The Positive Workplace - The Power Of Intentions

All told, last week was a great week. Or should I say - I had a great week.

It’s been a while since I’ve had that feeling. And frankly, I want to do all that I can to replicate the experience! Which begs the question, what makes for ‘a great week’ and, more specifically, what is it that ‘makes for a really great week at work’?

What helps us have a week where one’s been focused and productive? Where there’s been time and occasion to have a laugh or two, notwithstanding the challenges and conflicts. A week where the sum of the parts is greater than the whole - where one walks away feeling good about oneself – and those around us, especially those with whom we’ve collaborated in the week’s events.

I have to say, the week didn’t start off particularly well. I’d expected challenges and was duly rewarded with the same! Angst met angst, resulting in even greater feelings of fear and anxiety - likely on both sides! My energy drained. I knew I’d need to re-set my ‘intentions’ – both in terms of what I wanted to achieve and how I wanted ‘to be’ in the world in order to pull myself out of the funk I now found myself in.

I spent the rest of the week working with a client ‘team’ who were dealing with the challenges of being over committed and under-funded – in what might be considered life and death situations – while they themselves were at odds with one another.

Our session did not start off that well, I have to say. Battle lines had long since been drawn, posturing abounded and positions were being taken just as ‘play’ was due to begin. Yet ‘play’ we did. Not so much with each others beliefs, values, thoughts and feelings as with ideas, opportunities and possibilities. We had a ball!

We know that there is much to be said for having the opportunity to be creative, engage one’s strengths, contribute, find purpose and meaning in one’s work. Yet, is that enough? Would that make for a great week for you? I know it doesn’t for me.

So what was it that made this event and the week as a whole such a great one?

Was it that that we ‘played’ together, laughed a little, looked for what might be (rather than what was)? Was it that we were respectful with one another? That we listened, encouraged, acknowledged and appreciated the uniqueness of perspective and talent? Or was it that each person gave up the need to be right in the interest of developing greater understanding, increasing the common ground and building trust so as to ensure a more secure future.

It was likely all of that and more. More specifically, it likely had to do with the intentions we set for ourselves at the outset of our time together. Our intentions for what we needed to achieve, what we wanted to achieve and, more specifically, how we wanted to be with one another, and for one another.

How well intentioned are you? And no, I’m not questioning the quality of your intentions.

Rather, I’m asking whether establishing intentions for what you want to achieve and, more specifically, how you want to show up in the world at any particular point in time might help you come closer to having the time of your life in the time you’re living – making this a better place for you, and for those around you.

I know they make the difference in mine. How about you?