple of stories. I have another story, but I'll save it for later in the podcast. Oh Wow, now this is a real cliffhanger. Jason, I am so curious, as Kim's Co founder, when you hear about the sort of the frustration that she had and the team saying, like we need to make a decision, I'm imagining you've been in the position, like the team if we need to make a decision. So when you hear her story, like what's your side of that story? Is the person that needs to take the framework and start teaching it. Yeah, I guess like to be very specific about Kim and my collaboration. I don't feel like this has been an issue for us because I tend to have the same attitude that Kim does, which is, like I hold onto ideas very lightly and what I care about is data. Like what I care about is like what's actually working. And so I think an example of a thing that we did collectively as a team was we started to have these internal meetings that we called the sort of like Canon discussions, the radical candor cannon discussions, because we didn't want to change things so frequently that it made it really hard for anybody teaching o Pandor to keep up. But at the same time we didn't want to ignore the lessons we were learning for actually trying to teach radical candor in the world, and so we created a process in which we sort of went through this getting it done. We all together, and the learned part was input from the team, people who are using the product, that that we're regularly in workshops and things like that, and then every time we would get collect that in put together, you get back together and we make a set of decisions about what we want to do to address the feedback that we've gotten and that we were doing once a month, once a quarter, that type of cadence to give folks out there an idea, so that we weren't changing the workshop experience every week, enforcing all of twelve facilitators to learn the new way of doing the workshop every week. But I think that is part of why Kim and I collaborate so well. It's because I see that iterative process is absolutely necessary to building a thing that really works while also running a business on the thing that you currently have. I don't think there's another way to do it unless you can be like apple. Now, if we had two billion dollars in cash in the bank, maybe I'd be willing to spend a little bit more time up from working on a product before we launched it. But since we're not in that position, I feel like the approach that I just described is much better of the vast majority of people out there. And even it's interesting going back to apple, like one of the other interesting things about designing that class managing at apple was that apple did give me, I think, five or six months just to design the course, and this made me very nervous because if I had designed a course at Google called managing a Google, which was more of a launch and iterate, I would have had at most five hours to design the course, not five months, and it was very liberating to realize that I had that time at apple to sit and create alone and without the pressure of launching something. Just turned out that once it did launch, after that five months was done and it had launched, I wasn't allowed to change things. And it's kind of interesting because, I mean, obviously apple makes software. I think of it as kind of a hardware company. It makes things and after you build...

...the thing you can't just push up software effects and change it. And so I think that's part of the reason for the difference in the approaches to innovation. They apple gave you a lot more time than Google did to do the upfront thinking and innovating alone, but once you ship the thing, you couldn't keep changing it, although one could argue that they do. They change those damn plugs. You would think if they change your damn plugs so often, they would have allowed me to change managing it apple. But anyway, that's a whole other topic. I feel another event coming on. So staring at my computer and all those damn plugs that have this can be an episode on dongles coming up, Jason, as Kim talks about that. Actually, the difference between apple and Google and sort of five hours versus five months, and this idea of like the pressure to be consistent. You mentioned about size and scope. If we had a few hundred billion dollars lying around, but I am curious do you have any sort of ideas around how to extrapolate this idea of this pressure to be consistent East on your organization's culture, just intrinsic processes that are set up? Obviously we're a very small and Nimble team. So when does that start to change about the barriers that come in to be more consistent. To iterating, I feel like the pressure to be consistent, I think Kim said this put this correctly in the book, is that there's an inherent human pressure to be consistent. I think that pressure. In fact, there are whole sets of psychological biases and logical fallacies associated with the desire to be consistent. Like, for example, the most well known one in this area is probably the sunk cost fallacy, the idea that what you get to a point where, no matter how much money you've put in, there's no reason to continue doing it. But it's very hard to let go, to accept that money is just gone. Right, the money is wasted and it's gone and every dollar that you continue to put into it is unnecessary further waste. You actually have all the information that you need to know it's not going to work. And I also tend to agree with him that I think a lot of the evils of human history can be explained by trying to describe them in terms of being consistent. Like there's like a whole set of things of like how we philosophically how things work inside of large systems, like the certain design principles inside of large systems. There's a desire for consistency, but the problem is like, if you consistently do things the way that you've always done them, then you're going to perpetuate the harm that was initially baked into the design of that system. And there's a lot of people who can argue quite logically, well, it's inconsistent for us to change this thing because now these two people are going