In the FLOW Core Foundations fast-track program, you will be part of a community of like-minded individuals with a drive to learn and an aspiration to become an ICF certified coach. For 15 weeks, you will meet up once a week in an online class led by a PCC or MCC facilitator, and be assigned with a student buddy to implement the tools and competencies learned in class. These weekly buddy practices give you the chance to experience what it feels like to have a consistent coaching schedule and gain new perspectives by coaching individuals from diverse cultures and professional backgrounds. As you acquire new coaching abilities, others from your entourage — friends, family members, colleagues, neighbors, and more — will naturally seek your professional support for a variety of goals, which will add additional hours to your coaching practice. There are many reasons why people choose to undertake this program: some want to become an ICF-accredited life coach, others simply want to add new skills to their existing corporate jobs, and there’s a few who may be attracted to the remote lifestyle that coaching can offer. Nevertheless, a sustainable effort is required throughout and after the program to strengthen your skills and keep the momentum going. Here are five ways to make your post-program journey as exciting as when you first started, and maintain constant progress towards your full potential as a coach:
- Stay in touch with your peers and other FLOW alumni
Did you know that a FLOW community Facebook group for alumni exists? There are ongoing trendy discussions about coaching; you may want to check it out! Many FLOW alumni are wanting to improve their skills, grow their businesses, learn from others’ experiences with clients, coach, and be coached. This may be a good opportunity for you to exchange coaching sessions and gain additional hours for your ACC/PCC accreditations. Coaching others outside your niche will expand your perspectives as a coach, and help you become more comfortable dealing with situations beyond your area of expertise. Also, if you felt comfortable pairing with certain students during your cohort, and if your schedules match, we highly recommend that you keep practicing and implementing the ICF core competencies and tools learned in the program.
- Keep a consistent coaching schedule
With the many responsibilities of modern life such as career, family, parenting, community, and more, it is common to forget to make time for the fulfillment of our own personal aspirations. If you are that type of person, with an overflowing schedule, what can you do to make space, perhaps a few hours a week, for your coaching practice? While you may be actively looking for new clients, you can ask a flow alumni, a friend, a family member, or anyone else you know who might benefit from coaching, to fill up that time frame. That way, you are setting the motion for a consistent and growing coaching career, creating vacuum for an abundance of high-paying and long-term clients.
- Volunteer in your community
Coaching is a set of competencies and skills that include active listening, presence, direct communication, empathy, and more. You’d be surprised how many volunteering opportunities you can find in your community to compassionately help others using your skills as a coach. For example, many local hospitals are looking for volunteers to actively listen to the needs of rehabilitating patients and conduct group facilitation activities. There are also non-profits for a variety of causes that use the power of direct communication to empower individuals overcoming personal life challenges. Presently, FLOW Coaching Institute is partnering with WESTM TO, an non-profit organization that supports women through career planning in science and technology; many FLOW alumni in the Toronto metropolitan area are volunteering as life coaches for this long-term project.
- Focus on your personal development
During the FLOW coaching program, as a student you’ll be highly encouraged to keep a coaching journal, where you can write about the challenges you may face during you coaching sessions. Journalling is an excellent way to keep your emotions, feelings, and ideas in check, and understand yourself on a deeper level. Other self-awareness activities include reading a motivational book, practicing yoga, sitting in meditation, doing sports, listening to relaxing music, looking at art, and taking trips in nature; you can be creative and choose any one that draws your attention to the present-moment and lets your deepest awareness come to surface. Remember, harnessing present-moment awareness and learning how to regulate your own emotions and thoughts will greatly impact your ability to be more grounded and empathize with your coaching clients. Moreover, if you’re a knowledge-seeker, you’d have a great pleasure attending one of the FLOW webinar series, where you can learn about the latest buzz topics in coaching.
- Network, network, network!
Now that you’ve completed your FLOW coaching program, you are ready to present yourself to the world as a professional ICF certified coach. There are many social media platforms online to make yourself visible to potential clients and expand your coaching network. Facebook, Instagram, or Twitter allow you reach out to very specific target niches, and LinkedIn make you connect with professionals from a wide range of corporate fields. You can also look out as well for upcoming conferences in your area, and exercise introducing yourself as a coach to others. The purpose of attending these is to develop the confidence explaining who you are, what coaching is, and showcasing your newly acquired coaching skills.
Elie Abou-Jaoude is a Certified Life Coach, ICF, FCC, who brings a transpersonal and holistic approach to coaching, and helps individuals go through major life transformations and reach their fullest human potential. He also prepares mindfulness workshops for corporate groups. Always provides a safe, culturally-sensitive, compassionate, and supportive environment during sessions.