Tuesday, January 18, 2011


Intention is a tricky thing.... to define, to understand, to clearly articulate, to get right and to move beyond!

Twice this week (and I know its only Tuesday!) I have found myself pondering "intention" - both mine and others.

The consultant I am currently working with to develop a strategic plan for my organisation always starts off our telephone calls with "What is your intention for this call today?"....... The first time she asked I am sure I rolled my eyes (the clear benefit of not being face to face) and settled down for what I figured would be a bunch of "Consultantese". I duly stated what my intentions were and she stated hers and proceeded with the conversation.  She has done this on every call and I will now admit that it certainly helps to frame the conversation and I feel heard from the start and can relax that my points will be addressed and we always accomplish what we intend to in the time we intended to use! She knows her stuff!

In a different exchange today on email (already fraught with opportunities for misunderstanding) I got into a "conversation" in which my intention was not understood and was likely misinterpreted and things would appear now to be a bit muddied.  This community colleague has asked to have coffee with me and I am hoping I will be bold enough to ask what her intention is in having the conversation over coffee with me and I will be able to state my own intentions.  In that way maybe several years of frustration and posturing can be put squarely on the table and we can have an honest and frank conversation.

Its interesting that the word is still "intention" whether positive or negative - and what is that saying????...."The road to hell is paved with good intentions...."  Hmmmm.

So perhaps while clarifying and honestly stating our intentions opens up the opportunity for constructive dialogue (Oh dear, now I am speaking "Consultanese!) its acting on our good intentions that really matters......

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