About the book

A practical and irreverent guide to taking the sting out of feedback and reclaiming it as a motivating, empowering experience for everyone involved.

Feedback: the mere mention of the word can make our blood pressure rise and our defenses go up. For many of us, it’s a dirty word that we associate with bias, politics, resentment, and self-doubt. However, if we take a step back and think about its true intent, we realize that feedback needn’t be a bad thing. After all, understanding how others experience us provides valuable opportunities to learn and grow.

Authors M. Tamra Chandler and Laura Grealish explain how feedback got such a bad rap and how to recognize and minimize the negative physical and emotional responses that can erode trust and shut down communication. They offer a new and more ambitious definition of feedback, explore the roles we each play as Seeker, Extender, and Receiver, and introduce the three Fs of making feedback focused, fair, and frequent. You’ll also find valuable exercises and strategies, along with real-world examples that illustrate how you can put these ideas into action and join in the movement to fix feedback, once and for all.


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M. Tamra Chandler is CEO and cofounder of PeopleFirm, a talent management and organizational performance consultancy that has earned consistent recognition as a top place to work. She has been named twice as one of the top 25 consultants in the United States by Consulting magazine. She holds an MBA from the University of Washington. Check her out in action here.


Laura Dowling Grealish is a management consultant at PeopleFirm and was previously director of consulting services at Orion Advisory. She holds an MBA from Pacific Lutheran University.




What others are saying

“What do successful leaders and organizations have in common? A culture where feedback is welcomed and not feared and trust sits at the center. Feedback (and other Dirty Words) shows you how to get there. Both witty and enlightening! Read this…..you’ll be entertained as much as you are informed.” 
– Christopher J. Cowan, M.Ed., FABC, Senior Vice President Human Resources at Christiana Care Health System


“This quick read highlights real benefits that can follow strong feedback practices while simultaneously helping to remove the stigma associated with giving and receiving feedback — important topics for leaders.”

– Roy Bivens; Author, Experiencing Improvement (The story of continuous improvement at Cleveland Clinic), Managing Partner, Orion Advisory; CEO, Diamond Orthopedic 


“This is the best book on feedback I’ve ever read! It brings practical, actionable ideas together with an enlightened perspective on work and people – and it does so in a way that embraces the talented, well-intentioned, but struggling reader. I know those struggles as feedback has been focal to my work as a manager, consultant and writer.  I’ve thought about it, taught about it, sought it, avoided it, and given it.  I’ve failed and succeeded often.  Feedback is essential to my life—and yours. Follow this author’s guidance to enrich your relationships at work and deepen your appreciation of those around you”

-Geoff Bellman, Principal Extraordinary Teams Partnership, Best-selling Author and Management Consulting Leader for 40+ years


 “My feedback on this book on feedback is simple:  it is an exceptional book.  It goes beyond feedback as a gift, to opening this gift and offering realistic, useful, and simple tips so that feedback happens.   And, it inspires leaders to make feedback a reality.”

-Dave Ulrich, Rensis Likert Professor, Ross School of Business, University of Michigan, Partner, The RBL Group


“Like it or probably not, people don’t grow without feedback. Can you deliver feedback without closing people down? Chandler and Grealish give the tools and methods for making feedback feel good. Feedback (and Other Dirty Words) will not only help you with your next performance conversation, it can transform your company culture to be more agile and enjoyable. “ 

-Marcia Reynolds, Psy.D., past president of the International Coach Federation, author of The Discomfort Zone: How Leaders Turn Difficult Conversations into Breakthroughs


“At last! A concise, practical, actionable contribution to the sticky topic of feedback.  In this breakthrough book, M. Tamra Chandler with Laura Grealish offer many layers of useful information and support around changing our existing paradigms around feedback.  This book details simple and powerful methods, backed by science.  We learn to seek, receive and offer feedback in a skillful and direct manner.  The book includes every day examples that the reader can relate to, for in the moment learning and application.  The authors wealth of experience shows up in this digestible tool box.  They make a compelling case for shifting how we all approach feedback, while breaking the process into manageable chunks that can shift not only performance, but the development of people and organizational culture.”

-Beatrice W. Hansen, MSSW, PCC Principal of Presence-Based Coaching 


“This very useful book teaches us that feedback is the key to all activities where we interact with others, especially at work. The lessons here show us how to do it simply and well.”

-Peter Cappelli George W. Taylor Professor of Management, Director – Center for Human Resources The Wharton School, and Professor of Education University of Pennsylvania

“Feedback (and other Dirty Words) cuts straight to the chase on what you need to do to revolutionize feedback in your organization. If we all approached feedback in this way, business (and the world at large)!) would indeed be a better place”

-Kathy O’Driscoll, VP of People at Snowflake Computing Inc  


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