Insights from Flow

Coaching
How to Reduce Stress and Perform Better

The pressure at work is increasing, and that’s taking a toll on employee wellbeing. According to the American Psychological Association (APA), 62% of workers reported high stress levels in their job. Unfortunately, stress is also one of the main causes of performance problems at work. When your stress levels are high, it becomes more difficult to concentrate, you make more mistakes, and you get exhausted faster. Stress has such a negative impact on your performance because it lowers your cognitive abilities and makes you less able to focus on what’s important. Understandably, people become anxious in high-stress situations. And this is good news: We can train our brain to react differently when we feel stressed. The bad news is that this is not an innate response but a skill that needs to be practiced over time. Here are some suggestions on how to reduce stress and perform better at work:

 

Make your working environment more comfortable

If your physical environment is cramped, uncomfortable and generally not conducive to work, you’re going to feel stressed. You might have a small office with poor lighting, a loud and disruptive environment, or no privacy. You might be expected to use a computer that is slow or old, or you might have a ten-hour workday with no breaks. All of these things and more can cause you to feel stressed. No one’s job is perfect, but you can always try to improve your situation. Ask yourself if your work environment supports you, or if it’s actively hurting you. If it’s the latter, speak up! Your health and productivity are worth it.

 

Practice breathing exercises

Breathing exercises are one of the best ways to relax and relieve stress. When you’re stressed, your breath becomes short and shallow. Deep breathing exercises, on the other hand, are proven to reduce stress and improve focus. The best part? You can do it anywhere and it takes only a few minutes. The simplest breathing exercise is the 4-7-8 breathing technique. Start by inhaling for a count of four. Hold your breath for a count of seven. And exhale for a count of eight. Repeat this for about three minutes. This exercise trains your body to respond to stress in a less reactive way. Try it on your next extremely busy day, and see if it helps you to stay calm and focused. The other benefits of breathing exercises are that they can improve your mood and relieve mild anxiety and depression. They can also lower your blood pressure, which is great for your overall health.

 

Schedule time to de-stress

As many employees tend to do, you might be trying to fit everything in and do everything as quickly as possible. This leads to stress, and eventually, a drop in productivity. When you’re feeling stressed, take a few minutes to de-stress with a technique you’re comfortable with. This might be a breathing exercise, or it could be a short meditation session. If you’re new to meditation, it might take a while before you feel the benefits. Be patient, and don’t give up. Meditation is a skill that needs to be practiced over time before you see results. If you’re a fan of physical activities, try yoga or a stretch routine. If you prefer a less active approach, try reading a book or listening to music. Whatever you do to de-stress, try to make it a regular part of your day.

 

Meditate regularly

Meditation is the practice of focusing your attention on the present moment, without judgment. There are many different types of meditation, and it’s important to find a type that works for you. You can try different types of meditation to discover which ones work best for you. Benefits of meditation include reduced anxiety, less stress, and improved focus and clarity. It can also help you sleep better and reduce your overall feelings of stress. Regular meditation can help you perform better at work, improve your relationships, and increase your overall well-being. If you’re not used to meditating, start with just five minutes. You can do this while sitting or lying down. You can do it anywhere and at any time. Try to make it a part of your daily routine. The more you do it, the easier it gets, and the more benefits you’ll see.

 

Exercise and get enough sleep

Physical activity is not only good for your health, it’s also a great way to reduce stress and improve your focus. If you have a busy work schedule, it can be difficult to find time to exercise. Luckily, exercise doesn’t have to be a long and drawn-out activity. The Harvard Business Review recommends micro breaks as a way to refresh your mind and give yourself a boost of energy when you’re feeling stressed. Even a short activity like taking a walk or lifting some weights can help relieve your stress and give you clarity. Make sure you schedule enough sleep in your workday. A good night’s sleep has many health benefits, and it can also help you reduce stress. Getting enough sleep gives you more energy and reduces your stress levels in the long run.

