Initially, when I start to coach someone on developing intention in their communication, they develop a stern facial expression and take on a “I really mean it” tone of voice. They become rather forceful and sometimes even a little harsh.
This is especially true if they anticipate the other person’s not listening or they’re going to “resist“.
Most people, when it’s important and they REALLY want to get their communication across, say it a little forcefully, sometimes a lot forcefully.
I coached a very successful VP this week. He is brilliant, inspired, has executive level thinking, is passionate and results driven. He’s a good man. In difficult conversations he starts out calm, but if he got impatient or irritated, his tone became antagonistic. Afterward he felt bad.
Most people have a lot of trouble finding that precise zone where their communication is penetrating and effective, but not harsh.
That’s because they don’t understand the true nature of intention. Communication is meaningless without intention.
Intention is defined as deliberate purpose. Purpose is the end result you want. Deliberate means that you consciously evaluated the situation and made your decision. The word deliberate implies the outcome is completely under your control.
When you are deliberate, it’s not so much that you’ve decided what you are going to say, it’s that you have decided the outcome.
This is the opposite of feeling that the outcome is “up to them”. Deliberate means you are in complete control of the outcome.
This is the essence of being causative.
Whether you are going for increased financial compensation, more resources, cooperation, gaining a new customer, a negotiated agreement, executive leadership support, agreement on strategy, whatever you’re going for, when you have intention, true intention, you have decided and are certain about the outcome.
This decision, in and of itself, has no energy, it simply is that you have decided. And you have decided with complete certainty. Certainty means freedom from doubt. Doubt means maybe yes, maybe no, you’re not sure. Certainty means it’s definitely this, with no doubts.
There is no “trying” involved, nor is any trying needed because the decision has been made.
There literally is no energy, effort or force involved in intention. It’s 100% done on a thought level and not at all in the field of energy.
A big mistake people make is that when they want something from the other person, their intention becomes for the other person to agree with them. When you’re communicating, this is an incorrect intention. It will frustrate you. The more you try to get someone to agree with you the more you repel them, the harder you have to work at it, and the less result you get. Trying to get others to agree with you turns people off and is fruitless.
The only correct intention in communication is to be perfectly understood, and I mean perfectly. People who come to me for coaching find it eye-opening when they discover how imperfectly they are being understood. They had no idea. Most people don’t fully realize how imperfect the understanding is when they’re not getting what they want. Imperfect understanding is the foundation for disagreement.
Perfect understanding is not easily achieved. It takes skill. It takes intention.
It requires saying what you have to say very directly, very simply, very clearly and, most importantly, with a complete certainty that you will be perfectly understood. When you communicate with that quality and 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.
This is inside of everyone. It's inside of you.