How many times have you done or said something that hurt, offended, or disappointed someone? How many relationships and promises have you broken despite you didn’t mean to? How many times have you regretted for your behavior?
It happens to everyone. Not just because we are imperfect by nature, this is too convenient. But because there is huge gap between our intentions, our actions and how others see those.
Why is that? There are 3 main reasons. First, we often tend to neglect that our intentions are not fully understood by others. As a result, we act as if they are clear and straight forward, which is rarely the case. The second reason is that we are not consciously clear on how our own actions serve our purpose. It happens often and for various reasons (which are going to be analyzed in a separate post). And if we are not consciously clear we subconsciously derail from that purpose. Finally, even if our intentions and actions are aligned, we don’t verify that they are perceived as such by others.
Tricky situation, isn’t it? How can we overcome it? Here are 3 simple steps:
Communicate! Communicate your intentions to others. Explain what you are trying to get out of a conversation or why you are behaving in such a way. Ask others for verification that your message is received and understood.
Ask yourself if your actions relate to your intentions. If not, align. Check constantly.
Ask others what they think about whether your behavior seems to match with your intentions. Do they see an alignment or not?
There will be numerous cases where your intentions will be questioned and your actions will be misunderstood. The above 3 steps is a simple yet practical way to meet other’s expectations, keep promises and improve your relationships. Worth trying, isn’t it?