Become a Better Coach by Developing Your Intuition - International Coaching Federation
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Become a Better Coach by Developing Your Intuition

Posted by Dez Stephens, ACC | September 30, 2020 | Comments (8)

We are all intuitive. As professional coaches, developing your intuition can accomplish two significant things in your coaching practice:

  1. It can accelerate growth in your business because you will better know who you work with, who to consider as a client, and when to make referrals to other professionals as needed.
  2. It cultivates a sense of solid confidence because you start listening from a place of knowing versus guessing.

Harnessing your intuition enhances your coaching practice by making it easier for you to read your client’s behavior and energy. Coaching becomes a lot easier when you actively listen with intuition instead of merely with your head and your ears.

We are all born with one intuitive gift that’s stronger than the rest. We’ll explore these gifts in “clair” terms. “Clair” in Latin means clear.

Clairaudience: To naturally hear things. This might be that small voice inside of you telling you something that you need to hear. This might sound like someone whispering in your ear, like a guardian angel or a loved one who has passed.

Claircognizance: To just know things. For example, you “know” that you need to turn left while driving but your head says, “Turn right since this is the way I normally drive to work.” So, you turn right and then wind up in traffic thinking, “I knew I should have turned left.” Maybe you turned left, and you’re relieved to find out later that you avoided a backup by not turning right. Your intuition was telling you to turn left.

Clairvoyonce: To see things, like colors or images.

Clairsentience: To physically feel things, like someone else’s headache or hunger.

Clairempathy: To emotionally feel things, like sadness or joy.

Clairsalience: To smell things.

Clairgustance: To taste things.

Clairtangency: To sense touch, like a gust of wind with a message or the brush of something on our shoulder that feels just as real as someone actually touching the shoulder.

Which of the “clairs” is strongest within you? After answering this, you now know that this is the strongest intuitive gift you were born with. You can develop and hone this gift to improve your coaching instincts before, during and after sessions.

A common mistake that many coaches make is wishing that they had a different clair stronger than another. Those who regularly know things wish that they could see things. Those who can see things wish that they could feel things.

Honing which one is strongest for you is the first step to developing your intuition. When you develop your strongest innate intuitive gift, the others will follow suit and develop more fully as well.

Learning about empathic abilities is paramount to observing our clients without “absorbing” them to the detriment of our own mental and emotional health. We don’t want to “sponge in” our clients’ emotions or thoughts. This can lead to us unnecessarily “taking them home with us.”

Following your guts and guides is an easy way to listen to what your head, heart, gut and root are all telling you. Your intuition might guide you during a coaching session. For example, your client is talking about work in a vague sense, and your intuition is telling you to talk about the boss. You might ask, “What’s happening with your supervisor lately?”

Your head might receive messages from your angels and guardians—if those are your reference points. Your heart might receive loving messages from God or The Universe. Your gut might receive intuitive messages in the solar plexus region of your body. Your root might receive intuitive messages from your ancestors.

It doesn’t matter where these messages originate. What matters is what you do with them. Do you ignore them? Do you embrace them?

We can’t stop intuition. It’s always with us. Some of us experience déjà vu, and others experience more tangible forms of intuitive messaging. Information is empowering, and choices are life-giving.

Do we share intuitive messages with our clients? Typically, no, but our intuition might lead us to ask the next open-ended question that may lead to self-awareness or self-discovery within a client.

Many people wonder how to develop their intuition.

You can develop your intuitive gifts simply by:

  1. Drinking more water (and being in water more)
  2. Listening to your body
  3. Asking your body for messages
  4. Experiencing foresight versus hindsight
  5. Noticing what you’re noticing
  6. Observing what you’re observing

Allow your intuition to lead the way!

dez stephens headshot 2020

Dez Stephens, ACC

Dez Stephens, ACC, is the founder and CEO of Radiant Coaches Academy (a division of Radiant Health Institute). It is a social enterprise and prominent international coach training school that certifies individuals to create vibrant, professional and private practices as holistic life coaches, wellness coaches and business coaches. She is a certified life coach, master trainer and marketing strategist. More information available at and

The views and opinions expressed in guest posts featured on this blog are those of the author and do not necessarily reflect the opinions and views of the International Coach Federation (ICF). The publication of a guest post on the ICF Blog does not equate to an ICF endorsement or guarantee of the products or services provided by the author.

Comments (8)

  1. Jeraldene says:

    Your words relate to and confirm what we already know, Our intuition makes that happen.
    This is good reinforcement of knowledge we hold within and then can relate positively with others.

  2. Balsam says:

    Interesting !Now I realized which of my intuition is the strongest.

  3. says:

    Thank you so much! I can see that I am strong in clairempathy and claircognizance.

  4. isabel florez says:

    me encanto, la energia y el presente esencial para detectarlo.

  5. Karen Briggs says:

    What a fascinating and inspirational article! Thank you.

  6. says:

    Thank you for sharing this information, I now know which clair I am. I will lean into this more to fully develop it.

  7. winsome pendergrass says:

    This information is very clear and informative, it sets a clear path to self-awareness.

  8. says:

    Really useful article, made me think and learn from it. Thank you very much.

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