Sounder SIGN UP FOR FREE
Radical Candor
Radical Candor

Episode 70 · 1 month ago

Radical Candor S4. Ep. 11: Get Sh*t Done Step 5 — Persuade Uncle Scrammy

ABOUT THIS EPISODE

On this episode of the Radical Candor Podcast the team explains that once a decision is made, you’ve got to get people on board, which brings us to step 5 of the Get Sh*t Done Wheel — Persuade. While getting others to accept your idea might feel like a foregone conclusion, persuasion isn’t easy, and it’s important to get it right. 

What’s more, persuasion at this stage of the GSD Wheel can feel unnecessary and make the decider resentful of people on the team who aren’t fully in agreement. Kim, Jason and Amy discuss why expecting others to implement a decision without being persuaded that it’s the right thing to do is a recipe for terrible results and why it's vital to persuade people (like your friend's Uncle Scrammy) that you've done your homework.

Radical Candor Podcast Episode At a Glance

The decider has painstakingly gone through the listenclarify, and debate steps and made a decision. Why doesn’t everyone else get why it’s obvious we should do this — or at least be willing to fall in line?

This step of the Get Shit Done Wheel — Persuade — is based on Aristotle’s framework and the team outline 4 steps for the persuader to follow to get everyone’s buy-in.

  1. Credibility: Demonstrate expertise and humility when persuading.
  2. Logic: Show your work when persuading your team.
  3. Emotion: The listener’s emotions, not the speaker’s when trying to persuade.
  4. All-hands Meetings: Bring others along. 

Radical Candor Podcast Checklist

  1. Remember, when persuading others to adopt your decision it’s important to focus on the listener’s emotions, not the speaker’s. While you might have a strong emotional connection to a decision, if you fail to take into account your listener’s emotions, too, you won’t be persuasive.
  2. To be perceived as credible you’re going to have authentically demonstrate both expertise and humility. And in order to truly demonstrate humility, you need to be flexible, curious and acknowledge the contributions of others.
  3. Show your work! Make sure you demonstrate — in a tangible way — how you came to your decision by showing your work.
  4. Hold an all-hands meeting to bring others along. Make sure your meetings include both a presentation and a Q&A. 

Radical Candor Podcast Resources

Hello everybody, and yes, everybody has a body. Welcome to the radical candor podcast. I am Kim Scott, co founder of radical candor and just work, but I'm Jason Rosa, CEO and Co founder of radical candor, and I'm Amy Sandler, your host for the radical candor podcast. On our last episode we talked about how to make decisions. However, once a decision is made, you've actually got to get people on board, and that brings us to step five of the get ship done wheel, which is persuade and persuade, persuading, persuasion. That's what we're talking about today. Kim, I know you spent a lot of time writing the book radical candor. Was it was it actually four years, four long, lonely years for learning all myself, wondering why I was doing what I was doing, but enjoying doing it, and that's why I kept doing it, because it was fun. Well, not only was it fun and enjoyable for you, despite being long and somewhat lonely, but it was worth it. I really feel like there's a lot of fantastic stuff in your book. Is it easier for me to say that than for you to say that? Do you think. I think it's awesome. I have no trouble saying that radical candor is a great book and everyone should buy several copies and read it often. Okay, so we have two similar opinions. If you tuned into our last episode, we thought it was important to try to find different opinions. Jason, do you have a different opinion on whether radical candor is a fantastic book? No, I started disappoint you, but I too think it is great. All right, so we're probably a little biased in this group. We all think the book is great and just to let you know, one of the things we've been talking about as a group is is the idea of reading portion of the book with you all on this podcast, and so we thought we would try, as an experiment, to start with the persuade portion of the GSD wheel. So if you've got the book, and for now I'll be using page numbers from the second edition, this is the one with the Bright Kim would you call it yellow orange? How would you describe of course, everything in my life is orange. Okay, everything, except it does fade to yellow, I will admit start out, yeah, when it's new, it's orange. It's it's a crisp orange. Alright. So second edition, page one, oh one. If you turn with me right to the top, right below the word persuade Kim, you've got three words emotion, period, credibility, period, logic, period, aristotle, rhetoric. I was reading this and I was thinking if you were going to do an ad campaign for the persuade portion of the gets it done well, it would be those three words. Is that right? Yes, absolutely. I love emotion, credibility, logic. This is not a new idea. It comes from thousands of years ago. As I wrote in the footnote footnotes of the book, I felt a little bit silly covering such well trodden territory, but I had never heard of this framework before I started doing research for radical candor, and you know I have to fancy degrees from to fancy school. So why had I never learned this model until I spent some time at Apple University, and there I found it really helpful and that is why I shared it in the book. Also, a lot of the people who took the class managing an apple seemed to find it helpful. So even though it's an old idea, it needs dusting off and using and the funny thing to me about this model emotion, credibility logic is that so often people dismiss the whole notion of persuasion as legitimate and...

