Words like “no offense”, “this is coming from love, but…” or “not to be mean but…” are often used to preface a statement that the speaker anticipates will make the listener will feel hurt, angry or upset. The truth is, when the listener hears these words, they get ready to hear something offensive.
Of course, there will be times that you do need to deliver some negative feedback. Do it with tact and respect. First, do it in private. Skip these opening statements and get to the point. And frame it with an “I” statement. .”I’m concerned about this because … “ and then explain why.
Another gentle approach: “Would you be open to some feedback?”