The Power of Constructive Criticism

38 Responses

  1. I like your sandwich metaphor! You mentioned that someone might distrust the positive feedback. I think as long as the positive feedback is specific, it can’t be denied. Congratulations on turning lessons learned into a blog post. I can understand that first impulse to ruminate and make the next post all better. Including the lessons you were given here is very helpful to me! And I can see where you’ve already made those changes. Super job and thank you!

    • CJ says:


      The key work you mentioned was positive feedback. If feedback is give without the giver having alternative motives then it is true positive feedback. Unfortunately we have to be aware of those that are providing it for self gain. These individuals are why a lot of people shy away from seeking out constructive criticism. They don’t know who to trust. However, if one can break free of that distrust and seek out an honest person that is qualified to provide the feedback it will help them move forward at a faster pace.

      Next, I am glad the blog suggestions that I included as examples in the post have been helpful. An, yes we have implemented them. One of the things about constructive criticism is once it is received you must take action on it to get any value out of it. The sooner you take action the sooner you reap the rewards.

      Thanks for the comments.

  2. Hi CJ and SJ,
    I enjoyed reading your detailed post about constructive criticism. As a secondary math teacher, it was part of the curriculum to teach students how to analyze each others’ work. I would encourage the students to participate in “open mic – visual presenter” times where they would display and speak about their problem-solving solutions. I used a similar process called, “Two Stars and a Wish,” where we would get feedback from 3 students at a time – 2 positive comments and 1 wish to improve upon… This process gave a sense of improvement for all, not just the one, for everyone could live and learn from these discussions.
    You did just that with this post. Thank you for sharing!
    I look forward to future posts!
    All the best!
    Milissa Neirotti

    • CJ says:


      I found your star method to be interesting. It is a lot like the sandwich method. I love how you challenged your students to think critically when observing people and things. This a valuable tool! SJ has remarked several time over our marriage how she likes to sit an listen to teachers giving constructive feedback to students. She would say she got more knowledge from those times than reading the textbooks.

      Thanks for your thoughts and may you grow from feedback on your journey.

  3. CJ & SJ, what a very beneficial post! So many of us should probably read, and re-read, this many times over. You bring some very valuable tips for how to take something like constructive criticism and greatly use it to your advantage. I know for many people, we can be too emotionally tied to our “product,” and therefore it’s quite difficult to see how someone else views it. I’m not gonna lie… I’ve been guilty of this a time or two. I believe when we can get ourselves out of the way, put our ego aside, greatness can come from taking in other’s helpful suggestions. As the one providing constructive criticism, I always try to come from a place of love, even if what I have to say may not be the most enjoyable to hear. I love the idea of your Sandwich Approach for this… this is an excellent way to hopefully work through someone’s ego so they can hear the constructive ideas you’re trying to share.

    • CJ says:


      Constructive criticism is another tool in our bag that we can use to our advantage to move forward. You are correct, emotions of fear and hesitation often hold individuals back from seeking out feedback. Then when one does seek it out they become defensive which in a lot of cases negates the value one can get from the feedback.

      However as you pointed out greatness can come from receiving constructive criticism with a positive mindset. It is even better when the person offering it does so in love.

      I am glad you found the post to be beneficial and a good reminder.
      Success is within your grasp if you remember to seek out constructive criticism.

  4. Ernie says:

    WOW! What a great post! I have used the Sandwich Approach for may this and is a principle that can be used for business and personal situations. Your thoughts regarding the following is incredibly good:

    “Sets the Stage for Success
    Constructive criticism is a success multiplier. It allows the ability to unlock an individual’s God-given potential and positions one for success. When one continuously seeks out feedback it allows them to keep growing, increases confidence, and becomes a habit that propels one to achieve their goals.”

    Again, WOW!

    • CJ says:


      We can go through life doing trial and error without feedback. However, if we want to have true success one must be willing to seek out feedback. Sometimes that will come in the form of constructive criticism. Where other times it may come from things like knowing your numbers. Regardless where the feedback comes from, it is crucial for success.

      You are correct! The principles of constructive criticism can be applied through all avenues of life, and should be. As I said in the post constructive feedback is a success multiplier.

