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Say what you think. This may not sound like a big deal, but it is so difficult and rare I call it “radical candor” when it happens. Steve Jobs explained it like this: “You need to [criticize] in a way that does not call into question your confidence in [a person's] abilities but leaves not too much room for interpretation… and that’s a hard thing to do.” Criticizing colleagues can feel brutal, and praising them can feel patronizing. But guidance—praise and criticism—is the single most important thing we do for each other at work. Giving guidance is just the beginning. We must also ask for it and hear it (especially criticism), and encourage it between each other.
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