While reading the introduction of the Radical Candor book one paragraph made my brain work harder than usual:
It’s brutally hard to tell people when they are screwing up. You don’t want to hurt anyone’s feelings […]. You don’t want that person or the rest of the team to think you’re a jerk. Plus, you’ve been told since you learned to talk, “If you don’t have anything nice to say, don’t say anything at all.” Now all of a sudden it’s your job to say it. […]. Management is hard.Radical Candor, Kim Scott
This simple idea – that a manager is someone who HAS TO tell others when they are screwing up – made me realize something.
First of all, it means that organizations which want to involve all their workers into owning (building, shaping, managing) it, need to create a feedback culture that would make them cross the line between the ordinary worker (“I don’t care what the others ar doing, it is not my job to discuss this with them”) and the manager (“It is my duty to speak up when someone doesn’t act the way they should”). No wonder many non-hierarchical organisations (think teal) have a strong feedback culture.
Secondly, that I’m so very proud of all the devs I worked with who are (and were) able to do exactly this: initiate the difficult conversations with their colleagues. Last year all three development teams I’m working with organized their inner feedback systems which helps them to gather valuable feedback about their work. Unknowingly they have crossed the line between the worker and the owner and I’m deeply thankful for their efforts and I’m proud of the effects achieved.