 

Conclusion

Stress is an inevitable part of life — it’s how you handle it that matters. With self-awareness, you can choose how to respond to challenges at work. You can learn how to reduce stress and perform better by making your work environment more comfortable, practicing breathing exercises, scheduling time to de-stress, meditating regularly, and exercising and getting enough sleep.

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Coaching
Business Coach Success Story : Turn everyday into anywhere

Start building your dream life now by becoming a certified professional business coach and working from anywhere and everywhere!

Jodey was an HR Business Partner in a Canadian company when she started FLOW’s online-live Business Coaching ICF Certification training program. After completing Modules 1-5 of the Business Coaching ICF ACSTH Certification, Jodey continued with Module 6 and completed the All-Inclusive Advanced Certification. While she was still a student coach, Jodey kept coaching her colleagues, friends, and peers in the program. She had this dream of skipping the Canadian winter by working remotely. Becoming a certified business coach was not only a way of increasing her skill set, but also giving herself the life that she had dreamt of. She set herself a three-year time frame and built up her clientele in that period. At the end of the third year, she had 12 individual clients and 3 corporate contracts that allowed her to rent a house in the Caribbeans for 6 months and work from there. Since then, Jodey has been living abroad for six months and coaching from anywhere and everywhere.

FLOW’s online Business Coaching Certification training allows Jodey to work with entrepreneurs as well as executives. Because of her background, Jodey is comfortable in helping businesses and managers to create a cultural shift in their people and culture policies, strategies, and executions. With the coaching certification, she has gained new tools and techniques that enable her to work in this context and become a business coach aka ‘successful change agent’ she always wanted to be.

Interested in this success story since you have similar goals?

Now is the time to turn your daydreams into reality! 

Take a look at the ICF 60 ACSTH Business Coaching Certification Program as your first step and plan the path towards your future that is full of flexibility and freedom that you’ve been wanting!

 

 

 

 

 

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Coaching
4 Things Every Entrepreneur Needs to Hear from Their Business Coach

Entrepreneurship isn’t for the faint of heart. It’s one of the most challenging and rewarding paths you can take as a professional, but it also comes with its fair share of pitfalls. These are some of the most common mistakes that entrepreneurs make, such as working in isolation or failing to set measurable goals. Having a coach is an excellent way to help mitigate these dangers and ensure your business thrives. A business coach will serve as an unbiased third party who will listen to your concerns, ask insightful questions, and challenge you on areas that need improvement. Regardless of where your company stands right now, having a business coach can be a dynamic partner in your success moving forward. Here are four things every entrepreneur needs to hear from their business coach.

Be honest about your current situation

One of the most important things a business coach can do is help you be honest with yourself about your current situation and where you are currently at with your business. You’ll want to be honest about your strengths and weaknesses so that you can better strategize with your coach. If you’ve been operating in isolation and aren’t honest with yourself, your business will never grow, and you’ll never know what areas you need to improve on. If you’ve been working in a silo for a while, a business coach can help you get a fresh perspective on how your business is performing and where it needs to go next. A business coach will also be able to help you assess your strengths and weaknesses, which will help you figure out where you should focus your energy.

Set measurable goals for the future

When your coach asks you where you want to be in six months or a year from now, think carefully about the answer. Having clearly defined goals is the first step in being able to achieve anything. You should make sure that your goals are specific, measurable, and attainable so that you can fully focus your attention on getting there. Make sure that once you’ve set your goals, you revisit them regularly to see if you’re making any progress. A business coach is a great resource to have when setting goals because they can act as a sounding board when you’re trying to determine what your goals should be. Your coach will be able to ask you insightful questions that may otherwise have gone unasked.

Learn to say no and commit to only the best ideas

Even though you want to set clear goals, that doesn’t mean you should take on every project or client that comes your way. There will be times when the best decision for your company is to turn down business that isn’t a good fit for your company. If you’re open to every new project that comes along, you’ll never be able to focus your energy on the projects that are most important to your business. Businesses that are constantly trying to take on too much risk losing focus on their core values and the qualities that make them uniquely special. An experienced business coach will be able to help you learn to say no and focus your attention on the projects that are the best fit for your team. A business coach will also help you prioritize the existing projects on your plate. Having a coach will also help you commit to only the best ideas that are currently on your plate.

