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Radical Candor
Radical Candor

Episode 68 · 2 months ago

Radical Candor S4, Ep. 9: How to Be a Thought Partner Instead of a Micro or Absentee Manager

ABOUT THIS EPISODE

On this episode of the Radical Candor podcast, Amy and Jason discuss managers who have low, almost non-existent involvement in their team’s work, aka absentee managers; those with extremely (maybe excruciatingly) close involvement, aka micromanagers; and thought partners — the ones who empower, enable and encourage their teams to do the best work of their lives. While a lot of us have tendencies to act in absentee or micromanager mode, it’s hard for us to want to look at ourselves that way. 

Listen to this episode if you want to understand how to be a true thought partner.

Radical Candor Podcast Episode At a Glance

One of the best ways to keep the people on your team engaged is by actively partnering with them.

To help you figure out when you’re being a good partner rather than slipping into micromanagement or absentee management, Kim developed a simple chart to help you better partner with the people who report to you.

Radical Candor Podcast Checklist

  1. In order to be a true thought partner with each of your employees you need to be involved, listen with the intent to understand versus respond and ask relevant questions.
  2. Share what you know and ask questions when you don’t. Remember, a true thought partner thinks of themselves as someone who is alongside their employees listening, advising and helping.
  3. What matters is how much your direct reports think of you as a thought partner. Actively solicit feedback from the people who work for you to make sure you are indeed practicing thought partnership versus micro or absentee management.  

Radical Candor Podcast Resources

Hello everybody, welcome to the radical candor podcast. I'm Jason Rose Off, CEO and Co founder of radical candor. Hello everybody, I'm Amie Sandler, your host for the radical candor podcast. As you can tell, Kim is not in our current everybody group of this recording. We're taking a little break from the get ship done wheel that we've been talking about with Kim while she is out on vacation. If you are a frequent listener, you'll know that Kim likes to call her vacation time an opportunity to clear the craft. So hopefully she's out there clearing the craft and we'll get back to our next episode talking about step four in the GSD wheel, which is decide. But in the meantime you've got Jason and I today talking about how to be a thought partner. I'm excited about this, Jason. How about you? Yeah, cool. So we call managers who have low, let's say, almost non existent, involvement in their team's work. They're an absentee manager mode. They're practicing absentee management. On the other hand, there are folks who have extremely, perhaps excruciatingly close involvement, and those folks are micro managing. In between those two ends of the spectrum are the thought partners or practicing thought partnership managers who are empowering, enabling and encouraging their teams to do great work, maybe even the best work of their lives. So, Jason, help us understand. How can you, as a manager, determine where you fall on this spectrum so you can learn how to move away from being a micro manager or absentee manager? Yeah, starting with the way that I think about it, it's like I think it is good to think of it as a spectrum. is also good to think of it less as sort of a personality trait, as you're saying. It's more of like maybe you're practicing Ab some team manager or management, practicing micro management. Yeah, because I definitely think that there are times when I'm on different parts of the spectrum, even though I had always aspired to be a thought partner. So when I'm an absent team manager, when in absentee management mode, I think one of the key signs are like I'm surprised, like I feel like I'm getting surprised a lot by things that are happening on the team are not happening on the team. That's probably like the most obvious sign to me. Or I feel like I haven't connected with people for a long time or something like that, and sometimes it's like both of those things are not actually signs that I'm in a practicing absentee management but there are good signals for me to listen to and pay attention to. On the other end of the spectrum, I feel like the sign that I am in micro management mode is that is when I feel like I'm making a...

