Using the Power of Intent in Coaching
I walk my dog Buddy every evening at our local park. He runs around happily with all the other local dogs – but – there is something a little odd about him. Most other dogs are totally ball obsessed. But not Buddy. While the dog in front of him is standing, with his gaze transfixed on his owner’s hand (the one holding the ball!) Buddy couldn’t care less about the ball. In fact he couldn’t care if it was a live rabbit the guy was throwing into the air. Because Buddy is an Australian working dog, and it is in their DNA to round things up. They have an unbelievable ability to focus, and to take action with intent. So Buddy is focused on the DOG CHASING the ball, not the ball. And he runs like crazy after the dog-chasing-the-ball, almost as if it was the ball itself.
The interesting thing though, is the way he does it. He stares at his chosen dog and he doesn’t move a muscle, not even a slight tail wag… until that dog takes off. He waits with such focus, such INTENT, there is nothing or nobody that can get in his way. If we as coaches could bottle this intent and share with our clients nobody would ever fail to achieve their goals.
At ICA we use this concept of intent in our Certified Coach Training Programs, but we broaden it out to have a two slightly different meanings.
INTENT AS FOCUS
Intention can be viewed as a ‘dog’ kind of determination propelling one to succeed at all costs by never giving up. In this view, the way to succeed is a combination of hard work and an indefatigable drive. As coaches it is always worth checking in with your client to see what their intent is, and make sure it is really where they want to go and what they want to do. Help them ignore the distractions and overcome the obstacles.
INTENT AS LIFE DESIGN
However, intent can also be viewed as a force in the universe that allows the act of creation to take place. In his book the Power of Intent, Dr. Wayne Dyer explores intention—not as something you do—but as energy you’re a part of- a field of energy that you can access or leverage to begin co-creating your life with an ease and assurance.
Without conscious intention we could wander without meaning or direction or, if we fail to achieve, we may fall into self-recrimination, blame or anger. Not very helpful. Instead, we could see this failing as a need to clarify or revisit our intention and a willingness to recommit, to be wholehearted once again. We learn and grow and are transformed not so much by what we do but by why and how we do it.
Each decision we make, each action we take, is born out of our intent.
How to use the power of intent today:
- Get clear about something you want and write it down.
- Share your intention with someone who will supportively hold you accountable to taking action.
- Do something today to demonstrate your commitment to your intention. Acknowledge that you did what you said you would and then, take the next step
Every week we open a few places in our coach training to people considering coaching as a career. You can join in on a class with real students and experience learning the ICA way.