Journey of Discovering the Power of Intention

I've already shared my intention for writing this blog, and encouraged you to consider your own intention for reading it, as well as encouraging you to consider intention of all important areas in your life.  

Intention is the starting place for all activities, even if not understood and/or acknowledged. I want to share a story about how my own awareness began in understanding the power of intention. 

As with most discoveries, it came to me "by accident," so to speak. In other words, I didn't set out to have the realization nor had I planned it to be part of the training program I was hired to lead. 

So Here is the Story. 

I was leading the last three days of a five-day training program for mid-level managers who were newly assigned to overseas jobs. In the group of 30, there were a few seasoned managers, but most had been managers for three years or less. Few, if any, would have considered themselves on a journey of Personal Development. 

I had designed the training, which included the development of some case studies for them to explore in small groups and then present their personal insights and learnings to the total group. As they identified and discussed performance issues, I noticed attitudes that were different from the empowering approaches to Professional and Personal Development that I was advocating. In fact, many had the exact opposite attitude of what I was encouraging them to embrace. 

As they presented situations or solutions, I instinctively asked "What is/was your intention?"

The first time, I asked that question to a man who was talking about a specific situation he was remembering from his past that was similar to the case study. With curiosity in my voice and demeanor, I asked "What was your intention?" He answered, rather vehemently, "to get rid of this person as soon as possible." I listened and — and this is very important — I expressed no reprimand, judgment, or correction. I let his answer stand on its own, heard and accepted.

We moved on. Whenever inspired, I asked "What is your intention" or "What was your intention?" and sometimes even "What do you think was his/her intention?" Each question was helping them AND ME to understand the power of intention. 

An amazing dynamic occurred! The answers kept reflecting greater and greater empowering ideas by each new speaker. It was as if, once voiced, the less empowering intentions lost their power and participants were able to articulate more empowering statements of intention. 

As the trainer, I offered no resistance or correction, only acceptance of their expressions, so they didn't have to resist my resistance or defend themselves.

If I had been writing a screenplay to show the power of intention just by asking questions of curiosity, I couldn't have orchestrated it better. The whole group changed. In three days, this somewhat disgruntled group of individuals became a mostly upbeat, empowered group, eager for their new assignments.

Instead of trying to get these training participants to learn something on my agenda or to accept my point of view, I joined with them to learn what they most needed to learn. Of course, there were many other principles and techniques that I was hired to impart to them, but understanding intention was the most important learning for them, in my opinion ... and it was not on the agenda.

As much as they learned, I learned more. I learned about the power of intention and how to introduce it to others. Over time, I've come to describe my role as "holding a space" for others to expand and grow so that they find the power of intention, goals, dreams, and fulfillment. 

This single incident has been the foundation for exploring my own intention and helping clients and workshop participants to identify their own intention. Intention is an integral part of my work.

And, of course, my journey of intention continues. I expect to explore intention in future blog posts. 

Can you think of a current situation in your life where you might ask someone "what's your intention?" while having absolutely no judgment in your consciousness? 

Can you ask with loving curiosity and let the response stand on its own without analyzing? 

Consider these questions ... and feel free to make comments below. 

Copyright © 2008, 2019 Marshall House and Voice of Jeanie Marshall. All rights reserved. Jeanie Marshall is a Personal Development Consultant and Coach. This article is not available for republication without express written permission. 

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