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4 Vital Steps To Benefit From Intentional Action

By David Penglase

If as a leader you want to positively shift individual or team performance, improve morale and motivation, and reap the benefits of a genuinely engaged workforce, develop the mindset and capability of your team on Intentional Action.

There’s a big difference between doing what you do and doing what you do with clear and aligned intention.

Intentional Action is the mindful awareness of choosing behaviour and action that is aligned with personal values and goals, that will create meaningful value for others, and is implemented with the application of signature strengths.

In brief, here are the 4 things you need to do to develop the mindset and capability of your team to reap the benefits of intentional action:

1. Pattern interrupt for mindful awareness
2. Align projects and actions with personal values and goals
3. Extend value beyond self-interest to a bigger cause
4. Develop the awareness and application of individual and team Signature Strengths.

Here’s the detail on how:

Breaking this definition into its component parts we start with mindful awareness.

1. Pattern Interrupt For Mindful Awareness

Despite its close link to mindfulness, Mindful Awareness, in the context of Intentional Action, does not require hours of meditation. It is a process of becoming consciously aware of not only what you’re doing, but WHY you’re doing it. Mindful awareness is created by simply asking yourself WHY am I about to do what I am about to do? How will it not only benefit me, but how will it benefit other stakeholders who will be impacted by my action?

With the noise, disruption, distraction and change that many leaders and their teams are experiencing today, it is easier to be working in a state of habitual reaction – trying to get more things done at a faster pace, to be multi-tasking, hopping from one activity to another, one meeting to another, one phone call to another, one email to another, and to be performing almost on autopilot. Working in a state of habitual reaction is typically the cause of mistakes that result in errors, customer complaints, rework, frustration, finger pointing, blame, stress and anxiety.

The solution to all of the problems associated with working in habitual reaction is Mindful Awareness.

2. Align projects and actions with personal values and goals.

Continuing with the definition of Intentional Action, we now turn to behaviours and actions that are aligned with personal values and goals. Most leaders will not need convincing of the importance of aligning tasks with personal values and goals. Historical and current behavioural research studies clearly validate the association of successful task implementation with aligned personal values and goals.

Put simply, whenever anyone is asked to perform a task that is not aligned with their personal values or goals, if they question the integrity or value of what it is that they are about to do, even if they complete the task, they will be doing so in ways that will more often than not result in underperformance and certainly not achieve maximisation of the opportunity.

The solution to the problems associated with underperformance when competency is not the issue, is to align projects and tasks with personal values and goals.

3. Extend value beyond self-interest to a bigger cause.

Returning to the definition of Intentional Action, a key determinant of what separates ‘action’ from ‘intentional action’ is found in the contextual meaning of intention. In the context of work, your intention is an extended consideration of WHY you’re doing what you’re doing. Your intention is being mindfully aware of what you want FOR the people you will impact through your actions, and not just what you want FROM those people.

There is a significant amount of research that validates when people attach and experience more meaning in and from their work, they are more engaged in what they do, apply their competencies more mindfully, more efficiently and more effectively, and achieve at higher levels of success than those who report experiencing less meaning from their work.

The solution to the problems associated with a disengaged workforce can be positively impacted by helping your team clarify and articulate their intentions for the stakeholders they impact through the work they do.

4. Develop the Signature Strengths of Your Team

The final component in the definition of Intentional Action is the implementation of the action or task needs to be with the application of signature strengths.

Potentially one of the most significant research projects conducted by positive psychology founder Martin Seligman and his colleagues resulted in the development of the Values In Action classification of 24 Character Strengths.

The research shows that when people are aware of and applying their top character strengths they are more likely to be engaged in what they’re doing, doing it with more efficiency and effectiveness, and experiencing higher levels of wellbeing and life satisfaction both professionally and personally.

How To Boost Your Teams Success Now

If you’re a leader looking to boost your team’s success for the final quarter of 2015 and to kick start their success in the first quarter of 2016, let’s chat about my latest conference keynote and masterclass program ‘Developing The Positivity Mindset - Why positivity and Intentional Action impact every measure of your success! This presentation and masterclass provides a blueprint on how anyone can personally manage in times of disruption, distraction and change. In a high energy and entertaining presentation, your team will discover the latest evidence-based Intentional Actions that boost positivity and result in goal achievement, and learn how to apply their Signature Strengths in ways that will positively impact their mindset, competencies and resourcefulness.

Give me a call at our Sydney office on 02 9546 2492 or on my mobile 0418 400 369 and I look forward to discussing the potential with you.



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