In the words of Francis P. Cholle,
Intuition is a process that gives us the ability to know something directly without analytic reasoning, bridging the gap between the conscious and non-conscious parts of our mind, and also between instinct and reason.
If your clients want to learn more about honing their intuition for use in the decision-making process, advise them to try this exercise, developed by motivational speaker Lynn A. Robinson. Try it yourself, too.
Close your eyes, breathe deeply, and try to get to a moment of calm, in-the-moment peace. You cannot hear your intuitive voice if there’s too much noise in your head.
Try to become aware of how you’re feeling physically ― are you feeling tense or uncomfortable anywhere? The point is not to try to address this, but merely to become aware of it; the body has a voice, too, and we need to listen to it.
Next, place a hand over your heart, and think about someone or something important to you. Then think about the decision you are trying to make. What is the core “saying” about this? Feelings and thoughts should just be observed, rather than rationalised or discussed with the self.
This sort of focus―on quiet and calm, and on people or things that are important to us―can help us tune into how we feel about a path we are deciding on. The sense you or your clients get about this while in this state should be trusted― it is intuition telling us what we want to do, what the right thing for us is.
You should then open your eyes and ask yourself how you feel about that decision you need to make. Try to stay centred and in the moment.
How does one do this―find that centred spot, and develop a “habit” of intuition? Among the tools that can help us all do that are:
Keeping a journal. As Francis Cholle says, “Writing your thoughts and feelings down on paper―even if you “think” you have little to say―helps the non-conscious mind open up. You may find you are writing words and phrases that don’t make sense to you or stir emotional responses rather than intellectual responses.”
Listening without judgement. Instead of censoring or criticising ourselves, we need simply to listen.
Finding a peaceful, safe place of your own to which you can retreat to cultivate the habit of intuition. This can be any place you can feel relaxed and focused.
Psychologist Hendrie Weisinger has some other tips for helping cultivate intuition and making it work for us.
Pay attention to facial expressions. As Weisinger says, “Before an important decision, stand in front of a mirror and think of the decision you are to make. Does your face show fear, anger, happiness, anxiety? If your face does not look happy or satisfied when you think about the decision you are to make, you better think twice, because you will be ignoring your instincts.”
Listen to your voice. Its tone can reveal important things about how you feel about what you are saying.
We may think one thing, but our actions can say something entirely different. When it comes to intuition, actions do speak louder than words. Pay attention to your behaviour―how you feel, your body language. It will not let you lie to yourself.
Increase your sensory awareness. Look at the world around you, and the people with whom you are interacting. What do you see? What sense do you get from people’s facial expressions, the tone of voice, posture? You are reacting to those things―by identifying them, and your reactions to them, you help develop your intuition.
Ask yourself how you will feel if you make a particular decision. Try to visualise and sense your reactions to your decision-making six months or a year from now. Does it feel good or bad? This is your intuition telling you something significant.
Intuition is an essential tool for any coach. The more we get in touch with it, the better it can work for our clients and us. It is an inherent advantage we can all have and use if we just pay some attention to it.