From Reactive to Proactive: Cultivating Intention

From Reactive to Proactive: Cultivating Intention

Acting with intention is extremely important to professionals and leaders and there are tremendous benefits that derive from being intentional. Intention comes with better decision making and discernment of opportunities, enhanced productivity, and improved focus. On the flip side, when we start to act without intention, we end up struggling with challenges like being reactive and feeling under increased pressure, wrestling with overwhelm and losing out on game-changing opportunities. In this blog we’ll discuss how we can go from being reactive to proactive and cultivate intention for ourselves and our teams.

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Let’s look at some practical strategies for cultivating intention in our day-to-day.

1. Set a long-term plan

Long term plans are essential if we want to cultivate intention in our daily lives. It’s also important to break down the long-term plan into manageable decisions and goals that we can achieve daily. Small, manageable goals will help us act with great intention and keep ourselves pointed to the true north of our long-term plan.

Also read: The Problems with Short Term Thinking and Why We Need a Long Term Perspective

2. Be mindful

There are so many benefits that come from being mindful. One of the greatest must be the ability to control our immediate reactions to events as they unfold. The very best professionals and leaders have adopted and become excellent at absorbing information and asking questions before they allow their emotions and impulses to take over. By being mindful we can move from being reactive to being responsive. When we’re responsive we’re able to make the best decisions and we can find ourselves being proactive more often instead of being reactive, which is a slippery slope.

When it comes to creating a culture of intention in a team or organization here are a couple of tips as well

1. Be consistent

Cultivating intention requires consistency from leadership. Creating a culture that eliminates micro-management allows a leader to trust their employees to be intentional with their decision making. Since results from decisions can, and often are, different than we expect, it’s important to let our teams know that the intention behind the decision-making process is of utmost importance.

2. Eliminate Excuses and Yes People

Intention requires courage and for effective leadership we need our team to be able to move and act with courage to be proactive. Very few things are more dangerous to a business or team than excuse making and people who are acting out of fear instead of being intentional when sharing their thoughts. The most successful businesspeople in the world are rarely the smartest person in the room. Be sure to encourage a culture of accountability and discourse to build a team that is intentional and proactive.

How do you cultivate intention in your life or for your teams?

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