to be treated differently in this system and that's inconsistent. I don't like that inconsistency. But a lot of that has to do with learning that, while our goal is to have a particular outcome for this process of particular outcome, we are not getting that outcome equally across the different users of this particular a piece of software or participants in some government program or system, and so something has to change. And one of the easiest things we can change is like, let's make some of these things inconsistent with one another and see if we actually get a more consistent outcome by changing the process in an inconsistent way. And that's hard for a lot of people, especially people who are who put a lot of time, energy and effort into designing system. Forget that's the ugly baby metaphor right. It's like you feel like you've created something, you become very attached to the idea of the thing that you've made. So can I try to summarize what I think you said, because it was pretty sophisticated. I'm not sure I totally understood, but I think what you said, Jason, is is like there's a rational pressure to be consistent, which is when you change things too often, then you impose more cost than benefit on the system. So if we changed our radical candor keynote every week, we would make it worse rather than better because of the learning cost coming up. But changing it once a quarter based on input, is effective. It has a good cost benefit that we're getting good return on our time there. Now the irrational pressure to be consistent is has more to do with sort of sunk costpect. I've spent all this time doing it that way. I don't want to change it's just basically the irrational pressure to be consistent. I would summarize as we've always done it that way. Like that is not a reason to keep doing anything, in my opinion. YEA, and I would say there's two parts. There's like the cost part and there's the attachment to the idea. Yes, like some people are ashamed or sort of feel bad about the cost of all the time doing it wrong, and some people hold as a coal consistency as a value above other things. Yeah, even above results in some cases. Some people were arguing for consistency even though we know we're not getting the results that we need or that we want, and that, I think, at least in my experience, is equally likely... create problems. Especially in smaller organizations where there is sort of like limited time and resources and people are very directly responsible for things, people become very attached to the idea and wanting to maintain the thing the way that they created it, whether or not that's cost related. This kind of reminds me of a experience I had in college. So when I was in college, at the dining hall they put up a Christmas tree and then people started putting on criticism of the Christmas tree as ornaments of the Christmas tree, like why do we have a Christmas tree? And and then people started arguing that there shouldn't be a Christmas tree up, and then someone put sort of one of those big orange police danger wires around the Christmas tree and then someone put this giant sign on the Christmas tree. All tradition is justified. To me it was kind of a it was funny. I don't know if it'll be funny to other people, but it was like a funny argument, a funny way to have the argument around them and that it became kind of a festivous Bush in which people were free to express their ideas and thoughts about but, like all tradition is not justified. Some traditions have taken us to a deep, dark, bad place and we need to change those traditions. I'm not saying everybody has to stop celebrating Christmas, but you don't want to impose your celebration on other people. There's one other piece that I don't think we've spoken about, with consistency, which we're seeing now, I think, around student loan forgiveness, about fairness. Let me say one thing about that. I think there's an aspect of consistency that is particularly intidious, which is I suffered and therefore so should you, and that, I think we can all agree, is not a rational argument for consistency. I would like to think if I offered. I know what that feels like and I want to create a world where other people don't have to suffer in that way, especially the younger generation, especially my children and the children of other people. Yeah, I think the way that that leaks into the workplace, like one of the things that I've heard said in as an argument to support consistency to avoid listening, would be saying something like well, if we take your input into consideration, then we have to consider everybody else's input also, and that's just going to throw the whole process off, and so we're just gonna like not gonna listen to you, we're not gonna learn anything, and in the name of consistency and fairness, because then we'd have to like listen to other people's complaints also. Yeah, it's a good segue, Jason. We sort of look at organizations appetite to listen and learn and then individuals appetites to listen and learn, and there was a study that was published in the journal Frontiers and psychology which found that, quote, intrinsic motivation positively predicts learning from failures. Learning from failures promote self development and learning from failures mediates the relationship between intrinsic motivation and self development. So there's this really important idea here that in order to grow, to develop, we need to learn from failure. But the article also notes the importance of what's described as quote, benevolent leadership, and I think benevolent leadership has a lot and commonly, says it's described in the article, with what we would encourage radically candid leaders to look like. So this idea of benevolent leadership includes behaviors where leaders show individualized care for employees within and out of work related domains, such as tolerating and giving employees opportunities to correct mistakes, relieving their public embarrassment, providing coaching and mentoring and demonstrating concerns for employees professional career path. End Quote. So, Jason, I am really curious how that study, those ideas land for you. And what