The importance of intuition in coaching is something that probably most professional coaches would acknowledge. However when viewed in the context of the ICF competencies the prevalence of intuition throughout the coaching process becomes strikingly apparent. In spite of being aware of it or not it seems that coaches naturally fall back on intuition at every step of the coaching process. From the findings discussed here it could be argued that the use of intuition is integral to, even synonymous with, good coaching in which the competencies are being fully realized.
The form in which coaches use and express their intuition may, however, vary greatly depending on factors such as coaching niche, individual beliefs, or spiritual orientation. Indeed the concept of intuition is so broad that it could cover the whole spectrum of non-spiritual beliefs across to religious leanings. These personal differences would certainly dictate the way in which an individual might develop their intuitive skills and how they are applied in their coaching.
Whilst the issue of how to define and develop intuition is somewhat beyond the scope of this paper a general idea can be gleaned from some of the research discussed so far. It would seem that using intuition involves non-conscious processes and requires a heightened state of focused attention. Learning to listen to body cues would also seem to be important in guiding the use of intuition. Thus in simply employing the coaching skills of active listening, coaching presence, rapport, trusting in the process, in short being a good coach, provides the basis for intuition to freely flow. Whitworth et al beautifully describe this integral nature of intuition as a part of the coaching process:
Speaking from your intuition is extraordinarily available in coaching. Like the wind in the trees, it may not be visible, but we can see and hear its effects. (Whitworth et al., 2007)
At a time when this relatively young profession is starting to gain more worldwide recognition, further study along this line of research would serve as an excellent underlying thread running through out coaching in all its varied and beautiful forms.
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