Permission Slips

Emily Mall (disclaimer: I’m married to her) wrote about permission slips. It’s a topic I’ve been meaning to write about for a while (but probably never would have gotten to). One of my favorite parts from her post:

…to overcome your fears, you need [permission] to try something different.

That’s a principle I use often when I’m coaching design teams. Smart people often have good solutions to their own problems, but they may not feel empowered to put it into practice. Sometimes, all it takes is for someone to say, “You know that great idea you have? You should do it.” When I was thinking of starting SuperFriendly, I had a tentative plan to launch in a year. My friend Jason Blumer said, “You should start in February,” which was 3 months away. After the initial shock of his suggestion, SuperFriendly was born February 1.

Em’s post is a great reminder to give yourself—and others!—permission when it’s requested—and, perhaps more importantly, when it’s not.

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