if the opposite is true and rather than a quote benevolent leader, you've got a toxic boss? Do you have any stories or ideas to share on that? Yeah, I was thinking about I was thinking about this story quite a bit. I think I like I bristle a little bit at the word benevolent because it makes it sound like no bet on the benevolent dictator people. Yeah, benevolence is like an act in some ways, is an act that I, let's say I'm the leader, that I'm doing for you. But again, I think the argument that we make in radical candor that is it's absolutely an active, enlightened self interest to be had in this way because, like you, are better off as well. The benefits a crew to both people in that relationship. So that aside, I think one of the things that we know about psychological safety and its relationship to like generating new ideas, doing new and interesting things, is that in order for people to feel comfortable to contribute fully the ideas that they have to make something new and better. Maybe I'm his research says that... have to be able to share your ideas without fear that you're you're going to be punished in some way, either socially or like at work, for sharing a different perspective. And a lot of what benevolent leadership, a radically candid leadership, looks like it's creating environment people feel comfortable to share their ideas, to make it safe for people to fail, to give them opportunities to correct mistakes, and so I agree with you that that idea is quite consistent. I guess my experience as a software designer and product manager is like most ideas fail at some point. Like it's to some extent like every single project that I worked on there was some iteration of that project that was a complete failure. I remember when I was at Conic Academy, we were working on a way to visualize student progress and we came up with this really some of the goals that you have when you're trying to visualize an idea. It's like you're trying to present something in a way that feels consistent from visit to visit right and describes accurately the way the underlying system works, that there aren't surprises. One of the most frustrating things in software is where it shows you a picture of something and you feel like you understand the picture, but then the minute you try to like use that understanding, you realize, Oh, that idea was incomplete. So think of it this way. It's like if I showed you a picture of how much photos, videos and music you have in your hard drive and that thing showed them three equally sized pieces, approximately equally sized pieces. But imagine like you opened up the folders and you discovered that there's half as much music as there is videos. Right like that visualization is now actually harming your understanding, even though you know maybe in the grand scheme of things, that's not really material. How much, how big of a difference it is? Those are the kinds of things you were trying to avoid. Anyway, we came up with this really clever solution that, like, very accurately represented the underlying system, but students hated it because you could go backwards, like you could get backwards progress it, meaning like you're the visualization would show a degradation if you actually demonstrated that you didn't understand something. You would like take progress away. Don't take my progress away, correct, even though that's actually what's happening, and so we had to come up with a new way to do that that we felt didn't deeply harmed the student's understanding. But it was such a great design and such a terrible failure. Like the design really worked at representing the state of the system and it was terrible and motivating students, which was the other half of the thing that the designer is responsible for. US like keeping students moving through their progress, and I remember being so feeling so defeated when he realized that that it happened, because I was so proud of the thing that we had come up with and I remember the team sort of looking at me because we were like we realized how colossal of failure this was, and having to go sit there and say, you know what, I'm glad you learned this now as a posed to like after we shipped it and millions of students around the world we're using it. So great we learned this today, like what are we going to do about it? And I remember that being like a pretty big turning point in that project, because I can tell like people are feeling very deflated, and it's not so much from my perspective. That's why it's like I see that as by this definition and act of benevolent leadership to recognize a mistake and to create opportunity to correct it and all this other stuff, but like it was just as helpful for me to maintain my motivation as it was for other people to realize, like wow, good thing you learn this now as opposed to later. Yeah, I think it's so important what you say Jason it this all the underpinning of all of this is finding a way to make failure safe, finding a way to make you cannot be radically candid if failure is not safe, because then it becomes just obnoxious aggression. If you point out a mistake to someone and they're gonna get fired because they made a mistake, that's not radical. And so you want to make sure that you're pointing out mistakes and problems in a way that is safe for people, which is not to say that you'll never have to fire anyone if you're radically candid. So that's another rabbit hole we can go down later, but basically the idea is creating an environment where, by and large, failure is safe. I mean, there are some failures that are not okay. Sexually harassing someone is never going to be safe. Racist comments shouldn't, I would argue, be safe. But helping people understand that when they're making a mistake they'll be told about it, they'll know about it in no, in certain terms, makes it safe. And also doing silly things like whoops a daisy, which we've talked about before on here, makes failure safe. We cannot learn, we cannot have a growth mindset, we cannot have the fearless organization or psychological safety and we cannot have radical candor if failure isn't safe. And that's tricky. That's tricky to do...

