Radical Candor by Kim Scott is a solid book with the subtitle Be a Kick-Ass Boss Without Losing Your Humanity. Scott notes that at the heart of being a good boss is having good relationships, ones built on radical candor. From this, a boss can provide guidance to produce better results and help employees achieve.
It’s detailed that the role of a boss is to listen to their employees and to care personally about what they have to say. A boss should start by asking for feedback and criticism, not by giving it out, and understand what motivates each person. In 1:1 meetings, employees should set the agenda and a boss should be a partner, not an absentee manager or a micromanager, and from this, trust gets built.
Along with this foundation of trust, a boss should tell people clearly and directly when their work isn’t good enough. It’s not mean, it’s clear, and it should be provided in the moment and be about the actions, not the person. Also, everyone can be exceptional at something, it’s the role of the boss to help them find that thing. Scott as well details what she calls the get stuff done wheel: listen, clarify, debate, decide, persuade, execute, learn, listen again…
Listen – give the quiet ones a voice, create a culture of listening
Clarify – if someone doesn’t understand, the fault may be with the person making an unclear argument
Debate – focus on ideas and not egos, create an obligation to dissent, be clear about when the debate will end
Decide – the decider should get facts, not opinions
Persuade – focus on the listener’s emotions, demonstrate your credibility, and show your work
Execute – don’t waste people’s time
Learn – be willing to course-correct
There’s a number of solid things by Scott in the book, both for a boss and for an employee of a boss.