The Art of permission

Have you ever noticed how asking for permission can feel like you’re a kid again, tiptoeing for a cookie before dinner? Well, in the grown-up world of feedback, it’s just as essential – but for different reasons.

Keep it Simple

When providing feedback, asking for permission first rather than just jumping in without warning is essential. It’s like diving into a pool without checking if there’s water. Some of my fellow Dutch people tend to do this, but it’s better to pre-announce the feedback before sharing it.

It’s easy to ask first. A simple “Mind if I share a thought on your project?” can open doors that a bulldozer approach can’t.

Giving feedback without asking can often become a whoops moment. A little ‘permission asking’ can save a lot of frustration and misunderstandings for both parties involved and show good intentions from the start. Feedback is about helping, not roasting a marshmallow over the flames of their project.

Straight to the Point

So, how do you ask? It’s no rocket science – just be genuine. “Got a sec for a quick chat?” does wonders. Once you get the green light, keep your feedback like a good coffee – strong but not bitter, at a suitable temperature, and not leaving second-degree burns when touched.

Remember: sometimes people don’t have a second for a chat, or they do not mind you sharing a thought. No hard feelings there. They also just provided you with feedback on your question. Let it go for now.

Asking for permission is about respect and empathy. It shows you value the other person’s perspective and are not just there to play the expert. It’s a small step that makes your feedback feel like a helpful nudge rather than an unwanted shove.


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