...because the way that you stop failing is to recognize the failure. And so what can you do as an individual, as a leader, to make the failure safe? I think a really simple thing that we did consistently was in every post mortem and every debrief of a project that we did, we took time to actually list out what we learned from that project. That was an output that we measured. How much did we learn from this project was important, and so even if we didn't meet the project's initial objectives, we could always focus on what it is that we learned, and I know we're going to get into that in a minute, of like how do you manage those things, because we didn't only learn from failure, we also learned from success. Yes, I love that and I think that's such a great tangible tip. If that's actually a metric of like what did you learn, then it can recast failure as as a positive output as well as, let's not forget, you can learn from success too. I want to move now on to the second barrier to learning, which is something that's been getting a lot of attention about the past few years, and that's burnout. There's research that suggests that burnout, chronic stress, can actually change your brain, which makes it harder to retain memories and learn new things. Kim, in radical candor, you write quote. Sometimes we're overwhelmed by our work and our personal lives, and these are the moments when it's hardest to learn from our results and then to start the whole cycle over again, meaning the whole get ship done. We'll starting that over again. So in this was actually even before the pandemic began. Burnout was officially recognized as a work related phenomenon by the WHO, the World Health Organization, and characterized there were three dimensions to burnout. One was feelings of energy depletion or exhaustion. We talked about on a previous podcast, sort of feeling out of spoons, like you only have so many sort of energy spoons in a day. Two was increased men told, distance from one's job, or feelings of negativism, negativism, negativism, negativism, okay, or cynicism related to one's job and three, reduced professional efficacy. So I think it's safe to say that a lot of us are feeling burned out right now and sort of on, not to mention on everyone else's last nerve. And there's been a lot of talk right now, it's sort of the end of August two, about this phenomenon called quiet quitting, which I think we're interpreting to mean basically just means doing the work you're getting paid to do and not going above and beyond. I think part of the challenge might be different definitions of what's meant by quiet quitting, but I will say what we're hearing. Some people are saying this is a way to protect yourself from burning out. Critics say the only way to succeed at work is to go above and beyond, and Kim you say in radical candor that the essence of leadership is not getting overwhelmed by circumstances. So how can people think about this line between wanting to do a good job, working too much quiet quitting? How can managers set expectations for their teams so that they can avoid burning them out? I think part of it is acknowledging when you yourself are burned out. So I'll give you not exactly a management example, but you'll see what I mean. So last night I'm writing a novel right now and my son is one of my harshest critics. It's the house of radical candor here, and so last nine, at about nine thirty, he grabs my computer and he starts reading sort of a revised section of the novel and I was exhausted and I just wasn't in a frame of mind where I could hear him where I could, where I could, I didn't want to hear it and so I said da him. Look, I really appreciate you are a great critic and I really appreciate your willingness to read this. I'm tired to react right now. And he's like, no problem, I'm just gonna write comments in the margins. And sounds like somebody who's related to you, Kim. Yeah, yeah, so they're they're waiting for me. After we finished recording, I'm going to take a walk, take a shower and take a deep breath and then I'll look at them. So I think part of it is just acknowledging, like there are moments when when even the author of radical candor has had too much feedback and I didn't want anymore that day, and so I think that's really important. I think another thing to realize about not getting overwhelmed by circumstances and also about sort of burnout and fear of failure. I think there are a lot of people on teams who have had more than their fair share of feedback and of unfair feedback, and one of the things that I have been thinking about lately is, like, I have relatively little fear of failure because there a relatively few consequences for me of failing. Actually, I can...