...part because they dismiss emotion as important as as legitimate, and so I think it's actually really useful to think more about it. But let's jump into the text. Yeah, let's jump into the text. One other thing, just for folks. We will have some show notes with some references. Another one that you reference Cam in the footnotes was the most cited twenty century evaluation of persuasion, which was by Robert Chaldoni, which is called influence. And so let's get into it. You write in the book. So you've managed to drive your team to a decision, but there are still people who don't agree with it, the same people who will be responsible for helping to implement it. If you're working efficiently, not everyone on your team is going to be involved in every step of the listen, clarified, debate, decide process for everything, just the relevant people. Now that a decision has been reached, it's time to get or people on board. This isn't easy and it's vital to get it right. Persuasion at this stage can feel unnecessary and make the decider resentful of the people who aren't fully in agreement. The decider has painstakingly gone through the listen, clarifying debate steps and made a decision. Why doesn't everybody else get why? It's obvious we should do this, or at least be willing to fall in line. Kim, as I read that passage, I could feel some of your passion and your emotion in that question and I just as you reflect back. It's been a few years since you wrote this. Has Your thinking changed? Do you feel like people have just magically changed so there's no longer a need to persuade? And I'm wondering, do you think it's even more important now to focus on persuasion? I think persuasion is more important now than ever, and I think it's also harder now than ever. It seems like people's emotions are more to the four than they ever were, and our willingness to take each other's emotions into account when we're talking to one another seems maybe to have been on the wane, and so I think the more willing we can be to use other people's emotions in order to understand where they're coming from and how to communicate with them, not to use them in the sense of manipulate, but to to accept this emotional signal that we are getting from other people, the more effective we are going to be. I think also to the extent I have to confess to the extent that I was feeling that you were seeing emotion for me as you're reading, is because every time I reread a passage of something I've written, I want to edit it and I don't love like you've managed to drive your team to a decision. It's not the leader who's driven. The team has reached a conclusion, has made a decision. You haven't driven the team to a decision. Yeah, I also want to add that I think credibility as is at an all time low, especially for leadership, given the way the really, I would say ham fisted is probably the most generous version of this, that most leaders ham fisted, way that most leaders have handled the black lives matter movement and economic turmoil and the pandemic and return to work, like we've had three big opportunities to step up as leaders and we've really blown it collectively. Like I think there's some people out there who are doing a great job, but we have really shot ourselves in the foot when it comes to credibility. So I also think that there's a gap there and it's really worth thinking about how we bridge that gap. Yeah, how do we earn credibility and also how do we express that we feel that we have credibility as leaders and without sounding like arrogant works and that's not so easy. That could be tricky. So we'll...

...get into credibility, how we build credibility, in just a moment. I just want to go a little bit higher level right now and share with folks that Kim you wrote how many leaders that you worked with weren't persuasive because they didn't want to come across as manipulative, and so you called out in the book that Fine Line between persuasion and manipulation, and that's where you shared how aristotle resolved this tension through his three elements of persuasion. Again, that's emotion, logic and credibility. You also brought in one tactic to help bring people along, which is the all hands meeting. So on this episode we're gonna talk about emotion, logic and credibility and seeing what's changed since you wrote the book. I think it's also really important because you said a couple of things that were really making my making me think it's useful to think about there's kind of an order of operations here, and it does actually start with credibility. Then you share the logic, then you address the emotion. I think that that it's not always in that order, but I think you want to make sure that you start by thinking, why should people listen to me at all? You know, why do I have the right to persuade you of this decision that I've made? And sharing the logic is really an important part of tamping down emotions. When when Aristotle was writing rhetoric, I think there was he was sort of fighting against a sense that rhetoric was somehow not legitimate. It was basically the idea was to fool people, to trick people. Uh, it was manipulative marketing. I mean, I don't they didn't call it that in Aristotle's time, but that's what I'm calling it now and that's why it's the combination of these three. I think sometimes people think of persuasion as manipulating other people's emotions, but it's factoring other people's emotions in uh to understanding where they're coming from and how you're communicating with them, but not abandoning credibility and logic. So Henry worked together. So are you saying when you talked about the order of operations, do you see them sequentially? Credibility, then logic, than emotion? Is that? Is that what you're saying? Yes, Jason. How does that land for you? I think it's sort of interesting. I think that like as a framework, that's that's actually quite helpful so that when you start the process of persuasion, you really do think about where does the sort of credibility from in this decision come from? Because often, because you've gone through this process, often the credibility doesn't emanate from you the persuader. Yes, the credibility emanates from the process that you employ to get to the decision and I think as we get to sort of think about how you build credibility, thinking about that is a really good way to avoid the big credibility trap, which is to sort of treat yourself as the expert and walk into the situation, to the conversation, thinking my credibility emanates from my own genius, uh, and therefore, I am here to make this pon understand the brilliance of the decision I have just made, um as opposed to leaning on the credibility, credibility of the thoughtfulness of the partners that you had along the way who challenged the idea to begin with. Like that is a great way to establish credibility. And once people understand the input that you received and you explain the logic of the decision, I think then, to Kim's point, then you can be open to their emotional reaction to it. But without doing those things, you're not giving the person enough context to evaluate the decision. If you if you skip over the like where the credibility, the source of the credibility and the law ject that got you there, you're...

