It takes finesse to tell your boss and colleagues what you really think and address conflicts with urgency. When individuals are hesitant to talk frankly to each other, unresolved conflict can wreak havoc on productivity and culture.
Former Google and Apple executive Kim Scott’s bestselling Radical Candor (2017) can help if you struggle with delivering honest feedback with the subtlety that suits the relationship. To avoid turning criticism into a personal attack, Scott suggests phrasing feedback using a “situation-behavior-impact” recipe (identical to the Manager Tools’ Feedback Model I’ve recommended for years): describe the situation where the problem behavior appeared, the other’s specific actions, and their impact. Instead of “You’re sloppy,” tell, “You’ve been working nights and weekends, and it’s taken a toll on your accuracy.” Scott also extends directions on how to educate to deal with conflict, strike positive solutions, and foster a fertile conflict mindset that everybody embraces.
Recommendation: Speedread Radical Candor. If you condone the narrative inconsistencies, excessive name-dropping, and banal Silicon Valley tenor, this text will teach you how tactful conflict and giving honest feedback can be an impetus for positive change. Bruised egos and problems nipped in the bud are better than the alternative—stalled projects, mediocre work, and resentment that festers on.