October 29, 2009

Intentions and Outcomes


  1. Interesting.
    Very interesting.

    So: quadrant A & D are success, B & C failures.
    NLP presupposition: there is a positive intention behind even negative behaviors, that would be B.
    Intriguing: quadrant C.

    Question: what is good & bad? Good & bad for whom?

  2. Thanks Paolo.

    I find those questions very good.

    The framework is something i have often thought about. I think I have often seen examples of B (good intentions, bad outcomes). Interesting to think about what happened there. Unrealistic assumptions?

    With negative intentions you may wonder if they exist at all? It takes a perspective to answer that. even Al Capone (I read somewhere) thought of himself as a good person, meaning well.

    Of course negative intentions exist in the eye of the beholder. We can easily attribute negative intentions to other people. They may seldom agree with these attributions, however. So, quadrant C may be rather empty, whereas quadrant B may be rather filled with examples. Still, I would find it interesting to try to find some examples of B.

    About whether outcomes are good or bad one can debate, too. Something may look good at first but later look not so good anymore (or vice versa). Also, perspectives may differ on the question of how good outcomes are, of course.

  3. Thanks for your observations, Coert.

    I agree with you: good intentions and negative outcomes often happens - I think of my work as a trainer in communication skills as being that of helping people communicate their intentions.
    Unfortunately, most often than not, people derive your intentions from the outcomes - and outcomes are subject to interpretations, too.

    I also agree with you re bad intentions: probably is a set that is scarcely populated. Even psychopaths often think of what they did to their victims as a favor they did to them (e.g. rape - they experienced a real man; e.g. burglary - I helped them get rid of their junk and now they can collect insurance money; examples from the book "without conscience" by Robert Hare.
    And as you see, we can all agree their intentions were negative - as outside observers.

    Again, a thought-provoking grid, thanks for posting it.

  4. How about changing good/bad intentions into intentional/unintentional action.
    C could become an interesting field to explore...


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