The giving of feedback that people hear comes down to two choices: the direct approach, or the sandwich approach. In essence, men prefer the direct approach i.e. the filling in the sandwich or the “don’t sugar coat it method, whereas women will begin by making a positive statement, deal with the negative filling and finish with a positive statement.
Having said that, there is no one size fits all solution. It is very much horses for courses. If you are providing feedback using the direct method and you aren’t getting through, switch to the sandwich method and so on.
Cindy Tonkin explores this notion further in her very good Blog: Giving Feedback That People Hear regarding Deborah Tannen’s research in this area.