...decision or doing something that I would expect someone else on the team to do. And the reason why I freezed it that way is because sometimes it feels like, oh, I should just do it anyway because that's going to be helpful to the team or it's not going to get done if I don't do it. But at the same time that lets me know that I'm pushing to the other end of the spectrum and maybe doing some things that I shouldn't be doing or getting involved in a way that I shouldn't be getting involved. That's for me, like those are the signs that I look for. Yeah, that's really helpful and I think what I'll do to broaden it out is that different people will probably have different signs. So just and we'll get into what sort of good looks like, like what thought partnership looks like, but just to give a high level view absentee managers or absent team management, if we'll try to get away from putting people's in boxes looking more at behavior. So in general, when we when we're talking about absent team management, we're talking about folks who aren't giving guidance there aren't open to receiving feedback and they're really almost lacking curiosity about what their employees are doing. And maybe they might not even want to know. They might not want to know what's happening, and so they're unaware of problems. And so if you want to have a little checklist, Jason managed mentioned a few of these, but here are a few signs to look forward to see. I might be an absentee manager mode, even though I might not want to be. I assume if you're listening to this podcast you share with us a desire to be a thought partner. So I think this can be helpful just to kind of check in with yourself. First of all, once I might be you missed a one on one with one of your reports. For more than two weeks. Jason, do you think two weeks is a good amount of time in general, or how would you have folks think about the amount of time? There? What I would say is you've missed two check INS with your key member, as opposed to like setting the time frame, because sometimes you're not checking in every week and sometimes you're checking in more than once a week, but if you're missing several of them, that's a sign that you might be shifting toward absenc ee management mode. Yeah, Great. So I think sometimes folks have this belief like you just hire great people and let them run free and let them do their thing, and Jim has often said, you know, it's like in a marriage it well, just marry the right person and then you never have to talk to them again, you know. Or imagine having a football team and you just get a bunch of great people from a draft and then just don't coach them. They're not going to do their best. So there might be some belief that, oh, I've got great people, I've done my job. Jason, you mentioned the idea of surprises, like if you're actually surprised to learn about things, and these can be good things. But also bad things that are happening in your organization or team. How do you learn about surprises, like is it just an email shows up for you or how? How have you been surprised when you've been in this mode? Yeah, I'll say that. Like our business is a client services business and sometimes we'll get an email from a client that says, oh, like this thing happened and it was so great, or this thing happened and we wish it was different,...

...and I'm like, why did those things happen? Those are moments where it's helpful for me to dig in and try to understand. Sometimes it's because I miss something that I should have caught and that's sort of a sign of absentee management mode. And sometimes it's just like hey, there's a lot of stuff happening. I'm not going to be aware of everything. But the way that I think about that is there's always an opportunity to say like hey, you know, am my one on ones. Should I be asking different questions? Like should I you know what I'm saying? Is there a way for me to draw out some of this stuff that I'm missing, good or bad, you know, before hearing about from a client or reading an email about it or whatever it is. Yeah, and it's interesting you mentioned that. Sometimes it could just be a function of time and resources and to your point, maybe about prioritizing which things are okay to be surprised about which things are not okay to be surprised about. Yeah, I think the important thing is if you to treat these as sort of signals, and there's a lot of noise in our lives, this is an important signal. If you find yourself being surprised, you should get curious about why that's happening. I love it, so get curious if you're surprised. Another one, and this might be in larger organizations. Were obviously a very small team, but when team members are just kind of either doing the same projects they're not sure what other people are doing, it's almost like the left hand doesn't know what the right hand is doing. Have you experienced that as a manager? Have you noticed that where it's like the same people people working on the same project or they just don't know that other people are working on certain projects? I've definitely experienced it in my career, but not very much in the past four or five years, since there's so much to do and not enough people to do at radical. We need we need more hands, but we wish we had a left hand in the ration. Yeah, exactly. But there was an example a couple of companies ago where two teams wound up working on a very similar feature for a software product that I was working on. But essentially, like they were ostensibly solving different problems but like when you dog just underneath the surface, you realize like hey, they're solving the same problem, which is like how do users visualize the data that is stored inside the system that we're selling them? One was like a reporting project, the other one was a searching or filtering project, and somehow we like saw them as different things and really like it was my fault for not connecting the dots and saying like Hey, these are actually the same. This is the same thing, like searching and filtering is a kind of reporting and we're like building two types of infrastructure for this. We caught it before we shipped it and we were able to put it out, but that definitely was like a a week up call for me that I needed to be like digging a little deeper with the projects that were going on and making sure that I was connecting dots for people. So helpful and I think sometimes when we have those mistakes it helps us be even more careful the next go around. So always something to learn. And then, I think the final one I'll mention on how do I know if I'm tending towards...

