#TheAskCharlieShow: Constructive Criticism

5 tips on how to give constructive criticism.

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To submit questions, email charlie@charlieharary.com or go to charlieharary.com.

Comments (9)

(5) Shlomo, June 16, 2015 6:43 PM

Ego Question

This has been a positively amazing video. I need some additional advice, though - how can I ignore the ego factor? I have a very big problem with this, especially if the person I want to criticize is someone younger, or someone who I'm responsible for, or both. If I try to criticize, I end up just insulting the other person back - a purely knee-jerk reaction - and the other person is offended and doesn't listen - or even starts to hate me because of it. I've found this to be at a lower level in my Yeshiva, since all the others are also working on improving their Midos and are open to it, but when I go out and talk to people I know outside my Yeshiva, it's like they're made out of cheap tissue paper and just break apart into pieces if someone criticizes them. Others are worse - they identify themselves as the false image of who they are that they display to the world, and although it's obvious that they're being phony, they are so deluded that they shatter like thin porcelain if they feel like their facade is being torn down. One thing I really don't understand is why people are that way. I know this sounds like a rant, but I really want to know the answer

Anonymous, December 29, 2017 6:21 PM

To commenter #5 Shlomo

I realize your comments are a few years old, but they struck me anyway. If you are in a supervisory position/are responsible for someone, then constructive criticism comes with the territory. Many years ago I had made a mistake at work and my boss was giving me criticism. I must have been wriggling around uncomfortably, because she looked straight at me and said it was CRUCIAL that I listened to her words and learned from them. (I never made the same mistake again, btw.) I think Charlie Harary has provided a very good blueprint for how to give this type of criticism. Unfortunately some people will still bristle at getting such feedback, but it is their challenge and not yours.

(4) Lina, June 16, 2015 2:30 AM

walking on egg shells

I was thinking how hard it is for me to offer positive critisism to my son. He struggles with making friends because he comes across as a know it all. He monopolizes conversations and doesn't catch non verbal cues...HOW can I help my teen with this? In the book of Youb we learn how all of his friends would come to him to offer their take on his situation and Youb flat out rejected their advice. It was the wrong time as he played on a bed filled with painful sores. To this day I don't fully understand if his friends mistake was the timing nor necessarily the content of their submissions. Perhaps - much like Yiob - my son would be more receptive to receive constructive critisism from someone other than his mom... I am open to constructive critisism...

Harry Pearle, June 16, 2015 6:06 PM

See comment #2 on Easy Criticism / Let son thank others?

I suggest that your son give credit to the ideas of others... Again, it might be helpful to have an Easy button from Staples to make light of the discomfort of the criticism... I gave an Easy button to a pediatrician friend and he uses it when giving kids injections...

(3) chava, June 14, 2015 5:34 PM


Yes, most of what you said is really on the mark. But one thing I don't understand. If you wait until the person is doing it again, it may be too late for them to improve the thing. If someone is wearing the same outfit that was really inappropriate for a business meeting, and you wait until he or she is dressed and ready to go, it's too late. The person may not have a better choice and had to have time to go out and buy something else. The same for choosing a topic to speak about, or any project. The comment needs to be made early enough so the person can do something different if they agree with you.

Shlomo, June 16, 2015 6:15 PM

It's Very Simple

I think you just answered your own question

Sharona, June 17, 2015 1:42 AM

Good point, if you they don't know what they did, then it could help to let them know before they do it again. However, if they figure out their mistake on their own, then you don't need to tell them, since they figured it out and it would just be annoying. That's why we wait to see if they will do it again, and before they do, we advise them otherwise

(2) Harry Pearle, June 14, 2015 2:55 PM

Start with EASY Corrections (Easy Devices) Compliment

This is a great lesson. I would add that it might be best to start with easy corrections, first. People may be more likely to listen when the suggestions are simple and easy...Second, we might use simple devices, to make the case. I have been using the Easy button from Staples. And now, after watching this video, I am thinking about how I might use to button to emphasize how easy a change can be to make... And finally, it seems to me that it helps to compliment people for their efforts and caring. (If might also help to ask the person you are trying to correct to watch Charlie Harary's criticism video, so they might be more receptive) THANKS SO MUCH CHARLIE www.SavingSchools.org

(1) Anonymous, June 14, 2015 12:53 PM

Actions not people

Dear Charlie Harary--
Of all of the crucial points you made, actions not people is the most crucial IMO. Human beings make mistakes. They themselves are NOT a mistake. If I write something and do not proofread it thoroughly, I have ACTED in a careless manner. My boss needs to bring that fact to my attention so that I do not make that mistake again. (Btw--The above example was purely hypothetical, as spelling errors and typos drive me up a wall. I usually check my work 2 and 3 times before submitting it.) Thank you for a most thoughtful video.


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