      Thanks for you comment

  5. Hi CJ & SJ,
    This is a great post! Constructive criticism is so important.
    I like that you shared about the feedback sandwich! I used to use this when I was working in the non profit sector helping newcomer professionals transition into their fields. I would do a lot of group assignments and encourage them to provide feedback to each other in the sandwich method.
    I also like the 5 benefits we can get from constructive criticism, of course if we approach it with the right mindset and understanding. Such valuable information and although I’ve practiced this in the past it is just and important for right now in learning affiliate marketing. Thank you!

    • CJ says:


      I am glad you liked the post. The feedback sandwich, is a great tool if used properly in any field. it does provide a lot of benefits if taken with the right mindset, as you mentioned.

      The good thing about online marketing is that there are no shortages of opportunities to acquire constructive criticism.

      Thanks for your comments.

  6. Andy Jacobs says:

    Personally, I am glad to get the suggestion to leave out video and audio. I am awful at making videos of myself. Keep up the good work CJ and SJ. Always interesting blogs from you two.

    • CJ says:


      I understand your reluctance of doing audio and video. I had the same hesitation. I had to overcome all the fear and preconceived notions that I conjured up in my head about it. However, once I got past those things, it became fun. Don’t get me wrong, I am far from perfect and I’m not the most photogenic. But, I do strive to do better with each video I create.

      Something to think about. Statistics say that 80%, and growing, prefer to consume content via video. That means if you only do text, you are cutting out 80% or more of your market. Not that doing text only is bad, It just narrows your audience substantially.

      I challenge you to try to make a video. As all the greats say it will stink. But, you cannot get better if you don’t do it.

      Thanks for your comments

  7. Eleanor Hope says:

    I think for any criticism it is difficult to not take it personally and become defensive in response.

    Constructive criticism takes into account the whole person rather than focusing on the individual, the ‘wrong ‘ / or problem/fault so able to reflect and take benefit from the feedback. Appreciate the conversation and the blog tips.

    • CJ says:


      For most people it is hard to hear what needs to be corrected. However, one needs to get past that fear and defensiveness. As I have mentioned before we need to take the time to listen and evaluate what is being said. When that happens we have the ability to keep what is good and discard what doesn’t apply. It boils down to having an open mind and using the feedback as fuel to grow.

      Thanks for the comment,

  8. I really enjoyed this post. I miss having people in my life who are willing to give me constructive criticism. It’s hard to find people that are willing to speak into your life like that. We do have our trustworthy guidance from our coaches and hopefully they will always know it is better to give us constructive feedback than to not.

    I live my life with beginners mindset. In meditation it is often talked about to have a “beginners mind” and that has all to do with not overthinking things and staying humble. It takes a great deal of humility to accept constructive criticism. You need to have the beginners mindset no matter how long you have been at something. Because with that, you are teachable. I strive to always be teachable but it’s not always easy. In any case, thanks for your post and your transparent honesty.


    • CJ says:


      Great way to put it into context. I like how you used the analogy of a beginners mindset. When one first starts out at anything they are usually very moldable and humble. They ask question and are eager to learn. Then they seek out ways they can improve on what they’ve learned. A beginner mindset ahs a little bit of an incense to it.

      It would be great if we could all maintain the humility of a child and apply that to everyday life. This includes our online marketing business.

      On thing I had to learn the hard way is that often times the mentor can learn from the mentee. Also, I can come from unexpected sources.

      We need to be open to listen and except that which is good and discard the rest.

      Thanks for the comment.

  9. CJ & SJ,
    Constructive criticism – we all need it now and then. It’s like the secret sauce for improvement. After all, if we’re not striving to get better, we risk being stagnant and not growing our business. I’m confident you’ll embrace this constructive feedback and absolutely flourish. Can’t wait to follow your progress!

    • CJ says:


      Constructive criticism is defiantly the magic sauce. If one wishes to accelerate their personal and business goals, they MUST seek out feedback. As I mentioned in the post constructive criticism is the growth multiplier. As you mentioned it can keep one from becoming stagnate. Though truth be told there is no such thing as stagnate. You are either going forward or regressing backwards. Feedback helps keep one moving forward.

      Thanks for commenting.

  10. Constructive criticism is essential to progress. We all need it, but we also need the mindset to keep progressing and not focus on the negative. BUT is a very powerful word, especially after a compliment. BUT seems to dissolve the compliment altogether. A growth mindset is a powerful thing!

    • CJ says:


      Thanks for commenting. As I ponder your comment one of the things that jumps out at me was the word mindset. When looking at the feedback from constructive criticism as a negative is damaging and negates the value of the feedback. To get the full value of feedback we MUST view it as a positive not a negative. One of the reasons people fear feedback is because it’s viewed in a negative light. We must strive to have the growth mindset you mentioned. With a growth mindset one approaches constructive criticism in a positive manor and seeks out opportunities that allow them to grow.