Absent Team Management? You might have a tendency to really focus more on managing upwards rather than for your direct reports and you're focused on getting those high visibility projects or things that are going to amplify your own career success rather than putting that time in your team success. And I've certainly observed this firsthand, where I've seen a sense of your not getting your manager's full attention because they're focusing more on managing upwards, which I think on a podcast we did talk about the idea of being a ship umbrella, which can be helpful, but that's in service of protecting your team. So, Jason, what do people need to be aware of if you're finding time more focused on your own career promotion managing upwards? Yeah, I think here's the hard part about this, which is, like, you have a right to manage your own career, you have a right to be ambitious and want to grow, and what I would say is that it has to be imbalance, because at some point you're going to run into the problem where if you constantly, let's say you're making progress, but the teams behind you feel like they're left without guidance or clarity or development for themselves, it's going to be very hard for you to lead because you're going to get a reputation as someone who's only looking out for themselves. And also, like, ultimately, whether it is sort of an understanding that being a thought partner, not behaving like a thought partner, not behaving like an absent team manager, whether you believe that that is the right thing to do from a philosophical perspective, like there's also the enlightened self interest perspective of like, the more you behave like this, the harder it is for you to lead, like you're creating limitation on your own growth by not focusing on balancing both the sort of managing up, focusing our own growth and development and leading the people who are working with you. It's a balancing act, and so we talked about the perils of absentee management or how to identify those behaviors in your own actions. On the other side, when we talk about micromanagement or when you're micromanaging, it's this idea you're getting in the weeds with everything your employees are doing. We tend to not have a problem expressing our opinions, but we're not so skilled at listening to other folks and often creating problems as we go, stirring up a lot of mass because we're just getting our hands into the thick of things. And I'm using the word are here because this is a problem I tend to make, and you see things only from your own perspective. There's only this one way to do it and it tends to be the way that I do it, and as a result, you can get really lost in small details rather than seeing the big picture and asking your employees to do a lot of busy work, almost updating you on on their every move. And I think the real issue is that you're trying to solve problems that you really don't have firsthand knowledge. So you know, we have these tendencies. Maybe we tend more towards absent team management or micromanaging,...

...and I think when it comes to micromanaging, just a couple of things to be careful about or to be aware of. There's some version of if you want it done right, you've got to do it yourself, and I can certainly relate to that. There's also this belief that your team is going to fail if you're not heavily involved in their work, and so in some way to me that feels a little bit like ruinous empathy, of like you care so much you don't want them to fail. You probably don't want it's also your team, and yet you're actually not empowering them, you're not trusting them, and I think that's a really big one, this idea you don't really trust fully your team to get the work done. So we'll talk about that in a moment. I'd say the other two things to consider is this idea you're just constantly shifting priorities because you're so involved in the day to day you're losing sight of the more longer term strategic priorities. So it's like today you focus on this and now we're so your team really feels like they're being pulled in a lot of different directions and it's almost like they're making all of these updates or slides or decks or reports so that you know what they're doing, but they're spending more time updating you than actually doing the work. Jason, do you feel like this is a thorough list? Is there anything that we haven't mentioned here of signs of micromanagement? I think this is a pretty complete list. I guess like if I was going to simplify this list, I would say who's making the decisions and who's doing the work? If you are making most of the decisions and doing a lot of the work and you have a team, you are making a mistake, like the whole point of having a team is to create leverage, right, to get more from that group than you could accomplish individually. I do think that in some cases, like there are real challenges here that cause people to shift towards micromanagement, like they hire the wrong person and then I feel like they have to do the work of that person, etcetera. But for a lot of people it is vitual and that's because they have been promote did from being an individual contributor in the area that they're now the manager, and so they literally do know how to do the work. It's not like just they think they know better. If they were actually very successful at this thing, but they're losing sight of the shift in responsibility to management. And management is about getting is levering your team. You basically creating an environment which your team can do more collectively than they could ever do individually. I think like there's a failure of imagination of a part of micro managers. They can't imagine their team being more successful than they were at the tasks that they're being assigned to do, and that it's really unfortunate because no one likes being micro managed and so no one's like going to thank you for this. Number one, so you're going to create tense relationships with your team and, number two, you're probably gonna be slower than you would otherwise be. So, in the name of efficiency, you make your you slow your team way down, reporting on everything that they're doing or changing...

