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  • Katherine Kollath Peabody

The Power of INTENT vs IMPACT

Conflict happens when the INTENT of our words don't match up with the IMPACT these words have on another person. You intended to be helpful/inspiring...but the impact is actually felt as judgmental to your child. What can you do?? There's actually an easy fix:

  1. ACKNOWLEDGE that you suspect your words were harmful, not helpful

  2. EXPLAIN YOUR ACTUAL INTENTION "When I said that you're great at soccer, don't miss this game, I meant to show my support and inspire you. But it seems like the impact of my words actually made you feel discouraged and not heard."

  3. ASK FOR IMPACT Is that how you're feeling? Can you tell me the impact on you?

  4. LISTEN to your child's feelings. Don't correct or defend. Just listen.

  5. REPAIR if necessary. "Can we try this again?"

Often simply saying, "I'm sorry" don't resinate as strongly as Intent vs Impact does. This is a tool that shows we are listening and acknowledging the impact of our actions on another person. It honors the needs of your child/spouse/friend.

Next time you notice the impact of your words isn't in line with your intent, give this a try and let me know how it works.