When Fortune magazine asked former CEO of PepsiCo, Indra Nooyi, what the most important leadership advice she received, she said, “Whatever anybody says or does, assume positive intent.” It’s easier and beneficial to engage in candid conversations when you assume the best intentions.
Reflect on how to have good intentions
Learning how to have good intentions while being candid is fundamental in developing and honing your leadership skills. Start by simply taking a moment to reflect.
Do you think there is power in assuming good intentions?
Exercises to help you have good intentions
Now, it's time to put your reflection into action. Finding opportunities to implement your leadership skills can allow you to have good intentions while being candid.
- Give your peer the benefit of the doubt when giving feedback. Take into account external factors that may be impacting your peer’s performance.
- Verbalize your intentions before a difficult conversation. Share your purpose for the meeting. Consider: “I’d like each of us to address our concerns about...” Then ask your peer what they’d like to get out of the conversation.
- Be direct and empathetic when giving feedback to your teammate. After you relay the feedback, reassure them: “Everyone makes mistakes. We all deserve a second chance.”
Additional resources to help you have good intentions
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