Insights from Flow

Coaching
COVID-19 Existential Crisis as a Catalyst for Spiritual Growth

With the disruption of the COVID-19, we all are forced into some form of an existential crisis along with social distancing and self-isolation. In such a time of crisis, the lens of FLOW coaching philosophy might help us to start to see our condition as a catalyst to our spiritual growth.

FLOW coaching sees life as a creative process, thus current reality as a form of catalyst to a better form of future. The reality that we are all in is perceived as a medium to learn and grow.

We all have choices, but most of the time our conditioning from the early years of life makes us perceive the same path as a choice. Once we change our lens, then, we are able to see other choices available to us.

Applying this core principle of FLOW coaching into our current reality, let’s see what we have and how we can use them to grow.

  • Social distancing forces us to isolate ourselves. That is a fact. What we do with it is a choice. “What do we choose to create” -- this fact depends on us. We might get bored and use this time for social media browsing or we might set time and focus for a practice that will evolve us.
  • Coronavirus is a fact and we are all afraid to catch it. Our fear and the pandemic are facts. We can get frozen and stay in the fear zone or we can use that energy to finally connect with our deeper self and start listening to our inner intelligence.

If you choose to follow the FLOW principles and start to see this crisis full of choices towards spiritual growth, then set aside some time to reflect on these existential questions: “Who do I want to become?” and “What spiritual practices can I exercise to become that person?”.

Intentionally directing our creative energy to what we want to create, instead of worrying and panicking, we will be able to use this crisis time for developing a spiritual practice that will stay with us for a lifetime.

Developing a spiritual practice ultimately is about learning to surrender and trusting the intelligence of flow.

Listening to our inner voice through listening to silence, asking deep questions and reflecting upon them, writing, exchanging meaningful conversations with others,  and other creative acts connect us with the universal consciousness of flow.  

Learning to listen is a deep spiritual practice. First, it teaches us to be patient, and in time as we keep practicing, it connects us with our inner intelligence. If we keep it as a repetitive practice, then we learn to surrender ourselves without judgment and with a deeper understanding.

Asking powerful questions is about stretching ourselves outside our comfort zone. It is a practice where our mind and heart have to cooperate. It is a practice where we conquer inner resistance and free ourselves from it. Powerful questions are indeed creative coaching questions. They allow us to align our attention with our intention. These creative coaching questions help us to reflect on our true intention;

  1. What do I want to develop as a practice that is meaningful for me and helping me to align with my values on a daily basis?
  2. How can I focus on building my practice?
  3. How much time can I set aside for my practice?
  4. In what ways will my new practice support me?
  5. Who will I become if I develop a habit of my practice?

Writing is a form of spiritual practice too. As we write we clear our mind, body, and heart from dysfunctional energy clutter that keeps us alert and worrying all the time. It also helps us to release accumulated negative energy and emotions from our bodies.  Writing is a process connecting us with our subconscious. Therefore, writing is a catalyst to spiritual growth.

Social distancing means physical distancing, but it shouldn’t prevent us from having meaningful conversations through virtual platforms. One thing that we can be grateful for about modern technology is that it has enhanced our mediums to connect. A meaningful conversation makes you feel like you are in flow at the moment with a sense of meaning and fulfillment.

It develops us and creates a desire to grow. It is both an art and science. It creates a sacred space between people on a conscious and subconscious level. Therefore it is a spiritual practice.

Spiritual growth comes to the person with intention and repetitive practice. If we practice these acts above we will be able to transform this existential crisis into something that will serve us and others for a lifetime.

If you are interested in learning more about these practices by joining online live Core Foundations coaching certification, please feel free to call us at +1-888-4030707 or reach us at info@flowcoachinginstitute.com.

Talyaa Vardar

Coaching
5 Ways to Conquer Your Fear

Fear is a very powerful energy. It either stops us from moving forward or forces us to fight and run away. A lot of us fear what we do not understand. Countless fights, wars, and misunderstandings stem from a feeling of fear.

The feeling of the unknown, or the fear that someone is not going to do what they said they were going to do or just the simple fear of failure. Fear has fueled a lot of people to do countless of not so smart things.

Fear has a past orientation. We need to switch from our past orientation to future orientation.