...not giving them the opportunity to actually react fully to the decision that is being made. Yeah, I think you raised such an important point. Your credibility never, ever, ever comes from your position. Just because you're the boss doesn't mean anyone is going to listen to a single word you say. They may smile and not, but that doesn't mean they're going to buy what you're saying. And I think that coming at this with that kind of sort of humility is important. Yeah, let's get into humility in a moment. I just want to really highlight that point around the credibility coming from the process, because, for folks that listen to our last conversation around the decision making process, Jason, you shared the story how you were doing a review of compensation at the company and part of the process had you relying on some outside perspectives and that that was really what gave some credibility to that. So, as you're talking about the process, to me it's also a reinforcement of the value of the whole get ship done wheel, the process that's leading you to this point of persuade that you've gone through. Listen, clarified, debate, decide, et CETERA. So I just want to call that out. Does that example that you shared, does that reinforce what you're talking about with credibility? Absolutely, I think the in many ways, the get it done wheel is designed to bring expertise as close as possible to the problem. Like that's the goal, is to bring the expertise into the room where the decision is being made and then to rely on that expertise both in the sort of roll out of the decision. So in this step of persuade, but also in the implementation of it, great, which we will be getting to a little a little spoiler alert. Jason Just said something that made me want to say something else before we move on, which is that it's also really important to remember as the leader, you are probably not the one who should be doing the persuading. You should be helping the decider learn how to persuade everyone that this idea was good. You know it's this. Your team wants the stage. You want to give them the stage, but you will also want to give them the tools that they need to be effective on the stage. So this is a really important point, in the same way that we made a big deal about saying you are not the decider. You are not the decider. You're saying also you are not the persuader to the leaders. Plus, the person who made the decision is, you know, so afraid of public speaking that they want you to do it for them. But in general, you need to get the deciders doing the persuasion. Okay, great, and we'll get into the kind of how to do that in a little bit. I want to go back to this idea of credibility and this mix of expertise and humility. There was a study in the journal Frontiers and psychology which found it quote, even though the benefits of humility may not always be a parent, having low, below average levels of humility can bring serious disadvantages to experts, rendering them incapable of escaping the shadow of their own expertise. Jason, it stands to reason that a leader who approaches a persuasion conversation with this sort of know it all attitude, they won't be successful in getting people on board. And maybe also to what Kim is saying, is that you actually should not be the persuader as well. And so what should leaders do to cultivate that sort of humility? It's valuable to understand what the shadow of your own expertise means. I think that's very poetic, but I want to try to define what that is. Um there's another term for this which gets used more often, which is the curse of knowledge, like, once you know something it's impossible to unknow it. So this whole idea of like, Oh, I'm going to empathize with the person on the other side of this conversation. It's sort of an impossibility, because you can't go back to the position they're in, which is not knowing all the things that happened to get you up to...

...this point, and that is often what winds up getting people into troubles. They make assumptions about shared understanding that don't actually exist, and so the best thing that you can do as a leader is to start by demonstrating your humility in this process, or even as the persuader, if you're the persuader, start by demonstrating humility, saying that you know, talking about how you arrived at the decision, saying this isn't just my idea, this is the collective decision that we came to as a result of this process. Here are the steps that we took, here the things that we considered, and this is the logic part. Here are the things that we considered on the way to making this decision, and I'm sharing this with you now because I would like to have you on board as we move forward past this decision into implementation, and really this is an opportunity for you to ask me any questions that you might have and for me to share any context that I might have that would be helpful. The challenge here is that it's very tempting, as we set at the top of the episode, to sort of go into these conversations with an inflexible attitudes, being like we've just gone through this grueling process to make this decision and now I feel like I'm starting over again. The difference is that you're not starting from scratch now, you have all of that experience, the logic of the decision, to help back up the conversation. So even though it feels very frustrating, it's important to say I'm going to take each of these conversations as though, I'm not going to take anything for granted. I'm going to humbly share how we arrived at this decision so to help this person understand where it is we're trying to go and I think there's an important nuance in that humble sharing, because sometimes arrogance manifests as an assumption that anyone who doesn't know what you know is an idiot, and that is obviously not true. Like in the in the case of the Challenger launched decision, was really the engineer who worked on the O rings to which froze and failed and caused the thing to blow up. You said afterwards. Anyone with a monicum of common sense knows that rubber doesn't work worth a damn at phreezing temperatures. But, like I've got a monicum of common sense. I didn't know that about rubber, you know. And so I think part of being humble is and also part of understanding your own credibility is that you have some knowledge that other people don't have. And that's not arrogant to say. That's just a fact. Yeah, and just to explore this idea of expertise and humility, Kim on the other side of the spectrum, you write in the book that quote credibility is one of those things that is hard to articulate, but you know it when you see it. Part of it is obviously knowing your subject and demonstrating a track record of sound decisions. And then you go on to say don't forget to establish your credibility or to help the deciders on your team to establish their's when it's time for them to pursue wade others to execute on a decision. End Quote. So I'm curious what tips do you have for someone where humility isn't the issue, it's actually they feel like they're struggling to establish credibility. So maybe they're new to a role or they've got someone reporting to them who's older than them or that has more technical expertise. Maybe even, just like you're saying, if you're not the decider, you're not the persuader. Maybe your boss is there and other people that are higher than you in an organization. But now you have been told to or invited to present this idea, this decision. So how do you established credibility if you feel like you've got hierarchy or a lack of credibility in the eyes of the people you're presenting to? Well, I think one of the things, if you're so I'm going to take on a couple of different personas here. So sometimes you're going to be the boss and one of the people who works for you is going to be the decider who's now trying to persuade other people that the...

