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This is a nice idea indeed. Simple, easy to understand and the mere knowledge of the existence of the Intention-Impact gap can surely make us all more efficient communicators. After reading this article, I wanted to try and tweak the approach of communicating one’s intention, specifically in an organizational or hierarchical setting, so here goes. Consider the following hypothetical situation. Neil submits a piece of work to his boss, who in turn has to review it and give feedback. Now, the process of reviewing the work would involve two phases. Firstly, the boss would study and understand Neil’s work, and then he would compare the same with his mental definition or basis of a good piece of work. Note that this basis of a good piece of work would be something that the boss developed over time, by making mistakes of his own and subsequently learning from them. The second aspect of the review would involve the boss communicating the difference between Neil’s work and his mental basis- or in other words, the feedback. Now, this feedback communication may come out as - This work is unacceptable! Surely you are capable of more hard work! It can even be more specific like - Your work lacks so and so elements etc. Now the question is, can the boss’s intention be communicated in such a way that the desired intent is developed in the mind of the listener, rather than being enforced upon him? One way to achieve this is through probing. Before providing any feedback, the boss needs to question Neil’s work so as to understand what Neil’s definition of a good piece of work is. Asking the right questions can help him understand why certain mistakes exist in the first place. In other words, communicating your intention can be explored as a two-way process. When you are probing someone about his work, you, in turn, make him think critically about his own thought process and question those further. It also leaves no room miscommunication, since the opportunity to express opinions and comments will exist in this process. Secondly, this kind of feedback building will help the receiver better understand the rationale for the feedback. It opens out to him other perspectives, which he may use while handling similar situations in the future. Also in terms of personal growth, it helps people develop the skill of questioning one’s own work. When a person starts practicing this on a regular basis, the quality of the work will definitely improve over time. Therefore, a good conversation while communicating your intention can ensure growth and prevent miscommunication.

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