Signs of Fear of Failure

  • Addiction to success
  • Identity entangled with success
  • Procrastination
  • Quitting
  • Caring too much about other people’s opinions
  • Avoidance to take part in activities that have a perception of risks
  • Perfectionism
  • Anger at other people when they give you feedback on your attempts/results
  • Anger at God
  • Anger at ourselves
  • A tendency towards not completing an ongoing job, project, etc. (if it is a repetitive pattern)

FEAR is your Brain’s way of saying that there is something important for you to overcome.

“F-E-A-R has two meanings:

‘Forget Everything And Run” or ‘Face Everything And Rise.’

 

5 Ways To Conquer Your Fear 

Name Your Fear Like a Living ThingThen Process it Through Questions. Ask:

  • What do you want from me?
  • What is your intention?
  • What do you want me to understand?
  • What specific message do you have for me?

Build a Vision Instead. Visualize the New Situation When the Fear Doesn’t Exist Anymore. Ask Yourself:

  • What do I want to replace my fear with?
  • What if my fear disappears, what would that look like?
  • Imagine the new scenario of the fear has gone. See yourself in it even for a few seconds. Repeat this active imagination 5 times.

Express Your Fear Through Aesthetic Experience. 

  • Paint your fear away through colors.
  • Dance your fear away through movement.
  • Write about your fear.

Reflecting on your fear through creativity will change your perspective. You will realize that the meaning and intensity of your fear will shift after you express your fear creatively. It might even disappear forever.

Build Your Support System. 

  • Find Mentors & Coaches that can support you.
  • Surround yourself with people that inspire you.
  • If you don’t know people that can support ask yourself: If I was coaching myself how would I support myself regarding this?

Know Your Strengths and Practice Them. 

Focusing on problems all the time will not help you to have a sense of fulfillment and happiness. On the contrary, practicing your strengths will increase your motivation from inside towards life, people, and situations.

Therefore, learn about your strengths and practice how to use your strengths in challenging situations.  Knowing your strengths will help you to ground yourself and stay at your core in times of stress.

Don't let fear control your life. If you give in to fear, everything you do from now onwards will be dictated by that fear and not your will to enjoy and your life. Fear can be crippling if you do not handle it well. If it is starting to get too much, we would suggest you speak to a professional coach to help you safely analyze your fear and take steps to improve it thus allowing you to move forward and leave fear behind. Become fearless.

If you are someone who is interested in becoming a coach yourself, head on over to our program page to learn our FLOW Coaching Methodologies that are deeply rooted in the Science of Positive Psychology. We can't wait to see you.

Talyaa Vardar

Coaching
Why Managers Should Coach Millennials

Millennials are motivated by perks, gym membership, free coffee, lunch and drinks. However, what they really look for in an employer is much more than only receiving these benefits. So many studies now are showing us that Millennials want to continuously learn and grow in their jobs. Moreover, they are looking for a good coach more than ever. In a recent global survey, 1400 millennials appreciated and looked for more feedback from their managers.

In contrast, their counterparts are okay with less feedback less often. The study shows millennials want feedback 50% more often than other people at work. Millennials claim that their best source of development is their manager. 

Millennials express that they want more help for their personal development rather than managerial directions. According to a study, millennials said they want to progress in their careers and do that; it's essential to receive coaching support from their manager. To lead effectively in today's workplace, managers need to put more effort into understanding young people's mindsets. Millennials show more self-esteem, more anxiety and need more appreciation. Active listening, asking timely and effective questions, and giving them headspace are coaching skills that will help managers coach and understand Millennials better. 

Let's take a look at what kind of coaching support millennials expect from their managers: 

Millennials want to be inspired. Millennials respond more to causes that help people. A company's mission with a higher purpose is more inspirational and motivational for millennials than just actions for the organization's or team's success. 

Leaders are role models. Just by appreciating an employee's action, whether privately or in a team meeting and providing a pat on the back, inspires an employee. It's as simple as that.  

Millennials want to be surrounded by good colleagues. It is fascinating, but young people are often heard saying they want to be surrounded by people they can learn from. They are very flexible and easy to put an impression on; a little boost can go a long way to improving performance. Millennials look up to their managers and better colleagues and enjoy healthy competition. A coaching culture in the workplace can provide such an environment where the best performance is appreciated. 

