As coaches we are invited to share what we notice about our client during a coaching relationship: observations and intuitions have the potential to create new learning and can be really powerful towards the client’s improved awareness.
However there is a risk that we might be interpreting what the client is experiencing instead of mirroring back what we see from a neutral stance. A coach who has an intuition – and thinks he knows what is happening for the client – has essentially made an interpretation and might fall into the trap of leading the client.
Then how do we use our intuitions skilfully without falling into the trap of interpreting for our client?
Here are some questions you could ask your client to stay away from interpreting, if you have the intuition that there is something new:
– what is going on for you?
– what are your feelings on this?
– what is happening right now?
Avoid “labelling” feelings and emotions and just be a mirror when there is a shift: this is a really powerful way to stay present, be responsive and observant with your client for your client.
Here are a few questions you could ask yourself even before verbalising your intuition:
1. what purpose is my intuition serving?
2. how do I stay away from interpreting it?
3. what is next in the coaching conversation to serve the client’s agenda?
If your intuition is serving the client’s goal and agenda and not your desire to take a specific direction or lead, then you are on the right track!