In my last article I talked about the power of unwavering, yet effortless, intention. This week I want to talk about how to take even this superior level of intention to an even higher level.
Back when Noah Webster published the first American dictionary in 1828, he stated a great definition for the word intention. He said intention is: when the mind with great earnestness fixes its view on any idea, purpose or goal, and will not be called off.
To be in earnest is to be very determined and deliberate in stretching towards an objective. To fix is to establish immovably, without wandering.
Will not be called off means that nothing – nothing – can divert you.
Communicating with intention means that you will not be called off, nothing can divert you from your goal of being perfectly understood.
How you do it is very, very important. It requires the foundation of your being very simple, very direct, very clear and saying what you have to say with the complete certainty you will be perfectly understood.
If you add any force or effort to this equation, it blows up. The other person reacts to your force or effort and doesn’t hear what you’re saying. They then just want to defend themselves. You are diverted from your goal.
The key to success is to be and sound effortless.
And that’s also where the word gentle comes in.
Most people think gentle equals weak. They have good reason to think this. Most people who are thought of as “gentle” don’t have powerful intention and they ARE weak.
Gentle does not mean weak.
It means not harsh, not rough, having a light touch, considerate.
A gentle tone of voice combined with unshakable intention is powerful. It’s a thousand times more powerful than being forceful.
The word gentle has a most interesting derivation. The word originally meant of noble birth, high social standing, aristocratic. In other words, high class.
You can see how this is true. Someone who is harsh, severe, arrogant, forceful, rough or brash doesn’t come across as having class.
You have an unmistakable dignity when your communication combines a gentle tone with unwavering intention.
I always make “before” and “after” videos of my coaching clients. In his “before” video, confronted with a difficult situation, a VP I just coached quickly started to sound irritated because I wasn’t doing what he wanted. He became a little forceful, then more forceful, and the conversation ended up going around in circles, without any satisfaction, frustrating to both.
It takes a lot of practice and coaching to develop perfectly executed intention. We practiced for hours, until he could deliver all his communications (regardless of topic or difficulty) gently AND with perfectly executed intention.
In his final video, he was confronted with two extremely difficult scenarios. In both cases he delivered his communication precisely, he was very simple, direct, clear, with a warm, gentle tone of voice and unwavering intention. He came across as high class. He was immediately compelling. He only had to say it once.
There are other skills that are vital for complex discussions and difficult situations.
But without intention, there is no hope. It doesn’t matter how many times you say it, how carefully you choose your words or how right you are.
With a gentle tone and powerful intention, you only have to say it once.
When you communicate with that level of quality, with that power of intention, magic happens and you are perfectly understood. And funny enough, when people perfectly understand you, they can’t help it, they start to go into agreement. It supersedes logic. You have entered the realm of magical and causative communication.