 

Millennials crave authenticity.  Young people like to interact with more approachable managers. They look up to managers who share their own stories of victories and failures; such people can be role models for them. Coaching managers lean towards authenticity, and they are not afraid to show their true and honest feelings. Authentic coaches know how to build trust and establish the right tone for relationships that help young people grow and learn.  

Management through coaching is not about telling people or advising them. Instead, it is helping them achieve their best potential and help them get where they want to be. The best managers are the best coaches who can help unlock a person's potential to maximize their performance. Millennials have unique characteristics, and they make most of the organization's workforce. They must be coached in the right direction. 

Talyaa Vardar

Coaching
5 Ways to Ask the Right Coaching Questions

Learning to ask powerful coaching questions is one of the most valuable skills that coaches use in helping their clients explore what is truly important and meaningful for them. Questions help coaches dive deeper into the client's mindset, but the client also gains clarity during answering effective coaching questions. With the right coaching questions, the coach truly understands what the client is going through and where he wants to get. 

Following are some of the ways to practice effective questions. 

1. Short, Concise and Simple:

Coaching questions should be simple, to-the-point and easy to understand by your client. Long questions often make it difficult to follow and become complex. A succinct question will help your client to explain themselves easily and also helpful for the coaching process to get to the core of the issue at hand. An excellent technique for asking a complex question is breaking it up into shorter questions and asking one at a time. 

2. Open-ended Questions:

Open-ended questions are the most crucial tool in a coach's toolbox of skills. Open-ended questions are the one which cannot be answered in a one-word response or just with a "yes/no." Coaches use open-ended questions to dive deep into the client's mindset and learn more. With open-ended questions, coaches get a clearer perspective of what the client is really thinking or feeling as an open-ended question is open to various responses. Additionally, closed-ended questions put a full stop to the conversation rather than expanding and opening the topic to a broader discussion. 

An example of a closes-ended question would be: "Do you like your job?" whereas an open-ended question would be "What do you like about your job?" 

3. Non-judgmental:

A coach must be careful that his questions do not show any bias, opinion, prejudice or judgement. An example of such a question would be, "Why would you do something like that?!" Of course, the tone of voice plays a huge role here and the reasoning behind asking the question as well. If you use a sarcastic or offended tone, it would be very judgmental; a coach's job is not to judge other people's opinions. If you explain the reasoning behind your question and ask in a polite tone, the same question would be perceived differently. Of course, the question will define that you want to know more about their actions and their reasons for behaving in a particular manner rather than you being judgmental. Also, you mustn't impose such questions where there can be only one correct or accurate answer, as in some cases, this might also be perceived as judgmental or getting out a particular response from your client. 

4. Language Mirroring:

The questions you ask must mirror your clients' same terms and exact words that they use to describe the issue. This way, your client will feel more connected and would be able to visualize the goal. It will also help you gain the trust you need in your coaching sessions as the client will feel heard. 

An example would be:

Client: "I feel like I am on top of the world."

Coach: "What exactly makes you feel like you are on top of the world?"

5. Exploring Willingness to Change:

Coaches can also ask questions to explore clients' willingness to change and find reasons why they didn't make certain decisions in the past to help them change. 

An example would be: "What are the obstacles that didn't allow you to move forward with this decision?"

This helps with reasoning why the client had to seek a coach and why they didn't make specific changes by themselves? Such questions also help coaches understand the client's past and help the clients stay focused on future goals. 

Using the right question type at the right time will come with practice. Using the above criteria will help you in coming up with the right ones. It is helpful to make a list of your most compelling questions you have asked your clients. Asking the right questions helps clients open up and makes a huge difference in their progress. The questions you ask make you the coach you are, and with practice, you will get better. 

If you want to learn more about what questions to ask, enroll in one of our signature ICF Accredited Coach Certification Programs to learn more! Email now at info@flowcoachinginstitute.com to learn more. 

Talyaa Vardar

Coaching
HR's Role in Mental Health Awareness

The Human Resources (HR) department, specifically the HR professionals, is faced with many unique cases and circumstances. The COVID crisis has yet put them in a challenging situation which is the challenge of dealing with employees who are at the surge of struggling with mental health problems. If HR professionals do not have the skills required to deal with this subject, their initial response to the situation could be damaging. Therefore, HR professionals must be educated on the subject of handling the mental well-being of employees. 

