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The Role of Presence and Intuition in Facilitating Coaching Breakthroughs: Part 3

A series of three articles exploring the role of presence and intuition in facilitating transformational change in others.

The goal of Article 1 was to help you understand what presence is, how it manifests itself, and how coaches can develop their presence.

Article 2 focused on how intuition builds off of presence and how coaches can strengthen and cultivate their sense of intuition.

Article 3 discusses how to use these cultivated skills of intuition and presence together to build deeper trust with the client and to lead to new insights.

1. Confidence Coaches who trust themselves and their process report that they use intuition more frequently. In a word they are confident that what they can offer to the client is useful and efficacious.

Each of us has the ability to be intuitive on some level; but it is the confident coach who is more apt to use it and hence, feel motivated to cultivate it further after experiencing the success it creates.

This theory is embraced by coaching literature, which suggests that intuition is characterized by intense confidence. (Hodgkinson et al., 2008; Dane and Pratt, 2007).

One needs confidence to blurt it out and then, if it does create forward movement in the conversation, the coach’s confidence builds.

2. Values and Beliefs Research suggests, and my experience confirms, that some coaches hold beliefs and values, which are conducive to accessing and applying intuition which in turn provides the coach with “permission” to use it and hence, allows confidence to develop. (See the interplay between values, beliefs, confidence and permission.)

These coaches believe they would be remiss not to use all of their tools, which means offering up what they are sensing. If done with permission and detachment, there is no harm while the upside can be tremendous.

I have heard coaches say: “I am paid to do a job, and I wouldn’t be doing my job if I didn’t use everything I had to offer.” They would further cite that they care enough “to go there”. This is confirmed in the CTI literature. “Client’s count on your intuition. When you hold back, you withhold a crucial source of information and sensing.” (Whitworth et al., 2007:58).

3. State Management Most coaches talk about having to be in the conducive space to access their intuition. The “right” state of mind can be created in several ways. It can run the gamut from preparing oneself before a session to engaging in a state management exercise, such as meditation or deep breathing before the session starts.

4. Permission The idea of giving ourselves permission is an important one as it frees us to honor our values and belief that it could be useful to the client’s process.

Permission is also about contracting up front with your client to be able to share your hunches in the session.

5. Connection Coaches say their ability to access and use intuition is affected by the quality and depth of relationship. When there is a deep resonant connection with your client, it is easier to sense and safer to share.

6. Detachment Intuition has to be offered lightly as opposed to being laid out as a “truth”. This belief is documented in the literature. It talks about the importance of labeling intution as just that. For example: “I have an intuition. May I share it with you? ” And then, not being attached whether it is right or wrong. You have to be willing to be wrong.


It is important to remember to be open to intuition – trust it, try it out and stay unattached to the impact. It is irrelevant whether your intuition was “correct” or “wrong.” What is incredibly relevant is using it and developing more of it, so you empower yourself to better facilitate the flourishing of other human beings.

What do you think?

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