“Consent to Proceed” by Dan Mall

For the past couple years I’ve tried to be more empathetic when listening to others. It takes a lot of focus and practice, and I'm far from perfect, but I feel like it helps me to be a better listener, problem solver, and hopefully friend.

Being a good listener puts us in a position to better understand the situation at hand and, if open to, provide feedback. But not everyone wants feedback. Some people just need to vent and get it out of their system.

This is where asking if someone is open to that response comes in and I loved reading Dan's post about it. Asking for consent before giving someone feedback is something I've tried to do a few times and his writing explains it so well and takes it even further than I have done.

The standard advice is to ​listen to understand, not to reply​. Let them finish their full thought and think through it before you offer a response.

Lately, I’ve been adding one extra thing to this pause:
I ask for consent to proceed.

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