How to Bridge the Gap that Holds You Back

The way people experience you is often different from the way you intend.

You hoped to hear, “Thanks for the encouragement.” Instead you heard, “You’re pushy.”


It’s self-defeating when good intentions produce negative impact.

Positive intention – negative impact:

  1. You intend to challenge, but the impact is resistance.
  2. You intend to enlighten, but the impact is confusion.
  3. You intend to fuel boldness, but the impact is hostility.
  4. You intend to connect, but the impact is distance.
  5. You intend to inspire conversations, but the impact is silence.

The gap between intention and impact is a blindspot.

Aligning impact with intention enhances effectiveness and satisfaction.

Bridge the gap that holds you back:

Feedback exposes the gap between intention and impact.

Things get worse. It’s always surprising – even disorienting – when the good you intend blows up. 

A gap between intention and impact results in feeling misunderstood.

Bridge the gap between intention and impact with feedback. Successful leaders seek and explore feedback in order to bring the impact of their behaviors into alignment with good intentions.

Leaders who aspire to do good, but end up doing poorly, need feedback.

Seek feedback:

Don’t wait to receive feedback. Seek it.

  1. Declare intentions.
  2. Seek feedback on the impact of your behaviors.
  3. Ask for suggestions.
  4. Adjust and move forward.
  5. Repeat.

Declare intentions:

I intend to energize people.

Seek feedback on Impact:

What do you see me doing or hear me saying that energizes people?

What do you see me doing that might lower people’s energy?

Ask for suggestions:

What might I do to better energize people?

What might I stop doing that de-energizes people?

Begin the feedback process by declaring an intention, then seek feedback.

Effectiveness goes up when impact matches intentions. How you occur – when you show up – reflects the future of your relationships.

What intentions might leaders declare? “I intend to (intention).”

What questions might be useful after declaring an intention?