Intent is critical to our actions and consequently the outcomes resulting from our actions.
For this reason, it is important to examine the intent of our actions.
Knowing for each action, there is a consequence induces the desire to explore what our intent is. Questioning our intent provides the opportunity for personal growth. It is through questioning and reflection we increase our learning, we experience personal growth. The question is simple, what is the intent of the action?
Recently, I listened to an interview with Oprah, as the interviewee, this served as the inspiration for this article on intentions.
The topic of intent was woven into the daily dialogue with the team I previously supervised. When issues or concerns would arise, and individuals took action, I asked the same question of the individual, what was your intent?
Intent as defined by Merriam-Webster Dictionary is:
Definition of intent
a : the act or fact of intending : purpose; especially : the design or purpose to commit a wrongful or criminal act admitted wounding him with intent
b : the state of mind with which an act is done : volition
: a usually clearly formulated or planned intention : aim the director’s intent
I do not believe that all intentional actions are for the purpose to harm, or wound another person. In my opinion our intention may be to teach, or inform, or provide the individual with a fresh lens through which to view a situation.
Intention, in contrast provides a broader view, that in my opinion applies most appropriately in this scenario.
Intention, as defined by Merriam-Webster is:
Definition of intention
: a determination to act in a certain way : resolve
: import, significance
a : what one intends to do or bring about
b : the object for which a prayer, mass, or pious act is offered
: a process or manner of healing of incised wounds
: concept; especially : a concept considered as the product of attention directed to an object of knowledge
intentions plural : purpose with respect to marriage
If the intent is the help someone learn, provide information, increase awareness, intent is an effective means to accomplishing this. It aligns with lead by example, there are time when it is necessary to demonstrate a more efficient means. We are able to exercise our leadership skills through modelling behaviour. Demonstrating what a cooperative or collaborative working relationship looks like. It is not limited to our professional environments, it may be employed as a parenting tool, or an instrument to develop personal relationships while maintaining your personal values and beliefs.
When the actions of your intent is to help others, or yourself to grow and learn, one acts with the best of intentions.
I encourage each of you to question, what your intent?
Invest the time to reflect on the question, provide yourself the opportunity to learn. Reflection provides individuals an opportunity for personal growth.
Wishing all your actions are with the best of intentions.