While the idea of mental well-being may seem complicated, the human resources departments can take simple steps to tackle the situation. 

Here are some ideas which can help.

  • Create and increase awareness: 

The first response of HR professionals of any organization should be to educate them and the employees of the meaning and benefits of a productive state of mental health. The stigma must be ended, which creates misrepresentations and misunderstandings. Once the taboo is broken, it becomes easier for people to ask for help. One in five Americans experiences mental health problems at least once in their lives. Because of the fear of being labelled by others or treatment costs and other reasons, only a quarter of them receives proper treatment. It is essential that HR teaches the workforce basics of mental health challenges and diminish the myths associated with it.  

  • Provide Resources:

HR departments can best support their employees by providing valuable resources to them. Special training programs can train the management on how to best handle the situation once it becomes evident that someone in their team struggles with mental health. HR departments can also list the supported health care professionals to put the employees in the right direction. 

  • Show empathy:

It is essential to let the person struggling to know that s/he is being listened to. One of the best things is to let the person know that you are there to help even though you may not relate to their condition. Having someone to share thoughts with can prove extremely useful to people with struggling mental health. Furthermore, an open and supportive work environment must be created. Such an environment makes it easy to spot mental health problems as people are more expressive. Things can be handled before they take a terrible turn. 

  • Provide flexible working options:

A more flexible approach to working conditions can significantly help people with mental health issues. Working from home and flexible hours can make more difference than most people think. A flexible approach to working means employees take fewer days off due to work-related stress and mental breakdowns.  

  • Provide online life coaching and group coaching sessions to help employees manage stress:

Organizations are familiar with providing executive coaching, career coaching or mid-level managers performance coaching support. Organizations are using this time to bond with their employees and support them through Covid-19 stress by providing online life coaching and mindfulness sessions and group coaching sessions to help cope with stress and anxiety.  

  • Manage well-being at work:

Well-being at work is the new talk of the town. Progressive organizations encourage positive well-being at work, such as benefits and incentives to reduce employee stress levels and manage their anxiety. Improving well-being at work is a preventive measure for mental health. 

All employees are prone to having mental health problems, especially during crisis time; it's common in all organizations. Every business comes with a responsibility to support its staff. Small steps in the right direction can help reduce stress among employees. It is impossible to help everyone, but HR professionals can put things in place. Creating a positive and open environment where employees can seek help can make all the difference.

If you are a mental health professional or an HR professional and want to learn how to best support people by coaching them, please contact us at info@flowcoachinginstitute.com. 

Talyaa Vardar

Coaching
Leadership During Remote Work

The COVID-19 crisis has taken the world by the storm. Conventional ways of working of individuals and teams don’t work as effectively anymore. However, considering the challenges many organizations have very quickly and successfully adapted to remote working with little time to prepare.

The lockdowns changes everything. Many people travelled to their home towns in remote locations, preferring to be close to their friends and family during these times. Many of them were very new to this arrangement of working from home for an extended period of time. 

Remote working is not going anywhere anytime soon. The flexibility that the remote working offers is set to impact future career and lifestyle changes. 

However, to maintain the synergy as a team during and after the crisis is critical to the organization’s success. The shift to remote working requires that employees stay connected, collaborative and interactive while being in remote teams.  

Even after the pandemic has subsided many employees will continue remote working. Based on a study three quarters of financial executives plan to shift at least some of their employees to fill time remote work after the crisis has ended. 

With the slightest of the disconnect in communication leading to disengagement, it is important to stay connected virtually and hence there is a strong need for robust leadership during these times to keep everyone together. Tough times call for effective leadership and this blog we will talk about a few ways of effective leadership during remote work. 

Based on research the following methods are found to work for better leadership during remote working.