...announce a failure and nothing. I know that I will get support from not only from my family and my colleagues, but from the world, and that is not true for a lot of people. That is just absolutely positively not true. For a lot of people, failure is far more risky. It was more risky for me early in my career. It would be riskier for me if my parents hadn't had financial resources. Like I was born with the world's greatest safety net under me, and you can fail much more often if you have a safety net under you, and the safety net composed of money, composed of race and I think what you want to do as a leader is not remove the safety net from the people who haven't but give everyone a safety net. Yeah, I do think that it's one of those things where there can be very subtle differences is and the way in how well constructed the safety it net is under various team members. And some of it is related to the longstanding social systems that you describe. But in organizations there's also there are the favorite children inside of an organization too, but there are the people who get chance after chance after chance, and some of that in Silicon Valley there's a tendency to allow engineering to fail endlessly and to be really mad at the marketers when they screw up. Yes, and there's a real problem there because one there's a fairness problem, but to maybe more importantly, is you're expecting groundbreaking results from everybody. Usually, like if you're trying to build a high performing organization, you're expecting people to do really amazing things, which means that that safety that needs to be strong for everyone. And I think when you combine those two things, when when you start to think about intersectionality, that's where you really get like deeply unfair situations being created for people safe to fail for everyone, and part of that means acknowledging that it is not as safe for some people to fail as it is for others, and you've got to figure out how to fix it. Kim It's so interesting. You know. I know we've talked about this idea of fear of failure and you and I have different perspectives on that and I hi heard degree fear of failure and sensitivity around criticism, which is one of the reasons why I teach radical candor and also born from some of my own personal history. I think it's really interesting not only underrepresented folks with regard to getting a lot of feedback, or bias masquerading as feedback, as you like to talk about, but also the power differential you talked about sort of earlier in your career. I was recently doing a session with individual contributors and what I was really struck by we do a poll often. What's the hardest part for you about giving criticism? What's the hardest part for you about receiving criticism? And what I found so interesting with this group of individual contribute ars was, by a vast majority, the hardest part of giving criticism was they didn't want to hurt people's feelings. Other choices are I don't feel like I have the right words, or I don't is it really worth it? But number one was about hurting people's feelings and their biggest fear about receiving criticism was I feel like it's about me personally, and that's part of why our feedback is focused on people's behavior, on their work product, taking it out of personality. But I think it's very interesting this kind of nexus of not wanting to hurt people's feelings and feeling like the feedback you're getting is taking away from almost your personhood and if you did a bad job on this or that project, going back to fear of failure, rather than seeing this as a learning moment, feeling like this is an indictment of your ability to succeed, and so I'm just curious how that lands for you. Yeah, it's really important, I think what you're saying, and I would also add to it that sometimes it doesn't just feel personal. You actually are getting more personally biased kind of prejudice or bullying, non feedback. You're getting sort of obnoxious aggression and I think, for example, as a straight woman. I probably got less of that kind of biased feedback than you did in my career, I think also my position at Google gave me a great deal of authority because I had a big team working for me, and so I had some authority. I hate the word power, but I had some power and I think that was a gigantic insulator from results, I mean from failure that created. It created both stronger safety net but also a risk that people wouldn't give me feedback. So I had both fog and a safety as a leader. That's what power makes it harder to learn, but it also makes the cost of failure lower, and so I think that you're saying something that's really important. And even though I just wrote a book just work...

