DO YOU HAVE INTENTION DEFICIT DISORDER?
3 Things to Remember When Communicating With Consciousness & Intentionality
The invitation to set an intention can be found everywhere from yoga classes to meetings and events because intention is an aim or a plan. Think about aims and plans you’ve set before. We’ve all set goals or made New Year’s resolutions that rapidly fall apart when other priorities arise or the steps necessary for success are just too hard.
Intention without actions become simply words.
Without intention, you can react in a heated discussion saying something you didn’t mean. I know I have.
We all operate with unconscious biases and judgements based on cultural values and beliefs. Our unconscious biases sometimes manifest in ways that are in conflict with our values, so we must be intentional about confronting and counteracting them.
Stress weakens our awareness and filters for our implicit biases. Here’s proof. Biases are more likely to be expressed under stress – just imagine what gets lost in translation when we communicate across difference (culture/race/sexuality/gender/generation/etc.).
Our lack of intention can be wounding. Reactive defensiveness, coupled with judgments or assumptions about another person’s experience, can lead to ruptured relationships and loss of trust. Without intention, we can sometimes speak from a default place of reactivity. We need to be leaders that respond, not react.
That’s why intentionality is imperative.
The good news is that unconscious biases are malleable; we can actually build new synapses in our brains with intentional strategies.
Intention implies observation, preparation, and forethought–in our actions AND words.
I explore this topic in much greater detail in my upcoming 8-week, online leadership course, but for today…
Here are three things to remember.
1. In times of calm, noticing and exploring your own biases provides awareness that is critical in times of stress.
When you are aware, you can make different choices before moving into a default mode.
We must be mindful of the language we use, with ourself and with others.
Notice language used by others that triggers you, and prepare accordingly.
2. In response to really harmful, hurtful statements, it’s important to do a relationship check: do you trust, need, and respect the person using those words?
If not, it is important to show critical judgement and discernment.
If so, there are specific intentional strategies to interrupt particular patterns of discourse, and they require a different level of intention and preparation. We address this in the 8 Week, Online SPARK Leadership Training and Coaching Program.
3. Also, as leaders, we need to set boundaries before we even engage in conversations.
Take time for yourself before a high-stakes meeting or conversation that is really important to you.
Know your limits for yourself. When you reach your limits, go for a walk, breathe intentionally, and shake it off any negative or heavy energy! Return to intention.
Finally, as an adaptive leader, if you are seeing an upswing in Intention Deficit Disorder in your community through words and actions, commit to inspiring change.
Lead the way with intentionality. Remember the S.P.A.R.K. acronym.
Click here to learn more about how to use the S.P.A.R.K. acronym to heal Intention Deficit Disorder.
What is one way you are pausing daily to set intention as a leader?
I’d love to hear from you. Leave a comment below.
S.P.A.R.K. was founded in 2016 by Rachel Rosen, a seasoned facilitator, racial equity leadership coach, and LGBTQ advocate. S.P.A.R.K. offerings sit at the nexus of Rachel’s personal and professional passions, and she is on a mission to bring more empathy to the world, one conversation at a time. With a Masters from Stanford, and extensive training in leadership, coaching, team and organizational development, S.P.A.R.K. experiences are grounded in theory and practice. S.P.A.R.K. offers experiences that support leaders and teams to unleash their potential to facilitate powerful experiences, collaborate, and build trust.
PS: Thanks to my mentor and friend Mollie for using the term “Intention Deficit Disorder” relative to the health and wellness world, and it stuck with me like glue. Then I saw this blog, it resonated right away.