...priorities or whatever else, because you're like, I could do this faster, I could do this better. It's like paradoxical. As a coach, when I talk to people who are shifting into micromanagement, I'm often asking them what happens tomorrow? This is the question that micro managers like. The answer is very unappealing even to micro managers, like what happens tomorrow? Who's going to do that thing tomorrow? What about a week from now? Are you still going to be doing this task? A week for now, a month from now, six months from now, a year from now? Are you still the person doing this? And that's usually very unsatisfying to say like yeah, well, I don't see a way out of it. Well, I was like, well, do we need to work? I'm finding way out of it, because that's like ann sustaining. I'm just seeing this visual of just like grasping onto range for dear life, and it's like, well, it'll somehow seem more appealing in a week, in a month, but no. So I think asking that question and really being clear, like what's going to be different about this in a week or a month or six months, is so valuable. Yes, and then like really pointedly, like what's the point of having a team if you can't rely on them to do this stuff, where you can't coach them into being able to do this stuff, like why have you hired so many people? You're wasting a lot of money. If it's really the case that one person should be doing all of this, then you have however many people on your team, too many people. So I'm so curious, especially when you have these coaching conversations, because one of the things that's come up and what I hear a lot is like I can't necessarily trust my team to get the job done, and so I'm just curious what have been those levers of especially someone successful individual contributor now a manager, how can they start to develop some of that trust that it's safe to actually let go of the range? Yeah, so first of all, I approached this in most cases as like, let's do an experiment, let's pick a thing where you're going to explicitly take a different approach and we're going to see how it goes. And for a lot of people they can let go of control for a very specific period of time against the very specific set of tasks. And then at the end of that we do like an actual retrospective to say, like what was good about that, what was not good about that, meaning like where would you have intervened and made it better? Where did the team surprise you and do a better job that you thought they were going to do? And then we use those answers as a way to think about how to give feedback and how to coach and develop the team right to say like, okay, well, can you teach? Like so maybe the presentation that they prepared for the client like it was missing some information. It could have gone a little bit better. The clients still wound up saying Yes to the project we were proposing, but I feel like we could have gotten them to say yes to work doing another piece of the project that they delayed until next time. Okay, Great. So how are we going to coach and develop the people on your team to be aware of that opportunity to integrate that to...

...the next time. So that's the approach that I take. It is like basically, I say we're going to collect some data, we're gonna do experim we're gonna collect some data and then we're gonna make a plan based on that data that we collect to see how we cannot get some leverage from having the team that if there's a solution other than you jumping in and doing it yourself. And I'm open to the possibility that it would have been better for them to do it themselves, because maybe there's something really wrong on the team right maybe they really can't delegate. So they leave that door open until we get to that retrospective but I would say of the time it goes much better than they expected and they feel a little bit silly or not having tried it sooner. Well, I love that example and it really illustrates what thought partnership looks like. This idea of listening and asking why are you doing this, what's happening, and then you propose an experiment, so kind of lowering the stakes, minimizing the potential risk, having a set amount of time, and what I hear you saying is that you're getting the relevant details about these different inputs, of what happened and what they put in and what they got back out. And I would describe thought Partners as folks that lead collaborative goal setting. So you worked with your coaching partner to create that specifical you listen to the problems they brought in, you predicted the problems like you might have anticipated at what could happen when you relinquish control, and then you brainstorm solutions. So collaborative goal setting, listening to problems, predicting problems, brainstorming solutions and also sharing your own experience and then asking questions when you might not have experience in that way. Does that feel about what you've described? Absolutely, I think. Concretely, the way that it should feel is like hey, we're gonna do this together and we're gonna take a really serious look at the results. Like this isn't me saying you have to change your approach to management. This isn't me saying that you're doing the wrong thing. This is me saying let's try another way and see what happens. I love it. I love that experiment mindset and seeing what happens and then just to acknowledge what you said, which I thought was powerful. They were often surprised at Oh, that wasn't as bad as I thought. It actually worked out better, and it's so interesting. It's very similar. Even when we talk about practicing giving criticism, we get so afraid of these things out of our comfort zone, whether it's giving criticism, whether it's letting go of the reins, if we have a hard time letting go of control, that just those little tasks can start to build confidence in having someone to support US along the way, like Jason You've done in your coaching is so helpful. I want to bring in this idea just to relate it back to radical candor as well. We talk about radically candid feedback. It's measured at the listener's ear and not the speaker's mouth, right. So whether I'm being radically candid depends on who's hearing me, what's our relationship, etcetera, and I think when we think about micromanagement versus absentee management, versus thought partnership, it's very similar. So this idea that what it looks like for one person might be very different. I wrote it a blog post of few months ago about how I needed to get in shape and...

