I want to be loved. Who doesn’t? Except I am willing sometimes to go above and beyond to get that appreciation. I try my best to bring positive energy into the room, to smile, to take care of the people around me. On bad days, when I can, I try not to interact too much with others, so that they won’t be affected by it. It makes my day when people call me sunshine, when they say I am such an optimistic, that I make them happy. When it happens, I feel I succeeded in my mission of bringing more kindness into this world.
I am also a strong defender of authenticity. I believe the more we can be ourselves, the better our lives are. It makes us more effective at work, more genuine in our relationships, more at peace in our hearts. So when I heard about radical candor , I was already sold. I want to be nice, and I want to speak the truth. Radical candor was what I was preaching on a daily basis after all.
The dark side of being nice
Or was it? When listening to Kim Scott, co-founder of Candor, Inc., I realized I was doing it all wrong. Me wanting to be nice, me caring about others, was for sure making me a pleasant co-worker, but it wasn’t making me a kind one. I was getting back the love I was looking for, but I wasn’t taking care properly of my colleagues when sugarcoating everything I was telling them, never criticizing them. Sometimes you just need to say it, say what you think, with kindness but also with firmness. Everyone once in a while needs some tough love.
Trying to be nice when you shouldn’t be is hypocrite: when I am refusing to say what I think in order not to hurt anyone’s feelings, I feel like I am walking on eggshells, and eventually I find myself talking behind someone’s back or complaining to my co-workers or my friends. I know, not nice at all, but it is what happens when I don’t express what I perceive as my truth, when I don’t share my honest perspective on a given topic.
This is also what I can affirming yourself. It’s not about being angry all the time, it’s not about being mean. Kim Scott shares this wonderful and simple graph with two axes, one about caring personally and the other one about challenging directly. When you are able to do both at the same time, radical candor happens.