Set your intention. Intention could be defined as a “wish”; it could be construed as a “purpose” behind an act; or an aim that guides action. In any case, I am simply asking that we consider the “why” of our actions when we lead, sell and serve. I am asking that we premeditate our efforts – to lead with purpose. And this might seem obvious, but in today’s no-normal world, it’s easy to become so distracted that when asked, we might be unable to identify purpose in anything we do. Don’t get caught up, to influence effectively, let intention be your first consideration.
This truth resonates with me, set your intention is in my top-five. If you understand it, if you internalize it, your leadership practice will transform. It’s that powerful.
Intention – the thing that you plan to do or achieve … what one intends to bring about … your goal, purpose, aim, motive, hope, objective or design
Apply the whole definition to each and every interaction you set out to engage in. Otherwise, you’re just ‘walking around’. And one single word that embodies the above definition? Why. Why will you approach, engage and ultimately carry out a chosen interaction? More questions now come into play: what result am I looking for, and most importantly, what do I want to evoke with it?
I’ve discovered along this journey that the base intention of influence is to evoke. The purpose of influence is to evoke, to bring into the conscious mind of your audience, an image, an emotion or an action. The base intention is to create movement in another.
Want to know how to set your intention for each and every interaction you engage in? Simply answer one question; in approaching this person, what do I want to see, feel or do – and after interacting with me, what do I want them to see, feel or do? It’s as simple as that. And may I add, if you can’t answer that question – leave them alone for now. Don’t start it up until you can answer it. There is no right or wrong answer to the question, but when you have one, you have your intention – and you won’t have much choice anymore.
Let’s do something different – we can’t help but get better:
- Pick one target – select one person, one interaction, one outcome that you want to influence on your team.
- Set your intention – make it your goal today to engage in just one interaction that you begin with an end in mind. Select an image, emotion or action as that end result.
Plan to be amazed and gratified when you see the very image, emotion or action that you’ve targeted. It’s simple, but not easy … but once you make it happen, it’s magic.
Don Brown dedicates his career to ‘helping people with people’ in leadership, sales and customer service. Bilingual and experienced at the executive and line-level alike, you see the results of his work across dozens of industries, including brewing, automotive, airline, banking and medical equipment.
Speaking, writing, coaching and selling to the best – Ford Motor Company, Anheuser-Busch, United Airlines, Harley-Davidson, Jaguar Cars, Hilton Hotels and many, many more – Don takes great pride in long-standing customer relationships (some running well over twenty years).