‘Intuition is not like the waves on the surface, it is more the tide beneath the waves’ (Dodgson & Marshall, 2018).
It is the process of accessing and trusting one’s inner knowing. It is direct knowing, unencumbered by the thinking mind.
The origins of the term intuition come from the latin ‘in-tuir’ which directly translates as ‘looking, regarding or knowing from within’. What makes intuition important in health coaching? The coaching mindset asserts that our clients are the experts of themselves, they are whole, real and creative. Our role as their coach is to:
- Hold the coaching process
- View our clients with curiosity without judgment
- Create forward momentum through new awareness & discovery
- Activate our global listening
- Challenge our clients thinking
To do these things successfully we must build the craft and muscle of tapping into all of our senses. Harnessing this enhances your coaching practice by making it easier for you to read your clients behaviour and energy.
As global listeners we hear, see and experience sounds, words, images, feelings and patterns. We are drawn to the information we gain from our senses. We notice the pace of delivery, the pitch, the tone, and the modulation of the voice. We sense the pressure behind the words. We listen, not only to the person but, simultaneously to everything else that is happening in the environment. Noticing if there is something that does not feel in alignment, a question in the air.
Coaching becomes more seamless as you take the trainer wheels off and start to actively listen with intuition instead of merely with your head and ears. Intuiting involves taking risks by trusting not only your head. It involves adding in your gut and your heart. Emerging sources of evidence from the fields of neurocardiology and neurogastroenterology are showing that both the heart and gut regions have complex, adaptive and functional neural networks or what the researchers in these fields are calling “brains.” 
The information you are noticing in the moment may often feel non-linear and non-rational. What you do with this awareness however, and the choices you make will have an impact. There will be different consequences depending on what you do with your awareness, whether you act on it or not.
When we use our intuition in coaching we must be willing to let go, it is about trusting yourself, it’s not about being right. Always check in with your client on the impact. It may not land, however it may open up new awareness and discovery. Your intuition as a coach can guide you to make incredibly accurate observations and highlight hidden facts that could instantly create transformations for your client (evercoach, 2022).
In sharing your inner knowing with a client, seek permission to share: You can ask the client for example, ‘I would like to check something out with you if that’s ok?’ Wait for the affirmation then ask for example:
- I have a hunch that there is something still in your way that hasn’t been explored?
- I wonder if there is an underlying belief that you can’t do this?
- My intuition is leading me to wonder if there is something else on your mind today?
- I get a sense of your frustration, is there a value of having to do things perfectly?
Take opportunities to facilitate your clients own ‘intuition muscle’ about themselves and their situation:
- What is your gut or instinct telling you?
- What does your heart tell you?
- What are you getting a sense of?
- Where do you feel this emotion right now?
- What do you notice that could be explored?
3 Practices To Grow Your Intuition:
- Practice ‘head, heart and gut’ checks to channel your decision making, wisdom and intuition and create connections to what truly matters.
- Use mindfulness practices to quieten the mind and quieten the chatter prior to your coaching. Then really focus on your intuition, connect to your creativity and positive intelligence.
- Reflect on your coaching, notice when you use your intuition and how did it serve you? The client?
A Health Coaching Intuition Exercise:
Remember our mission as health coaches is to support our clients to get in touch with what really matters, to their intuition about their bodies and their values and own mind. Let’s make sure we are giving ours a full workout too.
The intuitive mind is a sacred gift and the rational mind is a faithful servant. We have created a society that honors the servant and has forgotten the gift. Albert Einstein.