Design colleagues, I am hoping to get some opinions on a particular situation. “Asking for a friend,” who is an in-house graphic designer at a small, flat-structured nonprofit. The friend’s manager and the manager’s manager (who is the CEO of the organization) have gotten into the habit of showing the friend’s design drafts to their family members and bringing their feedback back as critique. It may include typeface and layout suggestions, and general irritating feedback like “I showed it to my family, and something just didn’t look right to them, so you need to change it, and here’s how.” What follows is a veritable slaughter of the original design based on some very uneducated, retrograde-minded personal opinions. The family members in question a) do not work for the organization, b) are not design professionals (and even if they were…), c) have no stake in the process, and d) are not the target audience for the design. Sometimes the feedback contradicts and supersedes what the actual internal clients had already approved.
The friend is beyond annoyed with this behavior but doesn’t feel comfortable pushing back, even though s/he usually has no problem speaking up. It’s just that telling one’s boss and their boss’s boss (who is a CEO), 'Hey, stop showing my work to your family!" seems like a recipe for being fired, or for hearing “Nope, we are going to continue doing it, and you can take it or leave it.”
Am I off mark, or is this behavior unprofessional and disrespectful? Has anyone here successfully dealt with a similar scenario? Is the only solution to look for another job? Solutions or commiserations equally welcome.