SF.'s answer to "How do you know when there's something missing in your story?" stated that for critiques "anyone will do, except close friends and family who'd praise you no matter what abomination you produced." While I understand the truth in the statement, I feel that even friends and family can be used to provide insight into what is lacking (or good) in a work.
I thought that a question something like "How can one maximize the usefulness of critiques from non-professionals?" might be useful, and I threw together the following text:
It is often convenient for writers to seek critiques from those not especially skilled in providing such critiques. How can one increase the likelihood that such critiques will be useful? In particular, are there methods to minimize the tendency for friends and relatives to be less honestly critical?
I wonder if this actually would be a suitable question for the Writers SE (it is rather broad) and, if so, how the question title, and especially the text, can be improved. (I think both the title and the text are okay, but the shortness of the text makes me wonder if the question is sufficiently clear. Shortness can also be a hint of question being "too broad".)
(This is a back-burner effort, and I hope to compose an extensive answer before posting the question, so there is no hurry on giving advice. Even if the question is too broad, I could post any answer that I developed on my (very underused) blog.)