Several months ago I was talking to a friend about making a weekend date for me to visit. When I said it I meant, Let’s pick a date during the winter months, and then I will book a flight and come to see you at your home. Then we will spend time together face to face. She said, Yes! Let’s set an intention to do that. I asked what that meant. She used her words and thoughts and meaning to explain it. And what it meant to me was, this will not happen. “Setting an intention” is a commitment to do nothing. I think this has become the new acceptable language to mean to do something good–for yourself, or someone else, or something else–that ultimately gets no one anywhere. With this friend, I let the idea go and never came back to it. Why? Because in my mind, her response was bulls**t. 

Corporate Speak: The Lazy Way To Communicate

When I worked in corporate America, I noticed that new words and phrases would be born, someone would start using them, and then suddenly everyone would be using them. It permeates the culture like a virus. I imagine a phrase like that starts when someone goes to some seminar somewhere and hears it for the first time from someone they deem a thought leader. They adopt it into their lexicon when they return from their seminar and use it in a team meeting, or a board (bored) meeting. And those participants think, wow, I’ve never heard that used like that before, but this leader is very smart so if they are using this word or phrase, I am going to use it too so I sound as smart as they do. Soon the word or phrase permeates the whole business and a new “corporate speak” phrase is born. It takes years for it to die. I find these words and phrases completely annoying. 

Intention, Intentional, Intentionality, Be Intentional, Let’s Set An Intention

This is corporate speak (and used outside the workplace as well) for not doing something, but talking about doing it like you mean it. But you don’t. I was speaking with a client a few weeks ago who referred to many things she was doing “with intention.” I asked her about being intentional and what did that mean to her. I shared that I felt like someone who was being intentional was the same as someone penciling you into their calendar. It was a “maybe” commitment. Like, I hope we do this thing. I “intend” to do this thing. Maybe I will do this thing. And I suggested that when we mean it, we are deliberate. We set the date. We make a commitment. We write it in PEN. 

Make It Matter. Be Deliberate. Write It In Pen.

I recommend you give thought to what you identify as an intention and recognize it as the commitment you might complete. And if you are deliberate, recognize that you are writing that commitment down in pen. Then make a plan to execute it. If it’s big, break it down into small, achievable steps.

If you still feel unsure about where to start, schedule a free 1-hour sample session with me today. Together, we’ll set up your plan, turning “intentions” into your future.

Barb Mason, Coach

I am a coach and jewelry designer. At UNSTUCK Coaching, I help middle-agers make changes toward the most fulfilling employment experience. As my own first coaching client, I know what it takes to get UNSTUCK.

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