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This written piece surely got me thinking about the ugly arguments, the reason for which was nothing more than the 'Intention - Impact Gap'. As an individual we find it extremely hard to take criticism in our stride, our immediate reaction is to defend ourselves and then we tend to develop disliking towards that person. What we often fail to understand in that heat of the moment is, the person who is criticizing us has what intention towards it. I take a simple example from my life, this year I performed poorly in my CAT exam. When the result was out, I was disheartened. I had expected something similar, but when you see it actually happen it breaks you. My parents were already aware of my low expectations, but I still rung my dad up and told him my percentile. The first thing he said was, "Shreya, you didn't score good enough, how do you plan to get into a good b-school like this". At that moment, I didn't think he is my dad and he would always think good for me. Whatever he is saying was indeed true, but the state of mind I was in, I wasn't prepared to hear anything about my result. I disconnected the call, and took two days talk to him again. (We were in different cities) Well this is not connected to only our personal relationships. In the corporate world, the motivation of an employee to perform better can be negatively impacted if the message from the manager is not received well by the individual. The management always forces the managers to improve the numbers. But the mere act of telling the team that 'you can do better' doesn't have a lasting impact. I worked with a manager who used to ask each team member what they want to deliver at the end of the project. After the project, he would conduct debrief sessions to discuss the deviations, better or worse. This technique worked well as it helped me realize the increase in efforts I have to put in to reach where I wanted to reach myself. The intent of the manager was clearly stated, 'Reach where you want to see yourself'. He did not explicitly communicate this, but his actions did. At times in the corporate world, communicating you intention might not be very effective, as more often than not we don't tend to believe that our manager's intention is always in our self interest. The choice of words you use to convey your message is a major factor to showcase your intent. We should always start with what went well and use words of appreciation. They act as a cushion to tell things that needed improvement. We face this situation in our group projects also. At times, we wish to tell our group members where they went wrong or how their work wasn't up to the mark. In such cases we often feel we will not be taken well by that person and appear to be someone who is arrogant. We also fear to ruin the group dynamics. But, this is where we should learn to express our intent in the right way in order to improve our work and relationships!

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