      Sarah, I encourage you to seek out feedback on the things you are working on. I will amaze you on how much it helps you grow and accelerate your business.

  11. Atif Perwiz says:

    CJ, it was nice to read SJ’s contribution too, thank you. Like you, I think the biggest challenge is the length of the blog. We have so many points that we want to get across and there’s the narrative around each one that it does end up being quite long. so we can either chop them up into two or three smaller blogs or like you’ve done here is insert pictures and more spacing between the paragraphs. I think what would help your blog is if the font size was much bigger. Also, I was quite intrigued when you said you were advised to remove the video and the audio from your blog. Can you give me some reasons behind that because I was thinking of adding those to. Maybe a happy medium would be to leave the audio on for people that either don’t like reading or find reading difficult and the video could go on social media or YouTube channels. Keep up the great work you offer so much value. It be great to help each other reduce the length of the blogs. All the best thank you very much. Thanks, Atif

    • CJ says:

      I am glad you like SJ’s part she injected into the post. I hope to see her do a little more of that as time permits. Thanks for commenting on the blog changes. To answer your question about the video and audio. The explanation I was provided is that a person that is coming from say YouTube to the blog isn’t expecting more video, They are expecting to see a text. If they wanted more video then they would just stayed on YouTube. In addition, they noted that video and audio on blogs made it preform worse. To me it defies logic but there are a lot of things in life that contrary to what one thinks it should be. If you download and watch the ask anything video from the 29th, it will have more detail in it.

      There is an advanced thought process that I do agree with. You need to meet people on the platform of their choice. If they like to consume text on a blog, you need to communicate to them with text, If they consume their content via video then one needs interact with them on that platform. Russel Brunson, Shows this great. He started a podcast and thought he would get everyone to join his podcase by pushing everyone to the podcast. It failed miserably. Why? Because he tried to push text and video consumers to audio. What they really wanted is to consume the information on their preferred platform. This is a very powerful statement and took me sometime to truly digest and understand what he meant.

      However, I do intend to put a link on each of my blog posts to a video version on YouTube. The video link won’t be intrusive or push the text down the page. The uses will be able to just click the link and the video will open for those who wish to consume it by video & it will give exposer to my YouTube channel.

      This is just food for thought.
      P.S. I have been able to keep my posts down under 1500 words. That is a big start. Most were 2400 to 3000. Plus, I’ve learn some trick to building my post quicker.

      Thanks again, you are making great progress.

  12. Ken McGarvey says:

    CJ/SJ thanks for posting the often acword subject. I didn’t know anything about the sandwich approach so you’ve taught me something.

    • CJ says:


      You are welcome! I did not know of it till I join the speech club. I try to remember to use it when I’m mentoring others. I have found it to work amazingly. Yes, like anything else in life people can miss use it for personal gain. But when used properly it provides a valuable experience for both the give and receiver of the feedback.

      Thanks for you comment.

  13. Hi CJ,
    I identify with your comments, and I am in complete alignment. I believe that constructive criticism is always welcome, even if it’s not what we were expecting. Additionally, I think the attitude with which we receive criticism is important, even when the person providing the feedback may be trying to harm us. If we look for the positive side, we can always benefit from criticism. Great blog, congratulations, and may you have much success. I’m online for my review, although I haven’t requested it yet. Thank you for sharing.

    • CJ says:


      You are correct! One can find value in constructive criticism no mater the source. As you pointed out, it is the attitude in which one receives it that makes a huge difference. If received with a poor mindset it greatly diminishes the value of the feedback. Often when given constructive criticism we have a tendency to put up our guard and get defensive. What we should do is listen, evaluate and take what is helpful and discard the rest.

      I am glad you are thinking about having your work reviewed. Don’t wait to long. Waiting slows down the growth process.
      You Got This

  14. CJ, I completely agree; constructive criticism can be powerful. I know when I send in my blog, email, or ads for review to the team, it is going to get ripped apart, but I learn so much, and I leave with actionable steps to make it better. I recently decided to try to narrate a book I wrote. I asked friends and family to listen to a clip from the narrator, not telling them it was me to get honest feedback, sometimes it can be hard to hear negative comments about something you have poured your heart and soul in, but it is important for growth and development.

