Are you holding back feedback that you know you really should have given?

It’s time to have that conversation already!

Within 6 weeks you can do this, even if you can’t imagine it right now.

If you’re avoiding a feedback conversation that you KNOW you should really have, whether with a direct report, a peer, or even your boss, you’re not alone. More than 90% of leaders interviewed have done the same thing. And if you just thought of the person you need to talk with, I’ve been there myself.

  • Are you concerned you’ll damage the relationship with your boss?
  • Or worried that an employee will cry, or yell at you?
  • Do you think you’ll use the wrong words and get a bad reaction?
  • Or that your feedback will demotivate a good performer, affecting your whole team?
  • Maybe you’re pretty sure if you give that feedback, they’ll retaliate in some way – slack off at work, bad-mouth you to your boss, or withhold a promotion or a plum opportunity.
  • Have you decided that giving the feedback isn’t really worth it?

I get it, because I’ve been there, too. When I managed 120 college students in temporary jobs (with pretty low job motivation) I struggled to give feedback about being on time, treating customers well, and even grooming (you know what I mean!).

As a consultant, I had to work with dozens of people on every project (both clients and peers). It was hard to find the right words to give useful feedback to people, often many years my senior, without embarrassing them.

Hardest of all, when I was leading large-scale change at a Fortune 50 technology company, I often had to tell senior executives and project managers alike how they were creating the very problems that were frustrating them. Talk about tricky! It took a lot of time and energy, and often their reactions were really defensive.

So, as I said, I really get it. I’ve avoided these conversations, as do many other talented and capable leaders!

I’ve been fascinated with giving feedback (and receiving it, too) for much of my career. And because I had to learn how to do it well, and overcome my own reluctance, I’ve tried many approaches to overcome this challenge. First, I read the books, lots of them. I watched the motivational videos and talks and heard others’ advice. Then I learned from top neuroscientists how brain science helps explain why this is so hard to do. And I’ve studied how people actually change behavior, hoping that I could help my team members become more successful. But best of all, after many years as an expert coach, I’ve learned how to give feedback so people will listen, and sometimes even thank me afterwards!

While reading books and watching videos has been helpful, what really made the difference were the few unique approaches I’ve learned over my two decades as an executive coach and consultant, where the stakes can be really high (like losing a client!). I’ve discovered that that there really are ways to give feedback that work. People sometimes don’t even realize they just “got feedback” (cue scary music) – it’s that powerful and effective. Sharing my own experiences and techniques, I’ve been able to help hundreds of leaders learn to do this, too, through both face-to-face classes and workshops, or individual coaching.

About 6 months ago, I decided it was time to figure out how to help more people – successful, capable professionals – get over their fears of giving feedback, especially when they knew things would be better if they did. The insights shared in 40+ conversations helped me boil down what I’ve learned over the last 30 years into the few, most important elements.

Since one of my 2020 goals is to help more leaders and managers to master their craft, I’m trying something new, and offering this as an online class. Right now, I’m looking for a small group of folks who are willing to participate in, and help me shape, this pilot program, starting on February 12.

I’ve got a simple four-step process to guide you through the most important steps, the ones that will make a real difference, so that in just six weeks, you’ll be both confident and capable of having a tough feedback conversation, and handling whatever reactions come your way. Here’s what we’ll cover:

  • What makes feedback so hard, on both sides, and how you can change that
  • Why intention and motivation are at least as important as the feedback itself
  • How to evaluate the relationship and why you need to do this
  • The “net model” of feedback, as taught in the Stanford MBA program’s most popular class
  • How to become comfortable with discomfort, your own and others
  • The sticky situations you can anticipate and how to prepare for them
  • How to repair a relationship, when needed
  • The mystery of how feedback strengthens relationships
  • The magic feedback words that change everything

Besides the six online classes, you’ll get two private coaching sessions with me. We’ll meet via Zoom for group classes and private coaching, and you’ll learn and practice skills to help reach your results quickly.

Besides having taught this material at Stanford’s Graduate School of Business and to leaders at dozens of companies, here’s what some of my clients can tell you about working with me:

"Sharon worked with the leaders in my group to enhance our leadership capabilities to drive better collaboration, higher results, and more satisfying work environment. I found her coaching extremely beneficial to me and my peers. It was very easy to see the results of her work transforming the team dynamics and accelerating the individual growth."
-Afsaneh Laidlaw, former VP, Engineering, Cisco Systems

“I realized that I needed to improve my interactions with my direct reports if I wanted to get the company to the next level. I knew I had a tendency to be negative, blow up - and that people were afraid to discuss things with me. That was not how I wanted to run my organization… [In three months with Sharon’s coaching] I feel I’ve made definite progress. I am able to relate to people better, open them up to be forthcoming with ideas. Communications overall have improved, and I feel like people are more relaxed around me… I am very impressed with how fast, and how easily the transformation happened.”
-Igor Seletskiy, CEO, CloudLinux

Now that you trust that I can help you with this, let’s talk about the details.

When this course is fully developed, it will cost $3995 per participant. But for this pilot program, open to only 10 participants, I’m offering a reduced rate of $1995. In exchange for the discount, I’m asking for three things:

  1. You’ll actively participate
  2. You’ll bring a real situation to address
  3. You’ll give me honest feedback on the course, activities and your results

What makes it a pilot is we’ll be co-creating the experience, adapting to what you and others need. If you’ll agree to these three things, I’d be really honored to have your participation!

When I’ve offered this type of content before, clients have paid as much as $10,000 to go through it, and when I work with private coaching clients, they pay $20,000 for six months. So, this is a unique opportunity to get this level of personal guidance from me at this price.

I’m really passionate about leaders getting feedback right, because I know that better feedback, given more often, solves many challenges that every leader faces in their organization. And I’m glad to share with you the same benefit that Fortune 50 executives, start-up CEO’s, Stanford MBA and executive MBA students have gotten, but in a smaller, more personalized environment.

It’s natural to want to know all the details of this course before committing, so here are answers to the most frequently asked questions:

If you have any other questions, just email me and I’ll answer them as soon as I can!

So that’s how everything will work.

  • Six one-hour Zoom meetings over six consecutive weeks, starting on Wednesday February 12th at 11AM PT
  • Recordings of all the calls so you can review the lessons
  • Two private coaching sessions, timed to help you get results
  • Tips and worksheets to help you through the four-step process
  • Short “homework” assignments that prepare you to participate in each call

And since I’m capping participation at 10 people, you are assured that you’ll be learning in an intimate, confidential environment. (No two people from the same workgroup allowed!)

Registration for this round for Feedback Without Fear has closed.

To get the details for the next round please enter your name and email below to join the Feedback Without Fear waitlist.

I hope you’ll join me in this class so that within six weeks you’ll be comfortable and confident having that feedback conversation you’ve been avoiding and enjoying the growth and productivity that will result.

With warm regards,


P.S. If you’re ready to finally push past the blocks that have kept you from giving feedback sooner and better, improving performance and quality in your organization, then I invite you to join today and master this critical leadership skill.