...decision they made was the right one. One of the best things you can do to help that person establish their credibility is give them an introduction. Say you know, now amy is gonna come up and she's going to tell you all about a really important decision that's been made. I'm so grateful to amy for working on this, and then I brag about you. Know, amy has years of experience. She worked at, you know, she with HBS, she worked at Y P O, she she did all these wonderful things and and I so admired the process that she used to make sure everybody's point of view was taken. So I'm really excited for you. All that. So now I'm bragging about you, so you don't have to brag about yourself in order to establish credibility. So I think that is really important if you are in a situation where you're you were the decider and now are the persuader and you don't have a supportive boss who's giving you a glowing into doc. Now now you have to do it for yourself and that's kind of awkward. But what what I would try to do in that situation is going back to what Jason said, talk about all the people who helped you make this decision as a way of a thinking them, but also showing like you did your damn homework. You're showing your work just like you did on a fifth grade math test. One thing that's important is, even at this stage it's possible that you learn new information and if you resist learning new information that is going to seriously damage your credibility. I think that there's a temptation to say that there's reason Kim drew this as a circle and not a Ligne, like it folds back on itself, and it's important to remember that and not to resist it at this stage. I think the one thing that the reason why people resist new information at the stage of persuasions. So, like I don't want to have to relitigate this entire or like, this entire decision, which makes sense, and often the information, if you've done a good job, off the information that you you learned at the stage, doesn't require that. But I think as you're going through this process of persuading people, if you learn new things, you owe them a follow up. You. It's important to say we didn't actually discuss that in particular. I don't think it changes the final decision, but I want to make sure that as we think about implementation, you're factoring in this new information you're sharing, for example. But occasionally you are going to get thrown a real curveball and someone's going to say something and be like, Oh boy, we did not think of that and now we have to. We do have to take a step back and make sure that the decision still holds given this this new information, and I think that goes an incredibly long way to establishing long term credibility as well as credibility with this particular decision. What you're talking about, Jason, I think it's really interesting because it is the there's an interplay between logic and credibility. Sometimes, the reason why well aren't willing to show their work is that they're afraid that when they show their work, a mistake that they've made in their work will become evident to others and we'll get pointed out. And in my experience, when you're willing to show your work and acknowledge your mistakes and correct them, that actually buys you enormous credibility with the people who you're working with. It's the opposite of I'm going on a listening tour and I'm not gonna listen to a single damn word and anybody says like you want to make sure that you're showing your work because you have faith in the people around you and you know that when you show your work and you listen to them, you'll come to a better answer. That's kind of the interplay between credibility and logic that's really important here and why autocratic leaders suck, but said in a way that, yeah, I feel like is that the is that the new title of the Third Edition? Why autocretical leaders sucked? So, Kim, I know that...

...you've referenced the Challenger Story previously and I'm curious when you talk about that kind of modicum of common sense about the o rings, is that an example where work was not shown because there was an assumption that people all knew what it was? Is that that part of the logic that's missing there? Yeah, there were a lot if there's there's enormous research on this decision, but there were a lot of very complicated graphs, but never did it. Did any of the engineers who worked on it simply say what I think would have been quite persuasive, which was the rubber is going to crack at freezing temperatures. And I think the reason why that wasn't said is that that it seemed, and we've all, I think, been in this situation where something that seems so obvious to you feels almost embarrassing to say, like you'll insult someone else by saying this thing. But some times when you say the thing like you're bringing them valuable and important information, especially when we spend a lot of time working on something, we know it so deeply and remembering that other people don't know what we don't what we do know, that doesn't mean that we're smarter better than them. It's like our job to explain it in a way that they can understand. That's what's so important. I think about being willing to say, look, there's a fundamental premise that I have here that doesn't seem to be shared, and that is that Rubbert won't work when it's frozen. You know, and I think if it's said it just in such simple terms, as opposed to this complicated data that people didn't really understand and they didn't really want to admit that they didn't understand it, things might have that. They might not have gone differently, but they might have gone differently. I use a simple preamble for those conversations. I would just say, Hey, I'm going to share why I think this decision is correct and in the process of sharing that, I may sure things you you know or don't know, and I'm not sure exactly what you know. So I'm gonna try to give you a pretty detailed overview of like how we arrived at this decision and if there's anything that doesn't make sense or any point that you feel like you you understand it, you would like me to move faster, you can just tell me and I'll I can skip ahead to the to the next part. And that was also really interesting because often there was subtlety to like what people knew and didn't know. So even though I'd be talking to a designer and about a design decision where I feel like they probably do know most of what went into this, but then it would become clear they start asking questions or something about a particular part of the decision that they didn't understand. And so by creating some space and saying, like some of this you know, some of it you don't, not making any assumptions, it was often pretty helpful to make it easier for me and easier for the person on the other side of the of the conversation to be more open. So it never felt embarrassing for me to share it and hopefully didn't feel embarrassing for them to ask. And one of the things you can do as a leader in such a situation where where you're talking to someone who works for you, who probably knows something much more in a much more detailed way than you yourself know, just save them. Look, assume I know nothing. I won't get mad at you for you know. I really I want you to assume that I know nothing. How Bailey, who I worked with at Google, used to say, explain it to me like you would to my he had an uncle, scrammy, I think was his name or something. I think it was, I don't I forgot the uncle's name and I'm pretty sure it was something like uncle Scrammy, and and his team all knew like this uncle scrammy was like a persona on his team. Yeah, so I think we've got a few good potential names for this episode and persuade Uncle Scrammy it might be one of them. So we've talked about credibility, about the importance of logic, of showing your work, and can I I do want to read specifically what you said about...