Don’t be afraid to pivot or try something new

One of the biggest mistakes that entrepreneurs make is getting so invested in a single idea that they ignore new opportunities. The business world is always changing, and it’s important that you don’t get so attached to any one idea that you fail to adapt to these changes. If a situation arises where you need to pivot or completely change your approach, you’ll want to make sure that you’re open to these changes and ready to make the necessary adjustments. A business coach will be able to help you navigate this change and make sure that you don’t get so attached to any one idea that you miss out on other opportunities to grow your business. A business coach will have experience working with clients in a variety of different industries, and they can help you navigate their expertise in these varying industries to keep you on track and moving forward.

Conclusion

When you partner with a business coach, you’re gaining access to someone who understands the unique challenges of entrepreneurship and has the experience to help you overcome them. A business coach will be able to offer you a fresh perspective and help you identify areas where you need to improve. Having a business coach can help you avoid common pitfalls and ensure that you’re focusing on the right things. The most important thing you can do is be open to what a business coach has to say and be ready to make some changes. If you’re an entrepreneur who is ready to take your business to the next level and make real progress towards your goals, it’s time to find a business coach.

Talyaa Vardar

Coaching
A Life Coaching Exercise to Help You Gain Clarity About Your Flow

A year from now, where would you like to be?

Imagine… a year has passed, and we are in the next year.

Now, even for a flash moment, see yourself smiling and living in your best flow… feeling, living, and experiencing an increased sense of fulfillment in your life.
 
What do you see?
 
Where are you?
 
What do you do?
 
Who are you with?
 
Now… imagine a few people approaching you. They thank you for your support in their life. They smile, you smile… How do you feel now?
 
Do you like what you see?
 
Now…imagine a year has passed and nothing has changed. All is the same. How do you feel? In this picture, how happy are you with yourself when all is the same?
 
What realization does this mini self-coaching exercise give you?
 
If you realize that something needs to change, start planning your actions today. If during visualizing, you saw yourself helping and supporting others, becoming a coach might be a path that will make you happy. Let’s test!
 
Imagine yourself a year from now… You see yourself in a room or maybe outdoors. You have clients and you’re coaching them towards achieving flow in their personal and professional lives. Because of you, they feel more confident, clarity and empowered. They tell you that, they would not experience such a positive shift without you. How do you feel in that picture? If happy, then, coaching might be the right path for you.

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Coaching
A Life Coaching Exercise: Dialogue with Your Future Self

As life coaches, we also need coaching support. Best life coaches are those of us who are the most coachable. Below, we share with you a brief exercise to help you gain clarity on your current challenges or desires about your future. Enjoy!

What would your future self-advice you about how you spend your time today?

We time travel. All of us spend most of our time either worrying or dreaming about our future. If we leave our mind to its state, we’ll find ourselves wandering through time with no attention in demand and this natural state of mind is not productive.
 
Experiencing a sense of productivity increases our sense of flow and contentment with ourselves. According to Positive Psychology researchers, it also increases our confidence and self-esteem.
 
Play with us as we introduce you to a mini-coaching exercise. Before you start, please take a few deep breaths, and get comfortable. Depending on your ability to self-concentrate, this exercise might take 5 minutes to 15-20 minutes.
 
Now, suppose you’ve invited your future self to ask for advice about yourself and your current life. You see your future self in your mind’s eye (even for a flash moment). Then, you ask about a piece of advice that will help you with today and prepare you for a happier future? Ask your questions and listen. Pay attention to your body’s sensations and feelings.
 
What advice did you get from your future self?
 
How do you feel about it?
 
What will you do about it?
 
Take your notes, and perhaps even journal about the insight.
 
