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  • Writer's pictureAnne Hellgren

Coaching As A Way Forward: Intention Is Everything

Intention means so much when we talk about what we do and don’t know or understand. To me, as a Black woman, it was obvious that Tania would have certain privileges simply based on her skin colour. The fact that she didn’t know just how much of privilege she had was because ‘she knew what she knew’, based on her own experience as a white person. 

Let’s face it, not everyone who doesn’t see or understand white privilege is ignorant or in denial of it. In fact, our conversations taught me that white privilege might not be obvious to many because it’s all they have ever known.

When we spoke about my experiences, she fully listened with empathy and without seeing it as a personal criticism. She let me speak and though she seemed taken aback but just how privileged she was in comparison to other black women, or other people of colour in general, she never took offence or a defensive mood.

This is what I mean by intention. Her intention was to learn and grow, it wasn’t about her being defensive or attacked or being right. If everyone had this attitude of listening with the intention to learn and not respond in some sort of defence mode, I truly believe we would stop arguing about nitty gritty details that arise from the inability to look beyond ourselves.

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