The Power of Intentionality

How often have you heard someone exclaim, "We're not on the same page!"

At uLEAD, we begin each of our staff meetings with a spiritual life and/or moment of reflection. In our last reflection one of our team members spoke convincingly about the need for intentionality - being observant for what needed to be done and checking in with each other to make sure we are communicating and on the same page. We spent the next few moments sharing with each other what intentionality means to us.

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With regard to human development, intentionality refers to the ability to act with purpose. Beyond words, it involves behaving with a particular goal in mind and taking deliberate action to reach that goal. In Husserl's theory of phenomenology he calls intentionality "the fundamental property" of being conscious and aware. This awareness however, when related to a goal, always carries with it a "hoped for" future. For example, if the goal is a world without the possibility of nuclear war, then every person has an awareness in their own mind about what is needed to realize it. You can have a group of individuals who are all very intentional about the same goals, and yet they imagine or internalize their intentions in ways that have a tremendous impact on whether or not they are tracking with others in the process to get there.

This begs the question, when needing to function as a team; how do we clarify our intentions in such away that we get beyond the word package of "being on the same page" in order to truly come together on the process or path to achieving our goals?"

I believe we all agree that there's power in intentionality.  To have a goal and to commit to act with purpose in order to achieve that goal is vital to any team's success.  It is vital, then, that we harness this power of intention, both in identifying the team goal, and also in clarifying the process of how we are going to get there together.

Steps to harnessing the power of intentionality as a team:

1. Set aside time at your next meeting to talk about the meaning of intentionality.

2. Pick an important team or organizational goal, and open space for people to share their idea of the best process to get there.  You may be surprised about what is shared.

3. Together, come up with intentional processes to surround your most important team goals.