...logic just before we move on to emotion, which is just amplifying that you wrote. Most people expect that the logic part of persuasion will be easier, since it doesn't present the personal awkwardness of establishing credibility or require the psychological finesse of addressing the collective emotions of a group of people. And you and Jason have just shared a lot about how this idea of you know, how you can make people more comfortable sharing what they might not know. Do you still feel that way that logic? You know, people might think that it should be, quote, easier or people don't give it it's due. I mean I always feel more comfortable and I get I get accused of this correctly. I think all the time like logic is my more is a more comfortable go to for me. So if I get upset, I'll start to analyze the reasons why I'm upset as a way of trying to ignore the fact that I'm upset. And I think also this notion of being professional. It makes it more uncomfortable for us to share emotion at work, and so logic often becomes maybe that's the shadow of the strength we were talking about earlier. We either over rely on logic or we assume that we have a shared understanding of what the logic is when we don't actually have a shared understanding of the logic. Well, that is a great leading into the third part of this, which is about emotion, and I'm wondering came even as you were just sharing that that in many ways, if starting with credibility and with logic, is to almost make a more comfortable space for people to dip into some of the emotions that are happening there because, as you're saying, in the workplace we might feel more comfortable with credibility and logic. How does that plan for you? I think that makes sense. I also think that as you're establishing your credibility, you want to make sure that you're listening or sort of maybe feeling the emotion in the room. Sometimes you may be trying to establish your credibility and you're noticing a lot of skepticism in the room. People are rolling their eyes or they're folding their arms or and then you know that you you know you need to do something different, that something different is not yell louder. You know you need to figure out a better way to establish your credibility and when you're sharing your logic, as you're sharing it, you might notice the emotion in the moment, and so I think also the emotions. They aren't what people lead with. Point is to pay attention to other people's emotions as you're establishing your credibility and sharing your logic. Yeah, in many ways it's exactly like what we talk about with our order of operations for feedback, which is that you start by getting feedback and of course you need to be gauging how is it landing, you know, how is it landing for you when you're getting it? How is it landing when they're sort of having that conversation? You want to be giving it, and so in many ways we say get it, give it, Ajit, which is sort of the emotional part. But the emotional part is actually happening throughout those conversations. So that I think that's some of what you're saying. So, speaking of emotion, this idea that the persuader really needs to take into account the listeners emotions rather than focusing on their own. On Page One oh three, you write that you might have a strong emotional connection to a decision. It might be that you see it leading to a change that's likely to help a large group of people, but if you fail to take into account your listeners emotions too, you won't be persuasive. You go on to share about a colleague you had named Jason, a different Jason, who was responsing, and not really Jason, because it was in quotes. It's a great name, though, who is responsible for making his product usable for deaf people. You right, he couldn't have been more passionate about his work. His mother was deaf. But he was unable to persuade the engineering team to prioritize certain key features in time for launch. When you showed him ere doddle's framework, he exploded. I don't know...

...how I could have put any more emotion into my arguments, he said, his voice choked with frustration. He'd explain them his personal connection to the project. They see move, but they still hadn't gotten it done. What were the emotions on the engineering team, like you asked? Oh, they were just exhausted. They've been pulling all nighters for weeks. It was like a death march over there. What did you do to address their emotions? Jason, not Jason, smacked his forehead, seeing clearly now where he'd gone wrong. As I read that, besides, you probably wanting to rewrite any of the words in that what's coming up for you about that story as you see it now or here at now? Kim, I think it goes back to this notion of passion. I think sometimes leaders feel like it's their job to elicit passion from people and I think it's their job to under stand what people's passions are, not to tell them what their passion should be. And Passion is a word that you know. Emotion is a word I like better than passion. But the point is that no matter how strongly you feel about something, it doesn't mean that your team is going to feel the same way and you certainly can't meet make them feel a certain way. So the emotion part is about understanding their emotions, not trying to manipulate their emotions, but understanding their emotions and addressing them. Yeah, it's so interesting. I was recently leading a workshop and someone asked a question very similar to this topic, which was what do you do when the people that you work with they only seem to respond to yelling? And he went on to say it seems like they only do something when there's passion there, and they actually used the word passion. And a leader in that organization responded by saying, I am not a Yeller, but what I do, as I say, imagine that I'm yelling at you, and they do this as a way to signal that this was something that they were in fact passionate about, signaling it, even if they don't actually yell. So I'm curious, Jason, how have you addressed other people's emotions are wanting to express that passion or, for a better word, emotion? I kind of identify with the person in your workshop in terms of like not being a yell Er. I don't think I am not a motive, but I don't think my emotions are like as a leader, my emotions are not quite as big, like the waves, that the sort of like magnitude of the sign way is not our amplitude. Maybe is the right way to say it, right. That's that's pet to trough Um is not huge. And so what I find is that when I'm expressing an emotion that is very clear to other people, it's often like upsetting to them because by the time I get to a place where, like I'm expressing a strong amount and people are like really paying attention because it's relatively it's relatively rare. I have a pretty even Keel generally speaking, and I think in some ways that was a major hindrance. Same thing with like expressing like when I was passionate, having to be clear about when I was passionate. But I think like there's another related progression here, which is the more power you have, the more cautious you have to be about using your emotion as a part as a tool for persuasion, because at some point, I remember as a when I was a product manager, a lot of the way that I persuaded people was getting them excited, like using emotion as a as a tool to to sort of like paint a picture of the future, like what it might be like, not just from a product perspective but from like an end user perspective, how we might change the lives of people were living and things like that. The more power that I got, however, the more that became a very sort...

