We live in a world that instructs us to hold our truest desires and intentions close to our chest, and to not share them with others. We consider them bargaining chips in negotiations, and are told not be vulnerable by sharing them. We withhold information from our loved ones as to not hurt their feelings.
In concealing truth from others we also begin concealing it from ourselves. In a previous blog, I talked about how and why to make implicit intentions explicit to increase your confidence and influence. Today I'm sharing tips on when you should share your intentions, and three questions to ask yourself when you are trying to be persuasive.
I will lead by acknowledging that you aren't going to share all your intentions all of the time. Apply discernment when you decide what intentions to share explicitly. How you decide what to share is up to you. Even if you aren't sharing your intentions explicitly with others, it still helps to know them so that you can decide when sharing them is the right thing to do.
When is the best time to share your intentions? The answer - at the beginning, middle and end of what you are doing.
First, lead with your intentions. Let the individual or group know why you are there together, and what you hope to accomplish.
More traditional models of leadership and negotiation teach you to play a poker game, and hold your cards/your intentions tight to your chest and not reveal them to an opponent.
The model I’m inviting you to try is one that holds a more open stance of truth-telling, inquiry and compassion. Both strategies can be useful and both are very powerful. The strength of the feminine comes into play when you feel empowered to choose which style of interaction is right for you.
Lead with your intentions to start, and then check-in with them midway through the conversation or meeting. During your conversation, if your or someone else’s intentions were met, take notice and call them out. Say something like, “We just met one of our intentions for this meeting, thank you.” It's also a good time to see if everyone’s intentions are still the same given the information you are sharing.
Finally, revisit your intentions at the end of the conversation or meeting. Reflect on if/how intentions were met, and how they can be celebrated. You can also bring up any intentions that weren’t met and how you can address them in the future if appropriate.
Knowing and sharing your intentions can be helpful in general and when you want to be persuasive. Try out this activity the next time you want to be influential.
Here are three essential questions to ask yourself before trying to get a point across. Make a list of your intentions, both your explicit ones and implicit ones. Then, ask yourself these three questions about each intention.
Let’s say one of your intentions is to inspire your audience. Why do you want to inspire people? ...Because you want them to take action. Why do you want them to take action? For each intention, ask yourself "why" two or three times.
2) So what?
You want to not only list why you want something, but why it matters to you. Asking yourself "so what" helps you dig deeper into your personal truths, and helps you be even more authentic. For each intention, ask yourself "so what" a two or three times to really get rooted in your deepest intentions.
3) What’s in it for me?
Make sure you know what your personal investment is in the outcome. Think holistically. What's in it for you financially, emotionally, socially, spiritually, etc.
Have a story about a time when sharing your intentions improved a conversation or relationship? Comment below and share it with us!