    • CJ says:


      I think one of the drawbacks for most people when it comes to constructive criticism is that it makes one vulnerable. Being vulnerable people become fearful and hesitant to open themselves up to feedback. You are correct the more one has invested time an energy into something the more hesitant one is to seek out feedback. However, it is critical to overcome the hesitation and fear if one want to succeed.

      I am glad you have made the decision to open up and get constructive criticism. I know you won’t regret it.

  15. I am hesitating to have Glenn et al take a look at my blog. I guess I have fear as to what they will say! Certainly constructive criticism will be welcome and I must adapt an attitude to embrace it. What you say here is helpful and I appreciate it.

    • CJ says:


      I am glad it is helpful. It can be scary as first to put yourself out there to receive constructive criticism. The important part is to remember that they have your best interest at heart. They are not picking on you but are striving to make you and your blog better. I encourage you to stop hesitating and take the plunge. You cannot fix when you don’t know what needs fixing.

      Thanks for commenting

  16. Sandy says:

    Great job CJ

    I actually like the videos it breaks out the blog. Long blogs are hard for me to keep interest, very busy. Great information. Can’t wait for the next post.


    • CJ says:

      I am a big fan of video and audio and that is why I stated publishing my blog with these types of media. Since I have leaning disabilities and do not retain a lot of written stuff, I lean toward audio and video to help with it. With that said, as soon as SJ and I decide which video platform we are going to be using, we are planning on putting a link to the video version in the blog instead of imbedding it. This I feel is a good compromise as it won’t be intrusive at the top but one can click a link and watch the video. This was a suggest that was made to me.

      I am also going to participating in some blog challenges to help SJ and I improve it.

      I would also encourage you to have a critique done on your blog. It is a great way to lean.

  17. Robert Klein says:

    One thing that I’ve learned about any sort of digital comment be it via email or a web site or even social media is that it is hard to read the actual intent – the temperature of the comment – if you will…kind or cruel as you put it – or it could be something in between.

    And you’re right about controlling our feelings. And I thank you for identifying the sandwhich method.

    But where ever possible – if we are getting a comment that makes us feel good, bad or somewhere in between – it is best to give them the benefit of the doubt and it’s best to tak to them in person to understand their true intent.

    And thanks for the point by point powerful things criticism can provide.

    • CJ says:


      As you stated taking the intent of the person into consideration when evaluating their comment is important! First we must seek out people who are qualified to provide the advice. Second, the individual must have the person’s best interest at heart. I also agree. It is hard to tell a person’s intent through all the digital media source. You miss the language inflections, body language and demeanor that comes from in person conversations. However, now days with digital media we need to get in the habit of asking clarifying questions. Asking these types of questions allow us to better understand and receive the constructive criticism. It also permits the one giving the advice to seek clarity on areas that they do not understand.

      Thanks for the comment

  18. Alan Lim says:

    I think you have received lots of great advice on how to improve your blog.

    There is just one thing I don’t really understand, which is to “remove the video and audio”.

    I have the impression that having the video and audio is a good thing.

    I mean, some people prefer to watch video, some people prefer listening, some people prefer reading.

    So isn’t it a good idea to have video and audio as well to give people a choice?

    • CJ says:


      I had the same questions about the video and audio. I was under the impression that the video was a good thing on a blog. However, it was pointed out to me that most people coming to a blog are looking for text. To verify this I surveyed a few people that are avid bloggers. The feedback I got was remove the video and audio people don’t want to see that. They want texted. IF they wanted audio or video they would go to the platforms that were designed for this purpose.

      For now we are going back to text on the blog, however we are going to be producing a lot of video content on other platforms. Once we do we will put links from our blog posts to those videos. This will again all users to click a link to view the video while not needing to embed it in the blog post. This is something they suggested.

      It is a learning curve and sometimes we may not understand why it is the way it is but it seems to work.

      Thanks for the comment

  19. Tony says:

    I like the sandwich approach, as you are right it is hard to take criticism, even when you have asked for it. The idea of framing the negative between two positives makes alot of sense .

    I will try to keep it in mind

    • CJ says:


      The sandwich method is indeed a valuable resources. Not only have I been on the receiving end but have used it mentoring others. It provides a tool that allow for constructive criticism while encouraging people to improve. Let me know how things go when using it. I have found it to push me closer to my goals and an accelerate the pace of my growth.

      Thanks for the comment.

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