I got this, uh, this wearable ring. I was going to get a puppy, but I thought I wasn't going to be able to have the time to do that and so I got this wearable ring to track my activity and I was getting these daily kind of pings from my ring about my activity and my sleep levels and for me that was super helpful. It was thought partnership, but I was with some friends that weekend and a friend of mine who's like a marathon runner said that is the most annoying thing ever. Like that person is highly disciplined and would not want those sort of frequent pings, and so I think it's important to know with the people that we coach, the people that we manage, what thought thought partnership looks like for them. Jason, what do you think of is that a good analogy of getting little notifications on your ring of like what coaching and thought partnership feels like for people? Yeah, I would say that there are some path there are some like useful patterns to be aware of here, which is, the more experience start ready someone is to take on a particular task or a project, the more likely frequent check ins, pings request for information are going to seem annoying. The less experience or prepared for a project someone is, the more helpful frequent check INS and pings, requests for information are going to seem. And this is the place where I feel like I have made many mistakes over the course of my career. Is it does not freak me out to be given a task that is abstract, that I probably don't know exactly how to do. That's like an exciting challenge for me. I'm like, Oh, I'm going to learn a bunch of stuff. That's gonna be so interesting. And as a result, when I started, when I became a manager, I thought like everybody must feel that way, and so of course I can just hand out tasks with no knowledge of how well people understand the thing that I'm asking them to do and everything will be fine. And I feel like over the last twenty years I've been learned the lesson ten times. Probably. That doesn't work and you really do need to get to know what people not only what they're good at, but what they're comfortable with doing on their own. And I think this is what causes a lot of whiplash for both for managers and for team members, is when you're not clear on that, it's easy to get it wrong in one direction or the other and it feels like you're constantly whip siging. So you're like, well, I checked in frequently on this project and that went really well and they thought it was super helpful, and then I did the same exact thing and the next project and I thought it was they were so annoyed with me and I was being obnoxious and like I didn't change anything about my management style. So why is the reaction so different? And this is where your point about measured at the listeners ear it becomes so important because it's not the same thing. Not every task that you assigned somebody or project that you give somebody is the same level of ask and so taking some time to get clear like hey, what kind of support do you need? How can I be most helpful, and then, course, correcting as you go is really important because even over the course of a project, let's say a couple of months, something that was helpful at the beginning in...

...terms of diving into the details or helping out with something, after someone's had a couple of months under their belt, they might feel like, Oh, I've got this under control now, I don't need you to dive in and ask me for an update on that particular thing anymore. I feel like I can communicate that to you. That is so helpful and I think, especially now, when we have to be really intentional about when we're meeting with people and checking in, just knowing that what was relevant, what was helpful three months ago, might actually not be helpful today and vice versa. And based on I've actually mastered that skill more, I feel far more confident and maybe I need help on something that I didn't need help on three or four months ago. So I think just really amplifying what you're saying about the frequency of the check INS, and that what help looks like for you in this moment and not sort of making assumptions based on what works either for you as the manager or what worked for them, say, six months ago in a different project. So really, really helpful and I thought it might be interesting for our listeners to model some of the ways in which I see you as a thought partner for me, Jason, and just to get an example of the kind of conversations that we have. If you're up for that, sure awesome. So I was in a recent workshop, leading a workshop and a question came up I know I could have answered better, and the person who was asking the question was talking about someone who was higher than them in the organization. It wasn't their boss, but let's say like a peer of their boss, and so it wasn't a direct reporting relationship, but there was some power differential there and the challenge this person was describing was that they felt like the work this person was doing. He didn't say it sucked, but I think that was where he wanted to go. It was not. I it's not meeting expectations and there's you know. It's in an organization very high level of expectations and so you would expect someone that's higher than you, you know, would have that sort of level of excellence. And so they noted that they had had several versations with them about the deliverables and nothing had changed, and so they really weren't sure what to do next given this power structure. So, rather than going into what I did, so I'm not going to bias you on that, just given that circumstance, how would you have coached this person to follow up, given that you've got someone who's higher up than new but not your boss, who's just not delivering the work that's expected. You feel like you've spoken with them about it is nothing's changing. Yeah, so I would start by trying to get real specific about those conversations to make sure that we have actually ticked the box of like Hey, I've had a direct conversation with this person and nothing is changing. Because of that power dynamic, I would be nervous to have that conversation and I would go into a discussion there. Many times in my career we have had discussions exactly like this and I would go into that discussion feeling like, okay, I need to like find a politic way of having this discussion that doesn't like totally piss this person...