...of double edged sword, because the more passion I expressed, the more powerful I became, and the more passionate expressed, the less likely people were to actually disagree with me, like they would start to feel like, oh, Jason really cares about this, so like we shouldn't say anything because, even if we disagree, because he clearly cares so much about it. And so as I became more experienced in persuasion, what I and more sort of had more authority slash credibility in the organization, organizations that have been a part of, it became obvious to me that what I needed to do is make place for other people's emotions, and so I became good at not being dispassionate like but instead about saying I'm making room by saying something like I'm really excited about this. Similarly, Kim's like intro for you earlier in the episode, right, I'm really excited about this, and the point of having this conversation so that we can hear from you. That's why, here today we're going to share our thinking. Ultimately, the goal is for us to hear from you, and then I would try very hard to shut up. Yeah, I think I think that's a really important point. It's so tempting for a leader to feel like they have to get people rial like you're not a cheerleader. As a leader, it's not your job to to elicit emotions from other people. It's your job to be sensitive to them and understand them and to address them, not to create them. The emotions are there and that is the point. It's not about your emotion, it's about someone else's emotion, but it is about you managing you cannot manage other people's emotions. At best you can manage your own emotions and so, as Jason said, especially as you have more authority, you need to realize that if you raise your voice a little bit, other people are going to hear screaming. Talking to a leader the other day, and this person is really a nice person, a kind person, but he scares other people and he had no idea. I had to say, look, I was talking to someone about you the other day and they find you scary, and this was real news to he had no idea that people found him scary. He did not think he was scary. I said, look, I don't experience you as scary, but but I have nothing to fear from you and other people might. So I think the important thing is to be aware of the impact that you are having on other people's emotions and to adjust, but not to try to create emotion in others, not to try to manipulate. I mean, look that we have too many people in this world trying to manipulate the emotions of others. That is not good leadership, that is just manipulative. Well, and don't you think, though, that some of the definition of leadership, I know in other podcasts we've talked about sort of charisma or press and send, that there is this vision of leaders as, if not cheerleaders, people inspiring people to get very excited about something. And so now I just I want actually don't. I hope I haven't said that. If I have, I'm saying you have, you have. You have pushed back against the idea of charisma and presence, but do not believe that that is a leadership style that some people feel that is expected of them as a leader. That people will often say. I am told I don't have charisma, I don't have leadership presence because I'm more quieter, because I don't have the raw Ra. Yes, I believe that that is a misper misunderstanding of what leadership is. That is common in the world, but I think they're wrong. Just my humble opinion. I got by a lot of data. I think the military's concept of of like leader intent, like a leader's responsibility, is to communicate the intent, the...

...goal of the collective action that they are doing. Part of the reason why that came about was out of necessity, because the military realized, like hey, sometimes we're gonna lose each other in the fog of war and if I haven't communicated to you the intent, you can't make good decisions about what to do if you can't get back in touch with me. But it has other impacts as well, right, because they're not the leader's intent is not to like make people super excited about battle like that. That's not that's not what they're talking about when they talk about intent. What they're talking about is like the goals of a particular military action, that people have those clearly in mind. That I do see as a leader's responsibility. Is like painting a picture of where you're trying to get collectively. How that picture gets paint it should also be collaborative, right. It shouldn't be a leader in the room by themselves painting a picture on a on a wall, but that idea of a leader's job being to transmit that picture and to create alignment around that picture. That does feel like a leader's job. But then what you want is for people to be excited about it. I think the best way to do that is to listen to Kim's point, to listen to people about what makes them excited and find ways to connect that with what you're actually better trying to do, so as opposed to manufacturing it. Yeah, or why they feel dread and then addressing the dread and fixing the things that are causing dread. Yep. Yeah. I think when I think about why I enjoy coming to work on a on a daily basis with radical candor, it has a lot to do with not feeling like I'm expected somehow to control the emotions of the people that I work with, but instead that I am a I am like a partner where we're on a journey together and like we're experiencing emotion. The goals sort of manage those emotions as best we can to generate excitement from within, like find our own individual reasons to be excited about that thing, and then to manage the sort of obstacles, pitfalls or dread that we might be experiencing along the way. It's like a much calmer about that than in other jobs, where I feel like I was expected to somehow control the emotions of everyone on my team, like my managers, were expected that of me. Yeah, you want to manage your own emotions and recognize other people's emotions and address the causes of negative emotions and try to also understand what creates positive emotions and people and do more of that. More, more positive, less negative. But to be clear, like I do feel like if we're feeling some existential dread, we feel comfortable and empowered to have those conversations and I think that makes coming to work. To your point, obviously we do great stuff that we get excited about, but that we don't feel like we have to hide the dread when it arises. So that's that's important. Let's talk now about how we actually put this into practice. So we talked about credibility, logic, emotion. Kim, you write about the value of an all hands meeting on pages to fourteen to two fifteen in the second edition, and I'll quote here. If you have a team of ten or fewer people, you probably don't need to schedule a separate meeting to make sure everyone is persuaded that the right decisions have been made. However, is your team gets bigger, you need to start thinking about how to bring everyone along. It's shocking how fast the decisions that some people may start to seem mysterious or even nefarious to people who weren't close to the process. If your team is one hundred or more people, a regular all hands meeting can really help to get broad by in on the decisions made and also to learn about dissent, and I'll just pause here. I feel like Jason brought up the value of dissent in the process. So just to go back to Kim what you wrote, these meetings usually include two parts presentations to persuade people that the company is making good decisions and headed in the right direction, and Q and a is conducted so leaders can hear dissent and address it head on. You go on to write the presentations to quickly focused on one or two initiatives that are especially exciting and important.

