We’ve often been told that the road to hell is paved with good intentions. I’ve always taken this to mean that good intentions weren’t good enough by themselves.
But is that really true? Can good intentions make bad situations better?
Shockingly, and yes that’s a pun, good intentions matter. More so than you may think.
In a study conducted at the University of Maryland by Kurt Gray, good intentions can make the difference. The difference of how badly a shock will hurt. The difference of how sweet a piece of candy will taste. The difference of whether or not a message was pleasurable or not.
So, how can we apply this to our leadership? That’s the million dollar question.
I believe you can:
Lessen the pain of a difficult decision: Whether it’s a layoff, demotion, or a cut in pay, let the person being affected know that you mean well of the situation. It’s not meant to hurt or harm the employee but it’s being done to help them or the company out.
Act and make a mistake: Be a person of action and do what you see needs to be done. If it wasn’t right, at least your heart was in the right place. And with your good intentions, the correction will be less than if you did it with malcontent.
Create a tribe from good intentions: When people know you have their best interests at heart, they’re willing to put up with a lot more than you might think. Now, don’t take advantage of this tolerance. But build your tribe letting them know you’re thinking of them.
Good intentions make a huge difference when you’re leading. Put your best foot forward and show your team you want the best for them.
Your actions may hurt or they may be a colossal failure. However, when your intentions are good you have a better than average chance of redeeming yourself and lessening the pain your team experiences.
Question: Have you noticed the Good Intentions Affect? How have good intentions made a bad situation better? Please share your thoughts in the comment section below.