Intention is invisible. We can’t see someone else’s intention. And intention always has impact.
We judge other people by their behaviour. We judge ourselves by our intention.
So we might say to somebody, after they make a complaint about our behaviour for instance, “Well, I never intended that.” That’s because they can’t see what our intention was. They’re only experiencing the impact of our words, our actions or inactions perhaps.
It’s important for us to realize that whilst we might not have had that intention (we might not have had ANY intention) it’s important for us to ask ourselves “What WAS my intention? If it wasn’t that, what was it?”
That’s challenging for us to do as human beings, because it requires us to slow down and be curious enough about what was going on inside us. People can use “that wasn’t my intention” as a way of avoiding responsibility for the impact that they did have.
When we walk into a business meeting, we have a responsibility to be present to the kind of impact we want to have, and the kind of intention that we want to have. That’s no different than if we walk in our front door. Just before we put the key in the door, are we present to the kind of impact we want to have on our family or spouse?
It doesn’t matter what kind of day we might have had. Are we just going to bring that day in with us, and then infect the next encounter that we have? Or are we going to take a moment and self-check our attitude at the door and ask ourselves “What kind of impact do I want to have? And in order to have that impact, what intention do I need to walk into the space with?”