If you seek an increased sense of meaning, joy, and happiness that includes helping yourself and others, we would like to share our experiences as FLOW Professional Coaches. 

Talyaa Vardar

Coaching
12 Thought-Provoking Leadership Questions

Coaching is a powerful partnership that is hugely impactful in leadership development. Professional coaches are specifically trained to ask questions that stretch their client's perspectives and give light to their blind spots. Let's break down some of the top thought-provoking leadership and coaching questions that will help you grow your leadership skills personally and professionally.

Leadership is a journey. Some of us have it in our bones where others become leaders later in life as they face situations where they have to learn and practice. Whether you are a natural-born leader or learned to become one later in life, one thing is for sure that you need to keep developing yourself. The only constant in life is change - and as someone who wants to become a leader, you need to accept that you will have to constantly change to become a better version of yourself.

Who are you as a leader?

Who do you want to be as a leader? Once you have internalized and found answers to these questions, it will help you and your team to embody and to bring improved leadership qualities into your personal/professional life.

Authentic leaders have a habit of self-reflection as staying true to who they really are. Leaders who care also pay a lot of attention to who they are becoming because they are always focused on growth. They know that when you come to the same office every day, there is a tendency to become mediocre without notice.

Therefore they keep asking themselves self-reflective questions or they hire coaches who will ask them these questions! Self-awareness is a core value for them. The following self-reflective questions exercise may offer a new perspective on how you see your leadership contributing to your life and work.

And as you answer the questions below, take a moment to notice how your own answers resonate with you.

P/s: You know what; these questions make fabulous leadership journal prompts - so grab your journal and write a few sentences!

Our top coaching questions that will help you develop your leadership skills: 

  • What are your top three strengths that you practice the most as a leader?
  • What are your bottom three strengths that you haven’t been able to practice?
  • What is your leadership vision?
  • Who do you want to become when you are the best version of yourself?
  • What is your leadership philosophy?
  • What kind of a leader do you need to become?
  • What do you need to adjust to create the impact that you want to see?
  • What do you need to change in yourself and leave behind?
  • If you were one of your team members that were led by your current self, would you be satisfied?
  • If we ask your future self about the lessons that are learned, what would your future self tell us?
  • What are you noticing as you answer these questions?
  • With this new awareness, what are you willing to do differently as of today?

After you've done this exercise, write them down and add a date to these answers. We also suggest that you should do this exercise at least 2-3 times a year. We all change every day, and sometimes you might not notice it because daily changes are negligible. But, if you go back and answer the same questions over a large period of time then your changes will be a lot more noticeable.

What are some of the top leadership qualities you believe a leader should have? And how did you realize how important they were? I'd love to know!

If you are looking to become a coach yourself, click this schedule to see when our next intake is! We can't wait to work with you.

 

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Coaching
Coaching As a Transformational Leadership Practice

What is leadership and coaching? Are they two separate entities or can they co-exist together? Traditionally, we think of leadership and coaching in the world of work as separate practices.

But the world has changed a lot and in the last few years and  coaching has become one of the most important leadership practices.

The Main Reasons Why Coaching Has Become Such An Important Leadership Practice Are: 

  • Together with globalization, organizations have become more complex and matrix structures. Such a massive change requires business leaders to decentralize their power by delegating more to their employees.
  • We see more diversity increasingly that requires leaders to learn more sophisticated ways of communicating.
  • Millennials don’t like to be told and wait as passive employees. They want to become thinking partners and take proactive roles in the workplace.
  • Performance evaluation has proven to be not as effective as expected. Human Resources professionals are looking at new ways of managing employee performance and coaching conversations have proven to create an impact on intrinsic motivation and accelerated results.
  • Increased volatility results in increased workload. So many leaders feel overwhelmed because of this. Micromanagement only results in increased stress, anxiety, and eventually burnout and it has proven to be least effective. As a result, coaching has become an essential workplace practice as a way of distributing shared responsibility by empowering others.
  • An increased pace of change requires all of us to become more agile. Coaching is about supporting positive change by increasing our perspectives. When our perspective changes, we gain speed and thus, become more flexible and agile. Today’s corporations require their leaders and employees to think fast and act agile. To achieve that, leaders learn to coach their employees from decision-making process to planning; from planning to take effective action steps.

