Throughout the life of your court reporting career, natural challenges are bound to arise. Big or small, no matter their frequency, these challenges can often catalysts to enhancing your career, if you let them. By changing your perspective on daily issues and finding creative workarounds to problem-solving large roadblocks, you can come out on top through any inconvenience. By utilizing the method of assuming positive intent, you may find that these challenges lead you to more success, both in your business and personal life.

Positive intent is the assumption that others’ actions and words are coming from a place of good intentions, not harmful ones, as we so often assume in conflicts. The idea of assuming positive intent is simple: assume that the person on the other end of a seemingly negative occurrence, suggestion, or action actually has your best interests in mind and means no harm. Although the idea is simple, the execution often proves to be harder to implement. It is a habit that is difficult to cultivate, yet extremely important for the health of your career and your personal life.

In business, it is common for a piece of work to be critiqued by a boss, client, or mentor. First reactions may be to immediately become heated, feeling emotions ranging from anger, embarrassment, and resentment. Without recognizing the idea of assuming positive intent, defensiveness may arise due to quick judgements as to why that piece of work is being critiqued. Oftentimes, we instinctively become defensive and jump to conclusions about motives. Such actions can quickly lead to heated disagreements and in some cases, loss of business or new job opportunities. When negative intent is assumed, avenues to creative remedies are quickly closed off.

When you assume positive intent, it opens up those avenues of enhanced communication, possible business opportunities, and stronger interpersonal relationships. Assuming positive intent is more than understanding that there is no hidden agenda or scheme to “take you down a peg”- Assuming positive intent can lead to creative problem solving.  You may now ask yourself whether you are truly hearing what you are being told.  Maybe that angry client is actually trying to get to a level of communication that works better for the both of you. Maybe your angry boss is just trying to teach you strategies that you haven’t been open to trying. When you close yourself off with defensiveness, misinterpretation, and sensitivity, you may close yourself off to new information and clarity in your work.

In any conversation, assuming positive intent can help both parties understand what is trying to be communicated. When faced with differing opinions on a matter, conflict can lead to feeling attacked when someone disagrees with you. When you assume positive intent, you are better able to step back and honestly assess the situation without the binding constraints of negative emotions. When you assume negative intent, you may be overwhelmed with negative emotions and self-doubt. . This can hinder your ability to really listen to the other side of the discussion and limit your professional capabilities in reaching an effective solution to the issue.

Assuming positive intent can turn everyday interactions into moments that are enriching for both your career and personal development. Try it today and see how your career and personal life can flourish by moving through life assuming positive intent.