Intention and alignment are powerful forces that work together. Intention affects the outcome, and alignment tells you when you are on base or off base. When we align our intentions with our highest values we feel good. When we are misaligned we feel bad. Here are two examples of how intention and alignment work together. One example is personal and the other is professional.
Personal Example: Lets say you need to visit or call your elderly parent. If your intention is to “check it off the list” or “get it over with” you will feel impatient and will not be present. Your parent will not receive the gift of your visit, but instead will feel like a burden. If instead your intention is to give love and support, you will likely experience fulfillment and appreciation.
But let’s say that your intention is in the right place but your elderly parent isn’t appreciative or is obstinate and difficult to be around. Your experience will be one of compassion and understanding because you have no ulterior motives. You took action by aligning with your highest value.
However what I have witnessed over and over again is that when your intention is in alignment with your values, you get better results even when in the past you have had struggles.
Professional Example: You need to have a difficult performance conversation with an employee. If your intention is to prove them wrong, chances are you will provoke some anger. (If you feel obsessed that the conversation didn’t go well, check your intention and see if you had any hidden agendas. But I can hear the argument: “They were also out of alignment.” It doesn’t matter if they are out of alignment. Your own alignment is what you need to focus on when it comes to intention. Where we lose focus is when we start believing the problem is because of someone else’s intention. The one with the most clarity always navigates the ship.
In contrast, your experience will be different if when you approach the conversation your intention is to find ways to work together. You will be more curious instead of judgmental, and your employee will sense your energy.
How do we stay aligned?
Stop assuming wrong intention on others who have a different point of view. The moment you assume wrong intention is the moment you contribute to the drama.
When we assume wrong intention we shut down and forget to be curious. We get roped into the pain body and participate in the very things we say we don’t want.
Intention is a powerful force. Alignment tells you when you have the wrong intention, or when you assume wrong intention.
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Marlene Chism is a consultant, international speaker and the author of “Stop Workplace Drama” (Wiley 2011) and the author of “No-Drama Leadership (Bibliomotion 2015). Visit her website, and connect via LinkedIn, Facebook and Twitter.