What does radical openness mean

How open, clear and direct can feedback be?

Regardless of whether you are a feedback giver or feedback recipient, this type of conversation is definitely not one of your favorite conversations.

We have a hard time with feedback because it is about personal feedback about another person.

Emotionality is almost never left out, but misunderstandings, the feeling of inappropriate criticism or the fear of being too open make this interpersonal exchange really complicated.

So what do we do most of the time? Quite simply, we pack a lot of cotton wool, boiled-up formulations and a lot of “trappings” around our feedback.

Why exactly this is the worst possible way, that's what my video today is about:

In the vast majority of cases, softened feedback does not have an adequate effect.

The American author and management consultant Kim Scott recommends the direct, clear and radically open feedback approach in her book "Radical Candor" (which translates as: Radical Openness).

Because only if we address exactly what we think and feel are we fair to our fellow human beings, because we openly point out what is very obvious to us.

It is important, however, that we are neither arrogant nor aggressive, but simply face our fellow human beings very honestly and on an equal footing.

Clarity is fair, and ambiguity and cotton wool packs are unfair - simply because they are dishonest. It's that simple to sum up.

This feedback approach is not only excellently explained in the book, which is really well worth reading, it also works well in practice. I have already worked with this methodology in several communication trainings and team developments - with consistently very good acceptance by my participants.

Below you will find the scheme of the book translated into German as a flipchart - as I explain it again and again in trainings. And for those who would like to learn more about it, there is a very good, 30-minute video from Kim Scott (unfortunately only in English).

Try it! As always, I look forward to hearing from you, preferably by email to [email protected]


Brief portrait of Stefanie Voss- Expert for communication & leadership: She went to the United States as a student at the age of 16, moved to Argentina for her employer at the age of 23, and at 25 was hired on a sailing ship to circumnavigate the world. At the age of 31 she became a department head in a DAX company. After 15 years in the corporate group, she started her own business in 2009. Today she is internationally successful as a speaker, workshop moderator and business coach. With her topics of communication, leadership and diversity, she works for large corporations, SMEs, freelancers and the social and public sector. She was born in 1974, married, has two children and lives near Düsseldorf.
Online coaching program: www.leader-on-my-ship.com/programm