Intention > Action > Impact

Judge others on their intent not the impact of their actions!

Have you ever said or done something that you’ve immediately regretted? In your head it seemed ok, your intention was positive but it came out all wrong and had a negative impact. And when this happened did you…

Try turning it into a joke – a really, really, bad joke

Start rambling – and try to justify your actions

Continue to offend – by engaging in heated debate that is now fuelled by emotions

Stay quiet – and hope it will be quickly forgotten – with an awkwardness that can remain days, weeks or even months

Disappear – like Houdini, one minute you’re there and the next you’re gone – and then act like it never happened

OR

Did you apologise!

Did you pause and say “I’m so sorry, that didn’t come out the right way” or “that wasn’t the right time or place”? Then, sit in silence so the other person can respond. And take the lessons to make sure you avoid situations like that in the future?

Unfortunately, apologising doesn’t come easy. We allow the flight/fight/freeze instinct to kick in and can often make the situation worse instead of better. But if we were to focus on the process to get to this point we could then make changes to improve our actions in the future.

First, it’s important to reflect on why you said or did what you did – your intention – was it positive? Then, it’s about looking at the impact of what you did or said – your actions – from the other persons’ perspective and consider what might have been a better alternative for them at that time?

If you want to be a great leader and build a dynamic team culture then you must work on aligning the impact of your actions with your intent. And allow others to do the same.

So, when you’re on the other end of the conversation. When you’ve been offended by something that was said or done to you. You can choose how to respond. You can judge the other person based on their action or you can look for a positive intent. Then you can help them to understand what actions would have a better impact and help them develop in that area.

 “Remember not only to say the right thing in the right place, but far more difficult, to leave unsaid the wrong thing at the tempting moment.” ~ Benjamin Franklin

When we can focus on INTENTION, instead of IMPACT we are able to demonstrate compassion, forgiveness and acceptance of others – even when they inadvertently offend us. We can learn more about what drives another person and understand their view on things. And when we do this we become better leaders!

Where is your focus today?

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