Recently while coaching a group of managers and executives, I asked them what they wanted to make sure they left with at the end of the day.
One woman said she wanted to discover two ideas or insights that she could use in managing her team and being a more effective leader. At the end of the day, she had discovered at least three key insights she could apply immediately and said that probably more would surface as she returned to work.
Her intention to discover key insights to help her be a more effective leader directed her attention during the day. She didn’t consciously evaluate every activity or conversation to look for insights. They emerged throughout the day during our table discussions and over lunch with her colleagues. And to make sure she understood the value of intention, I asked her in the afternoon debrief and wrap-up what she learned to direct her attention back to her intention.
Setting an intention is a great way to start each day. Recently I was on a business trip to Boston with a friend and we decided to stay in Boston over the weekend. As we set out on Saturday morning, we stated our intention of the experience we wanted to have that day. We wanted to have an easy, fun day, meet interesting people and be joyful everywhere we went. We did have a great day and accomplished what we set out to do plus discovered more along the way.
You can use intention in any area of your life. The most important thing is to make it simple. Create one intention and then let the day emerge.
You can set an intention for what you want to learn from a book or a conversation.
You can set an intention of the experience you want to create for a client meeting.
You can set an intention for how you want to be in your relationships.
Intention indicates present and future focus. Intention directions your attention.
Here are some examples:
Today, my intention is to stay present and focused in all my conversations.
Today, my intention is for my meetings to be efficient and create the best solution for everyone involved.
Today I want to create clarity so I can move forward on <you name the project here.>
Today, I bring energy and enthusiasm to everyone I meet.
When you make statements of intent like this, your conscious and subconscious mind will direct your attention and your focus. To get the full benefit of this exercise, give yourself a few minutes at the end of the day to reflect on your intentions and what you noticed.
For a complimentary consultation on the power of setting intentions, contact me and I will connect with you to schedule a phone appointment.
Whether it is mentoring people to lead more effectively, improve their own performance or step into what is next, Kathy Garland is passionate about guiding leaders to achieve business goals and reach their highest potential.
© 2014 Kathy Garland