Let’s say you discover you’ve dropped the ball on something at work, and four of your team members are affected. It’s immediately clear to you that it’s your fault, and you feel bad.
This is a prime opportunity for default intention to rear its head. You might want to defend yourself, to shift the blame, to minimize the problem, to avoid an unpleasant conversation…
But what you’ll find is that your default intention will activate others’ default intentions. If you try to shift the blame, others may go on the attack. If you try to avoid talking about it, others may assume your guilt. If you try to minimize the problem, they may respond by making sure you know every bad effect you created.
This battle of default intentions creates a much bigger problem than there was before.
In the moment of realizing the mistake, you’re at an Intention Crossroads. Your default behaviors will be shouting at you to do what they say. “It’s not your fault! Just shrug it off! Don’t respond to the email!”
Take a moment here. Breathe. Imagine what outcome you hope for. Think about what your team members need from you. Create a deliberate intention that allows you to move forward.
To make it right
To collaborate on a solution
Default intention is trying to help—it knows we don’t want to feel vulnerable or wrong. But the good news is that deliberate intention also amplifies other peoples’ deliberate intentions. Coming to the conversation with active listening, genuine apology, and actions to correct the mistake may lead to a better outcome than you can imagine. Deliberate intention includes everyone.
Choosing deliberate intention is the way to transform the mistake into a gift.What can you learn? What can you do better next time?