They're meant to inform everyone of broader priorities and get their buy in, and they're generally done by the team working on the initiative. You share how it Google this process. was important to built the persuade muscle, and the people presenting usually love to do so, and so I'm curious. Can Do you have an example of a presentation that really integrated the credibility, the logic and the emotions that we were just talking about. Yeah, I mean I remember at one point when I was at Google, there was a decision to open daycare for people's kids, and this was kind of it seems like a no brainer decision now, but this was early in Google's history and I think the average age at Google was twenty four or something, so there weren't actually that many people who had children, you know, and it was before the company went public or right after it when public. It was kind of early on. There had been a lot of debate about whether or not the company should use its resources that way, and so the decision was finally made and the people, the person who made the decision, was explaining it and explaining why it was important and explaining why the Child Care Facility couldn't be right on campus because of environmental factors. I was like, Oh my God, that's wrong with my office. But Anyway, I digress. That was the least persuasive part of the decision, although it was very persuasive about what nobody wanted their kids on campus if there was some sort of environmental hazard. It was overall well received. But then they opened it up. The founders and the CEO opened it up for questions and there were a lot of questions and one of them was hardly any of us have kids. Why are we providing this big benefit for a small minority of employees? And the answer, I thought was really great. Sarah Guy stood up and said well, Susan Wadisky, who's now the CEO of Youtube. At the time she was the absence product lead. She she had, I think, just had her fourth child, and he said Susan is our friend, we love working with Susan and we want to make it as easy as possible for her and everyone else in her situation had come back to work for whatever reason. I found that very moving. It was a good, good answer, but also it was important to give people the opportunity to express their questions and there skepticism about the decision. Well, I really appreciate that story because you mentioned in the book that the Q and a portion of these all hands meetings that and you right. When handled well, the answers the leaders give to the questions, which are often quite challenging, are usually more persuasive than the present paitions and it's interesting because in many ways I wonder if the presentations speak more to the credibility and the logic. And when you share that example about you know, Susan's our friend and I you know we love working together and that in a way, I think, speaks to the emotions. So perhaps in some way that is why that's more persuasive and I'm curious. You also share about Dick Costello, who is the former CEO of twitter, who often had everyone at twitter's company all hands meeting doubled over with laughter, especially with his unexpectedly candid response to somewhat hostile impromptu questions. You asked how he came up with these responses and he replied with a characteristic smile. Unfortunately, they just come to me. You share. You know that he has a background and stand up and an Improv which which I'm a big fan of and that's one of the reasons we partnered with second city and developed our workplace comedy series, the feedback loop. But, Jason or Kim, if you are not an Improv star or haven't taken an...

Improv course, do you have an example of when a q and a went terribly off the rails and any tips for leaders how best to prepare, any tips from things that you've seen that did not go as well as the daycare Q and a? I put most of the disasters into a into a category where the right answer was to say, I don't have a complete answer to that right now and I owe you one and I will get it to you as soon as possible. When they go well, it's because you have a deep enough understanding of the material to be able to pull a story out, for example. That illustrates the point that you're trying to make. When you do not understand the sort of premise of the question very well, it's very tempting to try to like bs your way out of that in the moment to keep the flow of the meeting going to seem like you know what you're talking about, but the likelihood is that there are many people in the audience that do know the underlying context of that question and you're trying to smooth talk your way up of it is only going to piss them off. So I think like that's the category of things that I've seen go terribly, terribly wrong and they often have to do with like things that affect people's lives at work. Um. So, you know, policy decisions or like changes, like it seems seems like a probably more fraught now than maybe it did a while ago. But I remember a particular all hands where one of the leaders of the company that was working for was talking about vacation policy and how vacation policy was changing, but he didn't fully have mastery of like all of the details and someone asked a very particular question about a thing that was going to affect their planned family trip that they take every single year, and they tried to sort of off the comff respond to it. They got a bunch of the details wrong about exactly how things were changing. The person was getting visibly more upset and instead of like saying hey, I think I might not have full understanding of what's going on here. Let's have like let's talk about this or I'll follow up with you, like they sort of like went on to the next question and everybody in the room felt exactly what was going on, which is like you don't know what you're talking about, this person is clearly piste off and instead of owning any of those things, you're moving on to the next question. Yes, that's a good example, and I've done that before too, where someone asked me a question and I didn't really understand the question. Rather than saying I don't understand the nature of the criticism of my decision here, I just said I'm sorry and moved on. Like the false apology is a common a common way that this goes wrong. So I think that is that's a great that's a great story. I mean sometimes, also in the Q and a, you have to say the unpopular thing, the thing that people don't want to hear, and that is really hard. So, for example, one time I was leading a big team and the team wanted to have an off site at six bags. But I hate six flags. I mean my only prenuptial agreement with my husband, if my husband, was that I would never have to go to any sort of Disney world, Disneyland, nothing like that. So, Kim, if only you didn't have if only you had some strong opinions. I wish I could get some ideas. I do not enjoy amusement, but I am not amused by amusement parks. So I sent to the team, well, I will get you all budget if you want to go to six flags, but I'm not going to six flags. This was an unpopular, unpopular decision, and part of the reason I learned in the Q and a about what was supposed to be this fun event. Fun Events always stirred up the most negative emotions, I found. But one of the things that I learned from the Q and a was that managers who worked for me were telling their teams they had to go, and I was like, nobody has to go to six flags, including me. So that was an important clarification that came came up as a result of the I didn't really think of it as a persuade that the person who had decided to...

