29 May 2023  |   04:29am IST


Glen Fernandes

We are all inherently good people but we just make mistakes from time to time when expressing our good intentions. How many times have you tried to help someone and the outcome was negative? Many times we have the best sincere intentions but our actions and desire to serve with good mindset but can result bad outcome or possible dangers similar to the story of monkey and fish. “What are you doing?” A passerby asked the monkey who was holding a fish from a nearby pond and trying to place it on the tree. “I’ am saving the fishes from drowning” was the monkey’s sincere reply. 

Intent is nice and goes a long way sometimes but if the result of good intentions is a bad outcome, then whatever the intent, it’s kind of irrelevant. Even though our intentions are good, doesn’t mean others have to accept and give us credit. No matter how good the advice may be, if the listener is not ready to take action or even hear it, it won’t be valuable. A piece of good advice that either turns into valuable action or fall on deaf ears depends a lot on how we frame our words and actions to the intended party. Some people believe that seeking help implies weakness or inadequacy and even may have hit a nerve that triggered a defensive response But then again, with all good thoughts and concern, there has to be some balance and wisdom in expressing it. Sometimes we think we’re in the best position to give good advice to friends, but our idea of a better world to live is often different from others. We sometimes even become angry, frustrated and show disappointment when the intended outcome is not satisfactory. 

It is also very significant to understand the mentality of the person requiring advice or help. We can influence others without attempting to control them if we share our thoughts and feelings respectfully and constructively.

Everyone appreciates understanding and guidance from others more than mere commands. Be confident that you have a clear picture of the need and the way you approach the person and provide the feedback. Ultimately people will listen and respond better when their feelings are validated and their thoughts valued and respected. Maturity involves being self-aware about your own actions and then developing to stretch beyond them to be more effective. 

Before giving any advice or lending help, we need to see the things in the right perspective and the expected consequence that will result due to our actions as Thomas Addison rightly said “Good intention with a bad approach often leads to a poor result.”

Call to action

1.Practice empathy, guide over command because that’s the only way our good intentions translate into valuable action.

2.Understanding enables us to connect and to be considerate about others feelings and see things from their point of view.

3.Clear and honest communication can help everyone to understand the difference between someone’s intent and their action thus build trust and avoid any misunderstanding.

4. Be accountable and take ownership of what happens.


Iddhar Udhar