...off, but gets it across, and then I would leave the discussion and I would be like I don't think I did a very good job. I think I did a very good job being clear. So that would be like thing number one is like let's talk about those specifics, like what have you said? When have you talked to this person? Like let's break that down, and that's helpful for two reasons from my perspective. One reason is doing some self reflection there about what I've actually done is helpful. It's like a developmental opportunity and that's a learning opportunity for for me. It's also really helpful for the whatever the next step is going to be, right, because if you're like I need to do more than this, having a clear picture of what you've already done is going to be really useful and figuring out what the next step is. So that's probably where it started, like let's talk about those conversations. How did they go? What did you say? What do you feel like the response was, and what did you see happen afterwards? I think that's where I would start. That's so helpful. And then let's say they actually it sounded like they were clear, they were specific. This person is just some intransigent do you have an issue with this person then going to their manager and saying, look, I've tried to have these different conversations, I just don't know what to do next in terms of our you know, our recommendations of talking to people, not about people, but at what point is it appropriate to build to your manager in a situation like this? I mean, I think in my experience that guidance. What that really means is like make an effort to talk to the person. Doesn't mean you can never talk to your manager. Like most of the managers that I have worked for in my recent professional history, I would have a conversation like this about this with them. I would say, Hey, I would be looking for help for me in that conversation. I'd say, Hey, here's what I've tried, like I feel like somehow I'm not getting this point across. I'd love to get your help or guidance, coaching, something to help me figure out how to navigate this conversation with this person to get a different result. And so that's why that sort of data collection step is helpful, because I would say, here are the assumptions that I had going in, here's what I tried to do, here's what I feel like the results have been. So what can I do differently in order to get a better result? I think that's entirely appropriate and useful to do, because if you do get guidance and there's something that you can try, then you don't have to like give all that context again. Let's say you try it and it fails. Well, you've already shared the context of what's been happening and so that the step of escalation becomes easier to say, like, still not getting what I need from this person. I feel like I've tried everything. Can we pull ourselves together in a room and try to figure it out? Something along those lines would be my they ask if it fails, but if it succeeds, like great, you've learned something. There's like a learning experience for you and you've hopefully helped to this person who, I'm guessing, does not want to be delivering substandard work. It's actually and I think, just to reiterate what I...

...heard you say, of just for yourself going through that data collection process. What have I said? Maybe I wasn't as clear as I could have been because of the power differential. I was afraid. Maybe I really need to actually make sure that there is that clarity. Then if I go to my manager seeking guidance, how could I have done this better? Maybe I have done it, maybe I haven't. And then the clean escalation step, especially if this person has we often will say if the two of you are peers and you have different managers, all four of you would be together, you and your manager and them and their manager. What about in a circumstance like this, where this there's that power differential, who should be in that room? Yeah, I think this is like an interesting there's like a power dynamics thing here that really the specifics matter a lot. But, like, my initial effort would be to not involve this person's manager immediately, not not go to someone more senior immediately, like to get the peer, my boss there, Pierre, and myself and this person in a room together and say my boss would be saying hey, Jason feels like he's really been struggling with this. You know, he's talking to me about I've given him some advice, like I would love to get your perspective on it see if there's a way for us to come some kind of understanding, because one of the things the escalation to like a more senior person in the organization, especially it seems like there's some deference to hierarchy in this company, could feel very much like an aggressive move. And again there's a difference between, Hey, I've had this conversation with this person and they seem open to my feedback, but I'm not seeing any movement, like the work isn't getting any better. That's a very different situation than like, Hey, I've had a conversation with this person. They've told me to take a hike and they don't care what I have to say. Like then you might be like, okay, is it really gonna be helpful to bring up here into that conversation? I don't know, there's probably a judgment call to be made there. Yeah. Well, thank you, thought partner, and for modeling that, and I hope you learned not only about what great thought partnership looks like, but also about some of the sticky, radical candor situations that we have. And I'm curious, Jason, from your perspective for me asking it as a question versus saying what I did. Does that change your answer in any way? It would it have been different if I explained how I had answered it? I wanted to hear it sort of bias free, but I'm just curious to how that landed for you. Look, this is the place where, like, thought partnership is measured at the listener's ear and not the speaker's Jo like, if it's worful for you to hear an unbiased version of this, like, I'm happy to share it with you. And I think there's a part of thought partnership which really does boil down to explaining why you think the thing that you think. I think when thought partnership shifts towards micromanagement, when you start making a lot of suggestions, when you're like, Oh, do it this way or do it that way, or like here's how I've done it in the past, I think that's a very different conversation than saying well, not knowing what you did, here's how I think about it, and then that gives me the personal...