...organize this offsite. So I thought it was an announcement. It turned into more of a persuade conversation than I understood. And then someone else was angry that I wasn't going. So so some people were mad that everyone wasn't required to go, and then other people were mad that I wasn't required to go, and someone raised a hand and said, Kim Don't you want to be our friend? And I said look, there are a hundred and fifty of you and there is one of me, and friend, I care about all of you all I care personally, but you can only have a small number of friends. I don't want to overpromise here. I care about you, but I am not like your friend per se. I have three or four or five friends, true friends, you know, and I have a lot more acquaintances, but what I am is your director who cares about you, who cares about getting this stuff right. It was a very uncomfortable moment because everybody was like, oh, she just said she's not our friends. One of my hardest moments as a leader. Actually, I remember because it was so did not come naturally for me to say that, but I also wanted to, you know, persuade people that the point of an all site was to to bond in a way that people who liked going talk to amusement parts could go together and bond, but nobody was required to go, including me, Jason, as you hear, Kim, share that and Kim, thank you so much. I haven't heard that story and I really appreciate it. And you know, we get that question a lot of sort of do I need to be friends with everyone at work and does care personally, sort of equal friendship, especially if I'm the boss. Kim, you went to your as you explained earlier. When you're uncomfortable, you go to logic and you said you and want to be and I can't possibly be friends with everybody. It's not possible. I Love A lot. I would love to love you, but so it's good. It's good to know that you're consistent. Um. That was like my first reaction. But I do think the broader point of like saying the thing that is true but not necessarily popular, is not necessarily what's gonna sort of like a win you instant popularity. I think the insight that you had was that you're asking me to overpromise. You asked me to commit to something that I can't actually do. Like I'm taking your request seriously. That was the other thing that I liked about that story is you're like, I'm not treating this as a joke. When you say don't you want to be our friend? I am treating that as a serious question. It was a serious question. I mean the person was really like almost on in tears. I felt it was like a very hard moment for me and for them. I mean did yeah. So anyway, I think my reaction is that it's a very good example of why it's so important to a man. To go back to what we shared earlier, a manage your own emotions. Be Be willing to accept other people's emotions, but not try to manage them like to do. You owe them an answer that is as clear and kind as as possible, but not necessarily the answer that's going to make them happy like that. That's not the recipe for long term success. And if we go back to the top of the podcast of persuading people, if, during the process of persuading you're promising people things, you know what I'm saying. You're like, oh, that's interesting and that's interesting, we're gonna everybody's ideas are still valid, we're gonna include them, but you can't actually deliver on that. They may feel excited in the moment about the decision, but very disappointed with you shortly after when they realize you're not going to follow through on any of those things that you're promising them. And I think that that temptation is so strong that it really is worth calling out on its own. The temptation to appease people as you're trying to persuade them, even if you can't actually follow through on that, is like a pitfall that I hadn't sort...

...of thought through until you described it in that story. And even though it's expensive, emotionally expensive, to dealing with in a moment is much less expensive than dealing with the fallout later. Yeah, I mean I think disappointment is the stuff of revolution and as a leader, you can't afford to disappoint your team. We will wrap it up with that thoughtful quote and Jason, your reflections on appeasing versus persuading. Well, now it's time for our radical candor checklist tips you can use to start putting radical candor into practice. Tip Number One. To be perceived as credible, you're going to have to authentically demonstrate both expertise and humility, and in order to truly demonstrate humility, you need to be flexible, curious and acknowledge the contributions of others. The number two show your work. Make sure you demonstrate in a tangible and clear way how you came to your decision, by walking people through the thinking that got you there. Tip Number three remember when persuading others to adopt your decision, it's important to focus on their emotions, not your own. Your goal is to manage your own emotions and to recognize other people's emotions. While you might have a strong emotional connection to a decision, if you fail to take into account the other people's emotions about your decision, that you're not going to be persuasive. And tip number four, hold in all hands meeting to bring others along. Make sure that in your meeting the decider gets to present the decision and to persuade others and that you teach that decidure how to persuade others. But also hold a q and a so that people have an opportunity to express their skepticism, their emotions, whatnot, and be prepared to step in and help the persuader in the Q and a. don't leave them dangling. Give them the stage, but don't leave all alone up there. And for more tips, you can go to radical candor dot com, slash resources to download our learning guides to practice radical candor and you can learn more about the persuasion process we just discussed in chapters four and eight of the book radical candor. Show notes for this episode. Head on over to radical candor dot com, slash podcast. If you like what you hear, of course, please rate review us on Apple podcasts and do let us know what you think about are reading from the book. Do you want more of it less of it? You can email us at podcast at radical candor dot com. That's podcast at radical candor dot com. Kim You have another book. Tell us more. Don't forget about just work, how to root out bias, prejudice and bullying to create a kick ass culture of inclusivity, available everywhere books are sold. By the way, I was introduced recently and someone somehow thought it was two books. They thought one book was just work, how to root out bias and prejudice, and then they thought I had written a second book bullying, how to create a kick ass culture of inclusivity. That the book. I was really funny. Uh, and it was. It was a radical candor fail for me because I like was like yeah, I was gonna ask. Did you say anything? So I had to criticize and pride that. I told him later, but I did make sure to later on in the presentation, give the name of the actual book. You really if people are still listening at this point, they got a real value add at the very end. Um. Yes, we record this beach time. Sorry, I can't get...

...out for the idea. Well, it's fly, it's fee is flying off the shelves all right. If you're looking for radical candor swag, go to radical candor dot com. Click the shop link. You will not find that book. Just look for the book. Just work. That is the full name of the book. We've got coffee mugs, we've got sweatshirt stickers more and that's it for now. We look forward too soon. Bye Bye. 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 Goldmacher. Go ahead and follow us on twitter at candor and find US online at radical candor dot com. To B.

In-Stream Audio Search

NEW

Search across all episodes within this podcast

Episodes (73)