...about this whole thing. You kind of learned the same thing over and over and again in different ways, and this is one of the way to cycle learning cycle. Yes, I think I didn't understand, even when I finished writing just work, the extent to which being in a situation where it is safe for you to fail allows you to take risks that you get rewards for, and that's kind of the privilege compounds part of this. Yeah, I was just gonna say connecting this back to burnout, is like how we got here, is that certain people wind up receiving more than their fair share of feedback and inappropriate feedback, biased feedback correct. So both like too much actual feedback beyond the point where it's helpful and actually like always unhelpful, biased or prejudice feedback or input from somebody else. And when I talked to team members, when I've made this mistake in the past, the thing that people described to me being the sort of target of like an excessive amount of feedback, fair and unfair, combined like what it described to me as being exhausted, which is that first bullet point in the list of three characteristics of burnout. It is emotionally and then physically exhausting to be bombarded by feedback. Yeah, that's why you want to leave three unimportant things UN said every day so that people can keep learning from the important feedback that they could benefit from. I think the negativity bias really ties in here too, which is that at least I'll speak for myself, but I will be going over the negative things that happened where I feel like I didn't explain something as accinctly as I has wanted to or I said this, I should have said that, and sort of that replay in your head. When I think about quiet quitting, at least for me, the way that I've really interpreted it, is I tend to always give more than to my job, but the time when I'm not working, I have age and see over what am I doing with my time, with my mental space. I often think about the time about ten years ago I would go on these beach walks with my beloved dog, Griz, and rather than enjoying my dog and the beach and the sunset, I am literally in my head replaying an email that I received that I was very upset about, and then I would write the email response back in my head and feel very gratified and fortified by this email response, and I've missed the entire walk. And so I think there's something quite powerful. For me, it's less about quiet quitting and it's more about having the practices when you're not at work to really fulfill and nourish yourself and not spend so much time thinking about what you should have said or what they should have said, and that's easier said than done. That's been a real practice for me. But I think when you go back to energy depletion, how much energy are we depleting when we're not at work thinking about these conversations or what we should have quote, said or done? Yeah, totally important and I think another aspect of that is also part of our ability to receive feedback and learn from it. This is the learn so I'm going to learn. Learn is being able to reject feedback that's not legitimate. So, for example, I told the story about the boss who bought me the super tight jeans and telling me I needed to be more fashioned forward at work. In a way that was really telling me I needed to be a little sexier at work. So that was not legitimate feedback and it's easy to see that at the time. But I was talking to my college roommate recently and she said when you got that feedback, you tried to take it on board. You tried to say, well, it's true, you know I'm not very fashionable and I'm grateful to him for helping and it took me a while to reject the feedback. So I think the faster we can be about distinguishing between sort of legitimate feedback that's going to help us move forward and bias, prejudice and bullying, the better we will be able to keep to be open to learning and unless we're likely to burn out. Because the other thing I would suggest for people, and this might be something in the key next steps, but make a list of the people in your career and then your life who, after you talk to them, you just you feel worn out. So and so whears me out, and figure out what you're gonna do about that, because if you're hanging out with people too often, either in your personal life or at work, who just wear you out, that's gonna do exactly what amy was describing. It's you're going to take that home with you, you're going to take that to the beach with you and you're not going to enjoy your life and then you're going to burn out and then you're not going to be able to learn. It's like a vicious cycle. And if you can figure out what you're gonna do about those relationships in your life, that where you out. I love that, Kim. I actually thought you were going to go in the other direction, which I would also have, which is I love that you had that friend or sort of thought partner or ally. Who would say that is not effective feedback...

...for you, Kim, you know so getting that so also, who are the people that are giving you a reality check on the other side? I think it's helpful. So, Kim, I want to move us on to some practical things that people can do to advance this culture of learning, both individually and organizationally. In the book you write about the importance of making activity and workflows visible. We actually discussed this a bit in our implementation episode as well. You describe, it's on page to sixteen of the second edition of the book, the Scheduling System Combine, the combined system which was developed by an industrial engineer at Toyota. Kim, can you describe kind of it? It's simplest what combine is and actually why it matters. Basically, the idea of a combined system is that the earlier you can learn that there's something wrong, the better. So if you imagine it as making a physical let's imagine making a car. So let's say that there's a part to the car. I don't know anything about cars, the CARBURETOR that you're putting into the