Sector News

Leadership: Look For Intention First

March 16, 2015
Borderless Leadership

Assessing intention is a powerful way for leaders to understand how people and teams operate. Intentions are hidden, not always clarified directly through words, and hence easy to overlook. We therefore end up focusing on behaviors and actions.

A team member who always asks difficult questions (act) is looked upon as a ‘trouble maker’ when the reality could be that this team member cares more about the work or wants to really help the team improve.

Because actions are directly visible, we end up judging actions. And the fact is, when we constantly assess actions, we also end up being more judgmental. But what people seek is acceptance – they want their leaders to understand them completely.

Without acknowledging the intention behind an action, acceptance is not possible. Unless you are working with robots, human beings will make mistakes and act in ways that may not be coherent with your worldview. Constantly judge them and you stand a chance of losing them.

As human beings, we are essentially flawed. If you have to make things work, in spite of these human flaws, you need to assess people by their intentions first and then judge the methods.

The idea here is not to simply accept poor behaviors, substandard work or compromise on results. The idea is to look for the big “why” – the cause of a certain behavior or action. That is because our intentions drives our actions.

If intention is right, you can correct the methods, behaviors and actions. But I doubt if it is as easy to correct someone’s intent even when their methods seem be perfectly placed?

By Tanmay Vora

Source: QAspire

Related News

February 28, 2021

Financial targets don’t motivate employees

Borderless Leadership

It’s natural for leaders to emphasize the importance of hitting financial targets, but making numbers the centerpiece of your leadership narrative is a costly mistake.

February 21, 2021

Play these 3 “mind games” to be a better leader

Borderless Leadership

Spoiler alert: these games aren’t about manipulation but they will help you sharpen your thinking and work better with others.

February 14, 2021

Five ways to be an influential leader

Borderless Leadership

Of course, the role of influence in leadership success isn’t much of a secret in and of itself. But how should leaders pursue and cultivate their ability to influence?

Send this to a friend