...opportunity to say, well, I thought about this a little bit differently. This is the way that I thought about it and I tried very hard in that discussion to explain the thought behind the question or the thought behind the thinking that was going into that, so that you have a lot of information to play with and that that gives you a lot more to sort of pick up on. If you had told me what you did, we would have had a different conversation because I would have asked you questions about that. Right if you said, well, here's what I tried, I would have said, well, why did you choose to start there? What was important about that to you? What kind of response did you get that person? And so the conversation would have been different and then you might have still asked me, if you were me in that situation, like how would you have approached it? We could still have had the same discussion, but maybe in two parts. Well, I really appreciate that because as you were saying that, I had a bit of an Aha for me of getting clear on why I so appreciate you as a thought partner based on how I think, which is that I am constantly making connections and dots from what you're saying to what I did. So for me it's very helpful, as you're sharing what you're doing. I'm kind of mapping it onto what I did, what I didn't do, how I could have done it, the order in which I did it, and so for me I'm kind of doing our back and forth at the same at the same time that you're sharing it. So I'm not hearing you saying it as you should have done this and you should have done that. I'm actually getting ideas of like it's sort of a little like, did I do it there? Did I do it there? No, I did it here, he did it here, and so that's very helpful for me. But I think the broader point for the listeners is know the people that you work with well enough to know how does it land, how does it land for them? So for me that's I feel very lucky that I have someone that maps up so beautifully with how I like to learn and grow. So thank you, Jason. Yeah, my pleasure. All right. So, to break this down at a high level, we can think about having a mindset of a thought partner, a mindset of a micromanager or a mindset of an absentee manager. So a thought partnership mindset. This is someone who's alongside their employees they're listening, they're advising, they're helping. A micromanagement mindset. We're thinking that we're above our employees off to save the day. And actually, one thing we didn't mention and just important to call out. Sometimes micromanagement can be seen as a form of bullying and it's really important to note that impact. And then an absentee management mindset. We are just someone who is not there. We're not behind beside with our employees. We are leaving our employees to their own devices entirely, and we've got a chart that outlines the differences. will go ahead and put that in the show notes for you. To wrap up, let's get to our radical candor checklist. These are tips you can use to start putting radical candor into practice. First, to be a true thought partner with each of your employees. You need to actually be involved. You need to listen with the intent to or stand rather than respond,...

...and, of course, ask relevant questions. Number two, share what you know and ask questions when you don't. A true thought partner thinks of themselves as someone who is working alongside their employees to solve problems. They do that by listening, advising, helping, supporting. And tip number three. Thought Partnership is measured not in your own mind but in the minds of the people that you're working with. So how do your direct reports think of you? Do they see you as a thought partner? And so actively solicit feedback from the people who work for you and make sure that they do believe you are indeed practicing thought partnership rather than micromanagement or absentee management. For more tips, you can go to radical candor dot com slash resources to download our learning guides to practice radical candor. Show notes for this episode. Go ahead to radical candor dot com, slash podcast. Of course, if you like what you hear, go ahead rate and review us on Apple podcasts, and don't forget some order Kim's latest book, just work how to root out bias, prejudice and bullying to create a kick ass culture of inclusivity available everywhere books are sold. Thanks, Jason. So finally, radical candor store. It's still open radical candor dot com. Click the shop link to get your radical candor swag. Bye for now. 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 meal, and hosted by me Amy Sandler. Music is by cliff Goldmonger. Go ahead and follow us on twitter at candor and find US online at radical candor dot com.

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