car, do you? We still have carburetors. So you're putting a carburetor into the car and the CARBURETOR has a flaw. If you notice the flaw in the carburetor before you put it into the car, it's way cheaper and easier to fix it. You just pull that carburetor off the line and you put one that's not broken on the line. Same idea in any kind of workflow. The sooner that we can learn that something we're doing is wrong and the earlier we can fix it and the cheaper it is to fix it. And so that's the idea of a combined system. If our goal is to offer a twenty four hour turnaround time to all of the people who are writing us with questions, and we have a combined system on the wall, or maybe it's a virtual environment now and a dashboard on our computer, but when we glance at it we see, oh, we're at thirty six hours. We need to go fix that right away before it gets to seventy two hours, and then it's way harder to fix it. So that's the idea is learn early and often make new mistakes and making them visible. Jason, for the radical candor team, you've introduced a bunch of different digital tools to help us track our progress. I'm curious where are you now on some of the most effective ways to make this kind of learning visible so that you can nip things in the bud sooner. Yeah, I mean, I think the problem that we've run into is because we're distributed team. Are Entirely distributed. Digital is really one of the only options that we have. The problem with most digital tools is like, if you don't use it, it doesn't do you any good, and so I think there are other ways, like combined light ways that that we do work. So our sales and operations team we collaborate using a tool called Gmail us, and basically that's a combound system that lives inside your Gmail inbox that allows you to label things and sort of like in progress or done or needs information, same thing that you do in a combound system, and it does that collaboratively so that, you know, I can pick up the pieces if nora goes out on vacation or has to go out sick or something like that, me or somebody else on the team can pick things up. That has worked really well because it sort of lives in the same place where the rest of the work is happening. Almost all the other digital tools do exactly what Kim said, but the most important factor in picking one of them is that you actually use it. Yeah, and it needs to live in an application that you go to on a daily basis, like in the physical world. I would put it next to the right like, as the children's book says, everybody poops, and so the Kumban board was right by the bathrooms and so you could not ignore it and it was it was very visible to everyone in a place that everyone went. Well, it's such a great point about how we adapt some of the thinking to the virtual or hybrid world, because, Kim, the other thing you talked about in the book was quote, walking around out and you tell this great story about Dick Costello from twitter. He passed two people there complaining about dirty dishes that were piled up in a kitchen during this walk around time, which is a way to see what's going on in the organization, and he stopped and looked around, you say. He asked, do you think this would be a better place for the dishes? He was pointing to an equally convenient but not as visible spot to the folks that were complaining, and they nodded yes and to their amazement, Dick Hostile actually started moving the dirty dishing there and acting. He was learning and acting. And so you say how he stopped their complaining. They stopped complaining. They actually started helping, and so I love that story and I'm just so curious what you and Jason Think about, like how can leaders, and not just leaders, everyone, how can we bring learning walking around into this virtual or hybrid environment? I mean early on when I was at Google, I was managing a team in thirteen different countries and so I couldn't walk around and the way that I managed it then I think applies... so it was kind of a hybrid environment, will say, although we didn't call it that at the time, but what I did was I would have random conversations. I would schedule random conversations with everyone on the team, fifteen minute conversations. Team in the early days, when I first got there was about a hundred people distributed globally, and so I would just have these fifteen minute random conversations. Say this is a Chit Chat. It's a little awkward that we have to schedule it, but anyway, I want to hear what's on your mind. Anything's fair game. Strategy to furniture. What do we need to change? And that, I think, was effective in that people would tell me stuff. And then it was crucial that, as a leader, you got to make your learning visible and tangible to people. So I had to do something or ask someone to do something. I had to make something happen. I didn't always do it myself, and that was really important. There's a great system called joyous that something similar. It allows people to file complaints about the stuff in their work that is bugging them, that is irritating them, and then there are people who are signed to address those issues, either by fixing the problem that's been raised or by explaining to the person why the problem can't be fixed. And it's called joyous because it makes work more joyous when you don't have to deal with the same old ship day after day after day. So that's those are a couple of thoughts that I have. All right, well, we have now gone through all seven steps of the get shit done wheel. Are we done with the getchet done wheel, or do we just keep going and going, to keep learning, going what learning means? As soon as you have learned something, you need to clarify, make sure you are taken the right then you need to have a mate, I know, but it's fun. It's sometimes it can feel like you're hamstraw on a wheel, but when there is something that actually when there's a product or a service or some or a book that comes out of the other end of this process, then it's