Let’s transform intention into a plan!

Posted on 25. Feb, 2011 by in Life Coaching, Personal and Professional Development

I couldn’t have said it any better! Just the other day, I invited a past coaching client to a workshop about ecology and cultural diversity and some of our correspondence contained these words: “explore, waiting to hear back, commitment, mark on my calendar, let me know…”  Then our next exchange was very different, we both agreed to fully committing and welcomed the opportunity to share our perspectives on the subject matter. So what just happened?

We moved from intention to plan and did so with a firm commitment.  A lot of what we all do is: talk, conceive of ideas, set good intentions, and state the obvious; but often, we don’t move to action soon enough or we ramble around in other agendas.  There’s a spirit of collaboration that can take hold when plans are set in motion. It seems then, we are able to set out the necessary parameters to make it happen.

What kind of intentions have you set for yourself recently? What plan do you have in place? If you can answer  both questions, I imagine there’s a sense of movement, progression, or at best a noticing of saying “no” to other things that may get in the way of this stated intention.  Personally and professionally, we can start transforming intention into action by 1) first saying “yes” and making an agreement, 2) ask questions, gather information, and gain clarity, 3) enroll with someone who shares interest or passion, 4) draft out concrete steps that can be actualized over time.

But what happens when intentions are set up for larger projects and initiatives that involve many people? The same steps can apply but each step may require more depth of discussion and clarity to arrive at an agreement that serves everyone – a win-win.

A complimentary set of skills are useful and necessary in transforming intention into plans and or action:

  • Listening
  • Clarifying
  • Negotiation

There are also another set of skills, if you will, that underlie the above, they are:

  • integrity – be honest about motivations
  • tapping into an embodied wisdom
  • asking questions to elicit assumptions and raise fears

Depending on the nature of the intent – some or all of these skills will aid in the process. In review of these skills, where does the development opportunity exist for you?  Often it’s helpful to have an outside facilitator to support this process but easy to begin with what you do know about yourself, the intention, project, and so forth.

In my personal and professional life, I often revisit these skills and seek counsel when the process gets murky. As a coach and facilitator it’s my purpose to help people live into their potential or their stated outcomes, moving forward feeling empowered and accountable; acknowledging there’s a process and a continual refinement of skills that underlies all our intentions and endeavors. I’m grateful for my co-creators and for those who challenge me to look at my own intentions, and equally grateful for those who come to me ready to commit and stake out a plan. There’s an energy that exists in our agreements with each other and for that there is purpose.

What intention are you making for yourself, your team, your business? Notice the commitment – is it there? If it is, then check off the skills that will yield the actions and results you’re intending to create!

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