Intent vs. Impact. It's a debate that has been around for centuries, and it doesn't seem like it will be going away any time soon. What is more important in communication? Intent, or impact? Well, to answer that question, we first need to define each word. Intent refers to what you thought you were doing. Impact refers to how that action was perceived by another person. In most cases, intent and impact are the same thing. However, there are times when they differ drastically. And, it is in these cases that we must be careful with our words and actions.
If you're ever unsure about whether or not your Intent will match your Impact, error on the side of caution. It's always better to be clear and concise in your communication, than to risk offending someone unintentionally. But, why take the chance? Philosophical intimacy and the desire to be heard and seen! We want to seen so badly that often times, our intent overshadows even thinking about the importance of impact in the situation. Intent may be important, but at the end of the day, Impact is what really matters.
Just some quick thoughts on an important topic. What do you think? Is Intent more important than Impact? Or vice versa? Have you ever experienced a communication mix-up? What happened?Let us know in the comments below!
- Zachary Dodson, MA, CCHt, LMHC
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