Coaching is a thought-provoking communication practice. When managers integrate coaching into their habitual management style they contact their inner power and find the courage to share this power with the outside world. What else?

  • They start to listen better and allow themselves to learn from others.
  • They start to ask better questions that make their teams think more thoroughly.
  • They become better team builders. They create a space where every team member thrives.
  • They switch their language to “we” and “us” from “I” and “me”.
  • They stay updated as their people don’t hesitate to go to them and tell them about mistakes, progress, and other things.
  • They eliminate the fear of failure through coaching their teams.
  • They know how to motivate their people from within.
  • They value diversity and use strengths as a source of productivity.
  • They know how to balance productivity and optimism in the workplace.
  • They focus on progress and future success.
  • They are not afraid to provide constructive feedback.
  • They know how to support their people to prioritize their developmental areas and coach them accordingly.
  • They perceive conflict as suppressed energy and know-how to use that energy to re-energize team dynamics.

If you are a manager or a business owner who is authentically interested in integrating coaching into your daily management practice, you might want to check out our ICF-certified coaching programs.

Our Fast Track Core Foundations ICF Certification program (Module 1-5)  will help you to learn many creative ways of transforming your innate strengths into a powerful leadership practice that will allow you to create impact and be the change you want to see in your preferred audience.

Our Business Coaching ICF Certification Program will help you to understand a macro perspective of strategic business leadership and empower yourself from within by taking ownership of your personal business success story.

Whether you choose one course or the other, both pathways will ignite your inherent leadership capacity in a fulfilling way.

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Coaching
Ever wonder how coaching can boost employee engagement?

You might already know this but employee engagement is a key factor for the success of an organization. In today’s times, low employee engagement can cost the company innovation and creativity, and without these things, it is nearly impossible for any organization or business to survive. Employee engagement keeps a company’s morale high and leads to unique ideas that allows a company to top its competition all while retaining existing employees. It is an absolute win-win situation that allows a company to remain competitive and retain its employees all while keeping employees satisfied and flourishing.

However, did you know that employee engagement is highly dependent on coaching? Without coaching, employee engagement will suffer. This is where coaching steps in and shows everybody why it is the absolute best for any organization!

Coaching can help grow employees to their fullest potential by providing effective and constructive feedback that highlights an employee’s strengths and provides a layout to improve any shortcomings. This, in turn, motivates employees to develop an action plan to become their best selves! By doing so, we have a flourishing workplace along with shining employees. told you – it is an absolute win-win.

FLOW’s ICF Accredited 60 ACSTH Business Coaching Certification program can teach you the tools and techniques you need to boost employee engagement within your organization.

CLICK HERE TO LEARN MORE

 

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Coaching
Manager as Coach: Business Coaching Skills for Leadership Development

In the past years, the world of work has been talking about the movement of great resignation. Employees, in search of meaning and experience of flow, have been resigning or switching to careers that promise a more human environment. A lot of them are attracted to jobs that create value for the world and are more creative. They also want to become part of a culture that values its people by investing and developing them.
 
Like many others, you might be thinking that developing others is a mindset. I would agree with you to a certain extent, and I would add that it is more than a mindset. It is a skill set!
 
I have been coaching executives and senior managers, including HR teams for more than a decade. I have worked as a corporate business coach and facilitator in cultural transformation programs, M&A processes, and leadership development. In each of these, I insist that including ‘developing others’ in your leadership competency set is not enough. You must provide the tools and invest in the skills of your managers to deliver.
 
In people’s leadership, managers have four core communication tools when working with their people for performance management: 

1.    Directing
2.    The full or partial delegation
3.    Mentoring
4.    Coaching

In my experience as a business coach with various organizations across continents, the majority of the managers are more comfortable with the first three and least familiar with coaching. Both coaching and mentoring are two proven processes for managers to develop their people and eventually create a culture where growth happens with momentum daily. To this day, coaching is still mixed with mentoring and sometimes even with consulting.
 
