What is our goal when we give feedback? We want to improve the design in some way. Additionally, we want to high quality designs without demoralizing the recipient of the feedback.
Indeed, whether we’re too “soft” or too “hard”, the intention is clear: we want them to stay motivated and continue keep refining their work so the product output is better.
For me, this means we want to empower the recipient (and especially if you are a leader your goal is to develop others).
Building self-confidence as a designer is a HUGE skill set.
After all, the ultimate goal is self-reliance – for THEM to be the measure of quality and be able to evaluate themselves.