Are Your Intentions and Attention Incompatible?

I think I know why some think Coaching doesn’t work. Their intentions and where they put their attention are incompatible.

In other words, your stated intentions are leading you in one direction while what you focus on is pulling you in a completely different direction.

For example, I have a client who wants to grow his business, be more profitable, and spend more time with his family on weekends. Although I believe he is sincere in attempting to do all of the above, he spends most of his time putting out fires and dealing with minor tasks that should be handled by others.

For example, when a pipeline analysis revealed that emergent work was unprofitable, he decided that limiting it to a handful of preferred customers was necessary in order to meet his goals.

In our next coaching session, he was angry and frustrated. He spent the previous weekend at a customer facility estimating the cost of some emergency repairs and writing a proposal. On Monday morning, his customer advised that they were going to have the repairs done by another firm on their preferred vendor list. In the end, he lost the job, was not compensated for his off-the-clock time and missed two days with his family.

Although he was well-intentioned, he failed to put his attention where it would help him meet his goals.  Why bother having intentions if we’re not going to do what’s necessary to follow through to turn them into achievements?

When our intentions and our actions don’t matchup, we will always be disappointed because we don’t meet our goals.

In our next coaching session, we explored what my client could do to align his intentions and attention. He came up with a plan. He created a protocol for emergent work, including a weekend on-call schedule with rotating assignments for company managers.

He developed an emergency services rate sheet and distributed it to all customers. He met with his preferred customers to discuss the costs of emergent work for both parties. He walked away with at least one preventative maintenance contract. Another client agreed to a flat day rate for site visits required outside of normal business hours.

Where you put your focus must line up with the intention you’re setting. When intentions and attention are connected, we achieve our desired outcome.

If you set an intention to get a new job, that’s where the bulk of your energy must go in order to snag one. If you set an intention to quit smoking, you must engage in activities that will teach you how. If you want more time with friends and family, you must reduce the time you spend performing work activities that should be performed by others.

An intention is an aim, a goal, something you decide to do. What are yours? Name a few you realistic intentions that you truly want and are committed to achieving.

Now look at where you put your time, money, mental and physical energy, and focus. Will behaviors and actions make your intention a reality? If not, take a minute to come up with where you could put your attention that would be a natural outgrowth of your intention. 

Here’s another to think about this. Look at where you put your attention and think about what it looks like your intention is. If someone was watching you, what would they guess what your intention is based on your behaviors?

If your intention is to grow your business and spend more time with your family, what are you willing to do to make these intentions happen? If that’s what you want, that’s where all or most of your attention needs to go. 

A Coach will help you get there. In my Coaching sessions, the client is the expert. Through guidance and inquiry, they will move out of their comfort zones and into the direction of their stated goals. I help them identify obstacles and learn how to manage and overcome them.

Are you ready to align your intentions with your attention? Let’s schedule a call and get you one step closer.

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