Ask Powerful Questions ‘Create Conversations That Matter’ by Will Wise and Chad Littlefield
This is a fantastic book that focuses on two critical leadership and life skills:
The chapter that focuses on intention is one that I have been creating some deliberate practice points of my own as well as bringing into many of my coaching conversations. This chapter explores the importance of being intentional in our communication and interactions with others.
The authors explain how setting (and stating) clear intentions can lead to more meaningful conversations and stronger relationships. I’ve observed people dive into conversations without a clear purpose or intention resulting in confusing or less deep and meaningful conversations that only scratch the surface. I’ve also seen that when people don’t clearly state their intention, it can leave others guessing about their motives and erode trust.
Being clear about your intentions can lead to more transparent and meaningful relationships.
When you’re upfront about your intentions, it eliminates any guessing game for the other person (Am I in trouble? What are they trying to find out?) and creates a stronger connection. It also requires you to be vulnerable by putting all your cards on the table, which can be intimidating but ultimately fosters greater trust and understanding between you and those you lead and work with.
Intention is key to connecting and asking powerful questions, for it brings clarity to others about where you’re coming from.
Here are 3 actionable points from the chapter:
- Clarify your intention: The authors suggest taking the time to clarify your intention before entering into a conversation or interaction with someone. Ask yourself what your desired outcome is and how you hope to achieve it. By being clear about your intention, you can be more purposeful in your preparation and approach to your communication and avoid misunderstandings.
- Check-in with others’ intentions: In addition to being clear about your own intention, check in with the other person’s intention. Ask them what their desired outcome is and how they hope to achieve it. By understanding their intention, you can work together towards a shared goal and build a stronger relationship.
- Align your intention with your actions: The authors emphasis the importance of aligning your intention with your actions. By following through on what you say you will do and being consistent in your communication and interactions with others you build trust and credibility with others.
By clarifying our intention, checking in with others’ intentions, and aligning our intention with our actions, we can create more meaningful conversations and build stronger relationships.
So, how can you be more clear about your intentions?