Intention: Power or Peril?
Many people shy away from discussing or asking about intention. Why? I believe it’s because most are not comfortable being held accountable relative to their stated intentions. We are also uncomfortable holding others accountable. Alternatively, a focused conversation of intention creates opportunities for increases in power/influence or peril/loss of credibility.
Intention is simply defined as commitment to a certain goal or purpose. Power and influence are developed by engaging in communications and actions in support of your stated intentions. Ask yourself if you have made clear what your intention is for a specific relationship or activity. I remember when my wife and I first met … we called it, “Dating with a purpose.” And, that purpose was eventual marriage. All decisions, communications and behaviors were in support of that stated intention, building an appropriately powerful and solid foundation.
On the other hand, if what we say and do is not aligned with a stated intention, it is reasonably challenged. Consistently misaligned communications and actions reduce credibility and chances for productive relationships. When you hear or see something that does not make sense, ask or confirm with the other person about their intention. Not in an aggressive way, but in a manner that shows your desire to understand. “Hold on. I am a little confused. I just want to understand your intention relative to what you just said.”
Statements of intention are powerful tools in establishing successful relationships. Intention provides a means by which to measure an individual’s communications and actions. People with good intentions and the desire to be held accountable, will love having a conversation about intention. On the other hand, someone who is ill intentioned would rather not want that discussion. As I mention to clients, it does not always end up the way you hope, but it does become more clear. If you want greater clarity, confirm expectations and set yourself up for more powerful and productive relationships.
Intention! What is yours? Enjoy the journey!