I consider that an important principle of empowerment is to identify an intention; a technique related to that principle is to write down the statement of intention. I consciously use the principle of intention in all aspects of my work, and express intention frequently with my clients. I also advocate writing down a statement of intention in certain situations.
An intention exists for every thought and every action. It is a given. There is no question whether or not an intention exists; the question is, what is the intention? You might even consider that an intention is the thought behind a thought, or the thought that powers a thought. It can be very enlightening to bring your intention to the surface after an event. It is even more enlightening to create an intention before an event so that the identified intention guides you in more empowering actions.
If you identify an intention that you be open and appreciative in a certain situation, you have directed yourself to be in a particular consciousness. This intention suggests certain actions; however, no specific actions are necessary in order to be in a particular consciousness or attitude. Actions follow an intention. And actions follow an intention, whether you are aware of the intention or not.
The act of writing a few words or a complete sentence helps to focus attention more effectively than just thinking about an intention. I often recommend this technique to clients. Some clients tell me that they feel more accountable to themselves when they take a few seconds to write words that capture an intention.
Here are a few examples of Intention. Note the simplicity — you will find it easier to remember a few words than a complex sentence. Note the focus — you want to inspire yourself about a way of being, rather than to delineate specific actions or end results.
* To feel free.
* To approach this situation with openness and eagerness.
* With love in my heart.
* Open and appreciative.
* Fully engaged in the present moment.
* Seeking balance.
After I suggested this technique to one client (Timothy), he began to write down a statement or phrase of intention for each meeting, whether he was its leader, a participant, or an observer. When he was responsible for leading meetings, he knew he could manage certain aspects of the meeting to keep it on track and in alignment with his intention. At those times, he became aware of blending and checking his way of being (consciousness) and his ways of doing (actions).
However, Timothy’s deeper realization of the power of this technique of writing his intention came during the meetings when he did not even speak. He wrote his few words on a pad of paper and kept the pad in his own private view. He watched in awe as the groups of people who had been meeting together regularly for years began to change during one or two meetings. He noticed that they were more communicative, open, responsive, engaged, and productive.
I introduced the power of identifying and writing intention to Timothy several years ago. I recently had a conversation with him. He tells me that now identifying an intention is so embodied into his management and personal life that he rarely writes down a statement of intention. He does write an intention, though, when a situation is particularly challenging to him.
In my view, a technique is useful until it is no longer needed because the corresponding principle is embodied. I identify and/or write a statement of my own intention for being with my clients so that I provide a space for them to move as they need or want. I consider that it is not so much a matter of what I do or say with clients, but how I am with them. My intention is to be fully present, engaged, and listening at all levels.