Every time you communicate with another person, you’re doing it for a reason—there’s something you want to have happen as a result. In my coaching work, I call that “intention.”
This is true whether you are thinking about your intention or not. Intention is the engine of our communication with other people; it colors and shapes the words we use, the intonation of our voices, the speed and volume at which we speak, and our body language.
I’ll give you an example. You’re in your office, working on something that needs to get done on deadline, and you are finally in the groove of it. A knock comes on the door, and without waiting for an answer, a good buddy sticks their head in and starts talking to you about their weekend plans. What do you do? My guess is that you keep typing, maybe tilt your head slightly toward your friend without actually looking at them, and say “uh huh.” Everything in your body is telling your friend that now is not a good time, and that you are hoping they will pick up on your cues and leave. Your intention is to end the interruption, without dismissing your friend outright.
We do this all day, every day. And the more you are aware of your intention, the more control you have over your communication.