The Competence / Likability Trap

Jul 30, 2023
Image by Jep Gambardella

In Radical Candor, Kim Scott tells us that, as managers, one of the reasons we don’t give direct feedback to our staff is because we fall into the Completence/Likability Trap.

We avoid the difficult because we want our staff to like us and our bosses to think we’re competent.

Some managers I know even correct the mistakes of their teammates, or do their work for them, because they fear that poor team performance will be a bad reflection on themselves as leaders.

This only leads to resentment.

Think about that. Your inability to say what needs to be said affects you! It’s never the other person.

As a manager, you don’t need to be a dictator, victim, or rescuer. Think of yourself as a coach, and give that direct feedback. But, just do it in a way that’s sure to be received.


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