The 365 Commitment

Day 195 – Intent Matters

You simply cannot hide your intent. You may think you can, but the reality is that your intent shows through in a myriad of ways. Your tone, your cadence, your expression, your word choice and your actions. What you choose to focus on and what you choose to ignore. No matter how you may think you can hide your intent, it will always come through. Loud and clear. People will always know your intent. Your intent has the greatest impact on your relationship with other people. They will judge you by your intent more than anything else.

For this reason, I can state unequivocally that Intent Matters.

For these reasons it is imperative to clarify your intent. Unfortunately, many people will go about their lives, head into engagements, and meet with people not knowing or thinking about what their intent really is. Reality is that most of us go about our days without clarity of intent, because we have not put a lot of thought into this as a concept.

This seems obvious, right? Clarify your intent.

You would be shocked to realize how many people do not know what their leaders’ intent is. The leader is asking the team to do things, trying to convince the team to achieve certain results. However the team does not know the why. They simply do not understand what the leader is trying to accomplish on a personal and professional level. So there is doubt, concerns, lack of trust. The leader is leaving a giant gap of unknowns and inviting the employees to fill in the blank. My experience shows that the gaps are not always filled with good things.

Clarifying your intent is a powerful way to built trust with your team.

Often when you meet with a client or new prospect you also go in with a lack of clarity on your intent. This also leaves a giant gap for the client to fill in. Since you are in a buyer/seller relationship they will automatically fill in the intent to “sell something.” This is not a good outcome, so as a consequence your conversation will suffer because the other party is making assumptions about your intent. By understanding and clarifying your intent before the conversation begins you can remove all doubt. In fact, you can clearly state your intent with meaning and conviction.

Clearly stating your intent with conviction is much better then not saying anything.

It is true that trust has a lot to do with our credibility. However, it is only one part of the equation and if we spend most of our time focused on the credibility angle we lose the key ingredient behind a trust relationship, which is intent. We can spend all the time in the world on trying to convince someone that we have the expertise necessary to be credible, but if we ignore the intent then a trust relationship will never be established.

A simple equation for trust is Intent + Expertise.

I cannot overstate the importance of intent in any relationship. Intent has to be stated, understood and clarified before any real progress can be made. Yet, knowing this obvious concept we tend to ignore intent all together. You cannot possibly be clear on your intent unless you have considered the intent carefully before engaging with or talking to another person. Intent Really Matters.

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