When Oprah Winfrey was planning her daily talk show, she would have producers pitching story ideas, guest appearances, show concepts, etc. There were more ideas than available segment time, so she would ask each producer: “What is your Intention?” This simple question helped surface deeper connections to the material, rally team members, and clearly state to Oprah what was behind the idea and whether it was truly aligned with the higher intention of serving her audience.
What is Intention?
Intention is a purpose or aim that operates in the subconscious and drives our actions. It is a mental state of being, or our BEING STATE that is either working toward our creations or sub consciously working against our true desires and goals.
Intention allows us to work at the level of energy, driving our thoughts and feelings and, therefore, our ability to bring our vision to life. When we work at the level of energy or our consciousness, we are able to work in concert with universal law of attraction, drawing in more ease and effortlessness in pursuing goals.
How are Intentions different from Goals?
Intentions are the power or energy behind your goals. Goals are desired outcomes or targets while intentions describe HOW your team wants to work together and what they want the quality of teamwork experience to be.
What are the benefits of setting Team Intention(s)?
- Intentions clarify what a team is working toward;
- Intentions unify a team around a collective agreement for HOW they work together and WHAT goals they aim to focus on and achieve together;
- Activating intention gets deeper buy-in from team members on goals and outcomes;
- Intentions can serve as guardrails to a team when things go off track;
- Intentions state the energy or quality of experience behind the pursuit of goals and help us name how we want to experience the present moment as we pursue outcomes;
- Intentions help align an organization, leaders, and team with core values and purpose.
How can I bring Intention into our Planning Meetings?
Write all your goals/objectives for the year on a board, so everyone can see what they are. Sometimes this step is overlooked assuming everyone in the organization knows what the objectives are.
Next, ask a series of questions to prompt dialogue and agreements within your team. These are focused on surfacing your intention and clarifying potential roadblocks or resistance:
- What do we need as a team / organization to achieve these objectives?
- Who do we need to BE as a team to achieve this?
- What are the qualities of our working relationship, communication, and partnership that are needed to meet or exceed our goals?
- What is the working experience we all want to have together? (This can be really powerful as many teams do not voice this and may feel that zoom meetings and calls are draining more than they are inspiring or uplifting)
- What agreements are we making together to reflect the objectives?
- How will we hold ourselves accountable?
- How do we anchor to our intention/goals when it feels we are off track?
- What rituals do we want to have in our team meetings that re-anchor us to our intentions?
The truth is that our intentions are always at play, going on in the background, regardless of whether we recognize them or not. So, why not name our intentions and line them up with organizational objectives. This could be the fuel you’ve been seeking.
Take this a step further with this Intention Setting Micro-practice below.
For assistance and support, feel free to reach out to us. Intune regularly leads Intention Setting experiences for teams and can weave this process into your Strategic Planning sessions or Leadership Team Offsites. Feel free to email us at firstname.lastname@example.org or schedule a 30 minute call with us here.