Everything we know about running a business tells us that things are better when they've been shaped by a diverse range of people.

That means that, when we've been working on something, it's really valuable to seek input from others to help improve it. And it's also important for us to spend time helping our colleagues refine what they are working on. This makes our company better for all of us.

Giving feedback well is a vital part of any leadership role. But it's also really important that you're able to share your plans and ideas and consult on them — soliciting feedback from key people or the entire organisation.

Yet at the same time, some of the scariest words to say or hear are "Can I give you some feedback?" That's because the phrase has become loaded down with meaning from bad management, and is often taken to mean 'can I tell you how you're wrong?' or 'can I show you how I'd have done this better?'

Feedback is also that nasty noise you get when a microphone is too close to a loudspeaker. That's sometimes how it feels.

We prefer to use the term 'notes', which is used in the world of publishing, film-making and other creative industries as a way for others to contribute to a work in progress.

These are our principles for receiving and giving notes...