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The intuitive leader: Accessing the field

Intuitive decision-making has been shown to be both accessible and readily trainable. Here's how to get started.

4 min read



“We cannot solve the problems of tomorrow with yesterday’s understanding.” ~ Albert Einstein.

Currently, we are living in what is perhaps the most volatile time in human history. We are seeing extraordinary growth leading to newer levels of globalization and innovation. At the same time, our political views and socio-economic divides are becoming increasing polarized.

With such divergent realities, how are organizations and their leadership to keep up with evolving global paradigms?

In today’s highly volatile business world, it is incumbent on us to become increasingly comfortable in the unknown while still meeting the demands of innovation in service to our clients, stake holders, and employees alike.

Recent research suggests that humans have the unique capacity for complex, accurate intuitive processing. In studies at the University of New South Wales, intuitive decision-making has been shown to be both accessible and readily trainable. The studies show that we possess the capacity to recognize and act upon a wide-range of unconscious patterns to inform and enhance our actions.

In the Co-Active Dimensional Leadership Model, this access to intuition is known as Leading from the Field. Here, we let go of rational understanding to take in a much grander picture, listen to subconscious impulses, and take action toward our vision.

Here are three steps to start leading from the field right away.

Step one: Connect to the silence within

Far below all of our incessant mind-chatter, the list of what we have to do and what we have not yet done, the voices that berate us and celebrate us, is a quiet space. This space can be found with as little effort as taking a breath.

In the pause that precedes every inhale, lives silence. Take one breath and try it.

When we can learn to rest in it over time, we become comfortable in not needing to chase after conscious thought for answers.

Step two: Heed the impulse

From the space of silence, a clear impulse beyond rational understanding may arise. When this aligns with your ultimate vision, the impulse should be heeded.

It may come as an instantaneous knowing accompanied by an image of how it will move the vision forward. At other times, it may come as a sense of urgency and excitement that is designed to steer you to action.

When this impulse arises, and it’s uncluttered by a fear-based emotion or limiting perceptions, it can serve as a sign post pointing you to the next step on your path.

Step three: Stepping into action

When you are moved to step into action, follow the feeling of the impulse. There does not need to be a clearly defined plan of action or a clearly designated image to follow. Instead, there is a gut sense of how this impulse will carry you forward.

Trust what comes and move with it. Once and action is taken, it is vital that we sit back, observe its impact, and return to silence as we integrate our learning and await the next impulse. When we practice these three steps in continual succession, we discover a circular dynamic continually moving us toward our vision, guiding our action and responses.

With practice, this capacity to move and respond from intuition will be refined and honed. Ultimately, as Co-Active Leaders in the Field, we accept ownership for the whole of life on our planet. We seek to create a world that works for everyone because we understand that we are a part of everything that is happening in our larger world. We do, in fact, create our world together, every day, and all of our actions have an impact.


One of the first professional coaches in the 1980s, Henry Kimsey-House is the co-founder and lead designer of the experiential learning programs of CTI and the co-author of “Co-Active Coaching,” the best-selling industry bible, now in its third edition. An actor since age 9, Kimsey-House honed his insights into human emotion and the narrative process through classical theatrical training and years of stage, television and film experience. With deep conviction that education should be driven by immersive, contextually based learning, he is committed to creating richly engaging and transformative learning environments and continues to develop new, innovative curriculum and collaborate with other dynamic thought leaders. He lives with his wife, Karen Kimsey-House, on the coast of northern California.

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