Good intentions for 2019

At the start of a new year, set positive intentions for your Insight team.

How does the old saying go? ‘The road to hell is paved with good intentions.’ 

Well, let’s bust that myth.

If you’ve been to a yoga class recently, or practiced meditation or mindfulness, you’ll probably be familiar with the concept of intention setting.

With busy schedules and daily to-do lists, it’s rare that we stop to reflect on our motivations. But when we take the briefest of moments to set clear, positive intentions for what we’re doing, the benefits can be wide ranging. We can make a remarkable shift in how any task, conversation, or meeting feels just by considering where we want to place our attention.

For Insight leaders, intention setting can help in two key areas; delivering on Insight strategy, and improving relationships with stakeholders.


Intentions bring clarity and focus to your strategy for Insight

Developing a strategy for how Insight can make a difference in your organisation may seem daunting, but really it’s just a plan. A plan that helps you understand and articulate where you are now, where you want to be, and how you will get there.

Intentions are the fuel to manifesting your Insight strategy. An intention will help create more clarity, not only for you, but also in your interactions with your team members and stakeholders.

If we’re in a bad mood starting a task, we can easily end up paying attention to problems more than solutions. We rarely realise it, because we don’t know what we don’t notice. When we rush through our days without reflection, our mental filters are on this kind of automatic setting.

So, decide on a positive intention. Identify what matters most to you. For example, perhaps it’s really most important to improve your connection with a team member rather than making sure they understand they need to change the way they approach something. It doesn’t mean you shouldn’t raise challenging topics. But you’ll notice quite different things in your conversation with them if you set a more positive intention.

Consider your positive intention and your strategy for Insight, what do you want to pay more attention to, right now?


Intentions are key to building trust with stakeholders

If you want to build trust with people (stakeholders, team members, your boss) reveal your intentions. Our feelings about someone, in particular whether we trust them, are largely determined by their intentions.

Think of some of the most chilling villains you’ve seen in the movies. Hannibal Lecter, Darth Vader, Dr. Moriarty. What do they have in common? They’re all highly competent. Serious villains are virtually always highly capable. But what makes these characters so frightening isn’t just competence. That forces us to take them seriously; it makes them compelling. But, for the most part, competence is neutral.

What truly chills us, what virtually defines villains, are their evil intentions. Their purpose is to do harm. What they seek to do with their competence is what terrifies us. Intentions are the heart of what we call character — the values and priorities that drive someone’s actions and choices.

Intentions are how we distinguish a villain from someone whose influence we accept, whom we move toward. Competence may be appealing, but intentions are what attract or repel us and foster trust or mistrust.

Thus, if you want to influence others in your organisation to drive change, you must reveal your intentions. Make space for this in your next conversation with a key stakeholder. 


Three top tips for setting your intention

1. Keep it positive

Make sure your intention has a positive tone. Your chosen intention should always be positive, uplifting, and always in the present tense. Refrain from using negative words.

2. Aim for fluid, not fixed

Our minds are very clever… when something new comes along, the mind is intrigued. But as time passes, the mind gets bored! For this reason, intentions should be seen as fluid, not be fixed. Check in regularly to see if your intention needs to be adjusted or evolved in some way.

3. Break it down

It's more practical to set an intention for the short term rather than the long term. You can still think of the big picture — just divide your long term intention into a few shorter ones instead. This will help you achieve a grand, and probably daunting, goal in bite size chunks.


How the IMA can support your team

If you would like to make a start on developing your strategy for Insight, or improving your influence with stakeholders, we would be very happy to offer support with this.

We provide our members with best practice reports, training, benchmarking, as well as ongoing support and advice. Please contact us to find out about our corporate membership options.


You are entitled to FREE entry to Quirk’s Event in London

The IMA are proud sponsors of the first Quirk’s Event in Europe, taking place in London at the InterContinental O2 on 12th – 13th February 2019. First launched five years ago in Brooklyn, New York, the Quirk’s Event is the largest and top ranked Insight show in the United States. 

If you work in a corporate (client-side) Insight team you can attend both days of the event for FREE while places are available. Over 40 of our members have already registered, so please don’t miss out.

During the 2 days you can enjoy:

  • 80+ high-quality educational sessions and 40+ hours of learning, surrounded by a large interactive exhibit hall with 85+ exhibitors
  • IMA CEO James Wycherley in conversation on stage with Insight leaders from Aviva, Marks & Spencer, Sport England and Spire Healthcare
  • FREE access to the IMA’s VIP lounge if you want a break from the hubbub and a chance to network with other Insight leaders, or just catch up on emails

To register now, please go to The Quirk's Event London and use the end-client/corporate researcher registration path.