Coaching in a business setting, when applied with the right pillars it always brings positive results. In one international retail organization where FLOW Coaching Institute had implemented a managerial coaching program for store managers, the turnover within their stores dropped by 25% in 3 months after managers had 6 cross coaching sessions with mid-level managers and supervisors.
 
So, what is the right skill set for managers to engage with their people as a coaching manager? 

1.    Prioritization skills
2.    Engaging their people in the vision
3.    Letting them bring their values to their jobs
4.    Giving them space to think, challenge their thinking, and let them contribute
5.    Using a coach-like language and specific communication tools
6.    The right balance of listening, observing, and powerful inquiry
7.    Facilitating a shift between different levels of energy and building synergies
8.    Balancing productivity with the right amount of optimism
Bringing these elements together is a process. First, you should make them see the value in coaching their people, and maybe even measure as multinational companies do. Then, investing in their coaching skills and practice should follow. Of course, creating a culture takes time and ongoing assessment. Many organizations around the world are measuring coaching as a leadership competency. There are even pioneering companies that replaced their performance evaluations with quarterly coaching sessions.

Does this sound like something that resonates with your organizational goals?

Enroll in our ICF Accredited 60 ACSTH Business Coaching Certification program today to help your organization reach its fullest potential!
  

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Coaching
5 Ways to Build Credibility as A Coach

Recently certified professional coaches often ask me, “How do I gain credibility as a coach because my clients know that I am just a beginner coach?”

So, how do you bridge this gap between gaining credibility?

Trust that what got you here will also get you there, 

Embrace and adopt all the experiences which led you to train as a professionally certified coach. Give value to the knowledge, beliefs, skills and qualities that make you the coach you are today. Let go of the “beginner” mentality and remember that you are not just the certificate you gain but much more than that; apart from your coach training, you have the required pre-existing skills and strengths that make you unique. 

1. You Have to Start Somewhere, But Get as Many Experiences as You Can and as Soon as Possible:
Don’t wait to launch your new website, read another coaching book, or come up with a blog – start early and seize every opportunity to coach now. You can always begin pro-bono coaching to build experience, gain coaching confidence and credibility. Remember to ask for reviews, feedback, testimonials, referrals and newsletter sign-ups if you have one.

2. Gain Credibility by Associating Yourself with an Organization:
If you are in a hurry to get to coaching instead of building on your brand, you could seek to associate yourself with a coaching company. However, you must have a specific set of skills, and the coaching school might require particular coaching experience. The real benefit of being an associate coach is that you can acquire instant credibility if an established coaching school backs you. 

3. Make Use of Your Comfort Zone:
Spread the news of you being a professionally certified coach in your professional and personal networks, telling them that you are open to work. Draw on your industry experience, use the fact that people know that you understand the particular challenges. Instead of starting a life from scratch, build on your previous experience and gain coaching credibility with your existing knowledge. 

4. Reflect On Your Specialization: 
Some coaches select their niche to coach certain types of clients, some on a present issue. If your name is associated with a specific industry experience topic, it is better to consider which niche you want to focus on. Integrate your whole life experience into designing your coaching offering. Take into consideration what elements of your own life have been most significant, helpful or developmental. With what kinds of clients or certain topics do you feel at flow to coach? 

5. Be The Best of You!
Commit and believe in being a true catalyst of change. Work to make every coaching session a powerful and memorable experience for your clients. Commit to continuous professional development and work towards your next ICF credentialing. Gain regular supervision. Supervision is a wonderful opportunity to learn new skills and boost confidence. 

A final thought: “Nothing ever becomes real ‘til it is experienced.” John Keats
If you are looking to become a credible coach, gain your ICF coaching certification with us. Email us now at info@flowcoachinginstitute.com
 

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