REED HASTINGS HAS built the culture at Netflix around it. Ray Dalio made it a founding principle at Bridgewater, a successful investment fund. “Radical candour” is the idea that bracing honesty is the best way to run a business: no one dances around the truth, and swifter feedback improves performance.
Most firms rely on a messier doctrine. People rarely say what they mean, but hope that their meaning is nonetheless clear. Think Britain, but with paycheques. To navigate this kind of workplace, you need a phrasebook.
“I hear you”
Ostensible meaning: You’re making a legitimate point
Actual meaning: Be quiet
“Let’s discuss this offline”
Ostensible meaning: We shouldn’t waste other people’s valuable time
Actual meaning: Let’s never speak of this again (see also: “Let’s put a pin in…