very satisfying. That's awesome. And just Kim, I don't know if you even remember what story it was, but there was some story you're going to share and do you even remember what it is? Yes, I do, okay, I do. Good. I wrote this book. Just work, get ship done fast and fair. That was the title and, believe me, we went around on that hamster wheel many times to come up with that. Thailand, I kind of loved the title. However, we have learned that just work just didn't work as a title, and this is very frustrating because the books have been printed, they're out there in the world. But I was lucky. I was talking to the publisher and to my editor and to the marketing person and a paperback is coming out and we have the opportunity to rename the book and so the current favorite. I want to get some feedback. So I've learned that it didn't work. I have some more ideas and I want to clarify whether those ideas are any good and we can debate about it to the extent that people have appetite for taking this trip with me. So the current favorite is my husband hates it, so it probably won't stick. But I don't want to prejudice you, though. Is Radical respect, how to confront bias, to put joy back into teamwork, M and you just build on the joy and the radical so you're on the same respect and you know collaboration or teamwork. Now I can tell Jason doesn't like it anymore than my husband, but that's the current favorite. We're going to run around this wheel a few times. I actually like the radical respect part. I think it's the sub title. Yeah, that didn't grab me, but I think there's something clear about that. To me, that just work was a little too clever, whereas radical respects more clear. Is there not a radical respect already out there? Well, there was a just work out there, but I agree. I really love the clarity. I also, of course, love the assonance. Am using that the RS and the sort of radical there's a clarity even and not just the meaning of the words, but actually the sound of the words. So I think that's exciting. Kim, I want to make sure, if we're giving an email address for people to get their feedback, that it's a one that will be at radical candor dot com. Feedback on radical respect is the title, and Kim, can you repeat this subtitle again? The subtitle is radical respect, how to disrupt bias and put the joy back into teamwork. What if we just go to disrupt bias and put like we don't need the how to? Yeah, see there, it's good. All Right, the whale is working all right, onward with the wheel. Okay, I feel like I could just go round and round on that wheel. We would have a lot of fun. But we gotta move on to our radical candor...

...checklist. These are tips you can use to start putting radical candor into practice. Kim, let's get started with you, all right, sometimes you just have to admit you have an ugly baby. I actually think that tip is too hard, so I'm going to change that tip too. Sometimes you just got to say, whoops a daisy. Don't let the pressure to be consistent to keep you from acknowledging when things could have gone better. If you have to change something, you need to be able to explain clearly and convincingly why things have changed. This often means revisiting the listen clarified debate and decides steps of the get ship done wheel. TIP number two make it safe for everyone to fail and create a culture that fosters a positive relationship between learning from failure, as well as success and self development. You can only accomplish this if you've built a trusting relationship with each person reporting to you, with folks that are working with you wherever you are in an organization, and there can only be real trust when people feel free at work and everyone has a safety net. TIP number three show up for yourself. As Kim said earlier, you are a very important component. If you're a leader, you're a very important component, and not only to protect yourself from burnout, but also protect your team. So make sure that you're putting things you need to do for yourself on your calendar just as you would an important meeting or something you do for a member of your team. Don't brush those things off. Make sure you're actually holding yourself accountable to doing them. I don't let people schedule over them anymore. Than you would schedule over a meeting with your boss. TIP number four, make workflows and learning visible, using tools like combined system or sort of walking around, whether you do that virtually or physically the office. If you're virtual, you can check in using a collaboration tool called joyous. And finally, tip number five, quantify the benefits of what you've learned. This allows you to celebrate failure along with success, and that De stigmatizes failure. For more tips, you can go to radical candor dot com slash resources download our learning guides for practicing radical candor. You can learn more about the learning process we just discussed in chapters four and five of radical candor. Show notes for this episode are located at radical candor dot com slash podcast. If you like what you hear, please go ahead rate and review us on Apple podcasts. Go ahead order the hardcover of just work. This might become a collector's edition, so even more reason to go ahead and get Kim's latest book, just work, which is available everywhere books are sold. Again, if you've got any guidance for Kim on the new proposed tight all that's hello at just work together dot com. Finally, we've still got radical candor swag for you radical candor dot com. Click the shop link. Coffee mugs, sweaters, sweatshirts, stickers, more and by for now. Take care, everybody, everybody, thanks for joining us. Our podcast features radical candor co founders Kim Scott and Jason Rose. Off is produced by our director of content, Brandy Neal, and hosted by me, Amy Sandler. Music is by cliff Goldmacker. Go ahead and follow us on twitter at candor and find US online at radical candor dot com.

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