If there was one that people could practice to become better communicators and improve their relationships, it would be to understand their own intent and learn to ask questions to find other’s intentions. Intentions are our truest nature, it’s what we really want to do. Unfortunately who we are based on our set of experiences changes how we perceive words, body language, tonality, and in turn intentions. So we at HAP like to clarify the best ways to communicate and find another’s intentions.
What is Intent?
Really quickly, Google™️ defines intent as: intention or purpose. It’s the reason why you do something…
How do we use intent to create better relationships?
Here are 3 things to remember about your relationship with intent and how to make it healthy and productive, leading to great relationships and communication…
- Don’t Assume You Know Another Person’s Intent
- Ask Questions, Be As Curious As Possible
- Emotional Intelligence Requires Practice
If you can remember these 3 things when you are entering into a conversation, especially tough ones, they should help guide you to a healthy and happy relationship.
1. Don’t Assume You Know Another Person’s Intent
One of the biggest mistakes we can make when entering a conversation is to assume we know another person’s intentions. When we assume that we know someone else’s intention without first hearing it from them, we’ve created a losing situation. There are many factors that lead us to think we might know someone else’s intent. For example, their body language could be reflecting a feeling of being closed off when a person is maybe cold or has a personal idiosyncrasy.
Another way we could assume we know their intentions is to assume their tonality is indicative of their feelings towards us. From a young age, we’re generally conditioned to believe that if volume increases that the person is angrier or upset when in reality some people are just loud talkers. If we assume we know their intent is to hurt us because they’re speaking loudly, we might misinterpret what they’re saying.
Be wary of assuming another person’s intent and stay curious.
2. Ask Questions, Be as Curious as Possible
When you can ask questions you honor another person based on their set of experiences. We use broad questions to start. Things like what, where, who, when… the things that help you contextualize the conversation. Once you’ve asked these questions you start asking how and why. It allows you to funnel from the broad spectrum to narrow.
Once you’ve become curious you have the power to learn and change your perspective, this is one of the most important capacities that we can have as a human being. Questions will almost always lead to more questions. They continue expanding our perspective and allow us to see and perceive things differently and in ways, we may have never thought we would…
3. Emotional Intelligence Require Practice
Remember just because you have skills like this, doesn’t mean you’ll always do it perfectly. In fact, no one will ever do it perfectly every time. But we can practice, and through practice, we can become better. Our goal is to be clean and clear with our communication and to understand the other person’s point of view. When you take the time to practice you develop intentionality and allow yourself to start conditioning yourself to respond with curiosity, intentionality, and frameworks to create better relationships.
Overall if you’re struggling with relationships, go back to start… The foundation. Which is the understanding of your own intent and another’s. If intentions line up and communication is clean and clear, both parties are able to own their emotions, reactions, and what they want, and work towards it. If you’re ever struggling with communication and relationships, make sure you revisit your intent.