1. Maintain continuous and effective communication: 

When employees are away from their office, working from home it is easy to feel disconnected from the organization. A good leader must implement frequent, clear, dialogue-based communication. These are basic communication skills however they are very crucial when the workforce is scattered. Some examples of such communication could be:

  • Daily or weekly updates to and from the manager
  • Leaders explaining the rationale behind their decision/choices 
  • Giving value to the opinions of employees making it a two-way communication

2. Provide resources and care for physical and mental health:

It is not surprising that based on a research, employees appreciated company-sponsored COVID-19 tests and masks. But what is surprising is that twice the number of employees appreciated steps taken by the company/leader to foster mental wellness and support them during the times of social isolation. Some examples of these steps are:

  • Regular check-ins by managers to see how the employee is doing personally and professionally.
  • Virtual meet ups and activities like online exercise classes, lunch break and yoga classes.
  • Reaching out to positively tested employees with kind gestures. 
  • Coaching employees on how to manage stress and mental wellbeing.

3. Making sure remote employees stay engaged and useful:

Remote work can increase productivity when employees are working on stand-alone tasks and when they don’t require help of others however when employees are needed to collaborate with other teams, working from home can have a negative impact. Some important steps to avoid this negative impact is:

  • Reevaluating performance evaluations to ensure insufficient time in the office is not penalized.
  • Consistent and concise meetings are said to increase productivity.

4. Creating boundaries between work-life balance:

Working remotely may blur boundaries between work-life balance. On one hand it reduces the need for transportation and allows people to spend time with their family, on the other hand employees may have to spend extra time on tasks and building work. A study found remote workers logged on 2-3 more hours per day than usual. Especially when schools are closed and dare care facilities are in lock down it becomes even harder to maintain work and professional life.  Some of the best ways to help employees manage work-life balance are below:

  • Making the option of adjusting their schedules and completing personal tasks available.
  • Adjusting workload among employees to accommodate personal responsibilities. 


5. Don’t lose track of strategic goals:

Common strategic goals include, new products and designs, encouraging innovation, efficient operations, digital transformation and so on.  Its understandable that a global crisis can distract leaders however this is a mistake not to be made. Shifting to remote working creates new challenges in achieving strategic goals for example gaining market share is not easy when the market itself is collapsing. Leaders must keep in mind to build a budding corporate culture during working from home. 

Working from home has also provided different opportunities to progress on strategic goals. According to a study employees appreciated remote learning opportunities provided to them as most useful to build exceptional skills during lockdown. Shift in working from home provides an opportunity to organization to rethink and revaluate existing business processes to boost efficiency and effectiveness. 

Remote work is increasingly becoming the new way of working. It brings new opportunities and challenges. Organizations around the world are experimenting with novel management practices to manage the transition to a more distributed workforce. We are still in the early days, and it’s not yet clear which of these approaches will endure. Leaders cannot afford to wait for long— they need to act now to help their employees and organizations shift to remote work. We hope that our blog will help leaders as they navigate into an uncertain future.

If you are a manager or leader looking to become a coach please visit our program schedule to enroll in one of our upcoming programs.

Talyaa Vardar

Coaching
Top 5 Mistakes To Avoid When Starting Your Online Coaching Business

Are you interested in becoming a coach? Have you always asked yourself how do coaches make money? There are tonnes of resources out there teaching you how to start your online coaching business, but how many of them actually talk about the mistakes that you should avoid making when starting your online coaching business?

So, that's what we're doing today -- let's look at some of the top 5 mistakes you should avoid when starting your online coaching business. This list was curated by our team of coaches that have been in the industry for over 10 years, let our mistakes be your lessons.

Mistake 1: Not Putting in The Work

Just because your business is now online, doesn't mean that it's not going to take off immediately and everyone is going to be able to see it. Being able to put together a website doesn't just take time and effort from a technical standpoint but you also need to know a few things before jumping in:

  1. What is your coaching niche?
  2. What makes you unique?
  3. What are your fundamental values in coaching?
  4. What makes you a better coach?
  5. What are your non-negotiable values?
  6. How do you set up your coaching sessions?
  7. What is your price point for your coaching sessions?
  8. Who do you want to coach?

All these questions need answers and if you don't have them -- you have an unfinished product. This is why I strongly suggest you take the time to truly understand what it is you are trying to sell as a coach and grow from there. Understand that work is going to be needed and a lot of it is going to be extremely hard work. But, as a coach myself, I can very easily say that it's extremely fulfilling.

Mistake 2: Not Getting Certified

Yes, you can become a coach without getting certified but ICF has done multiple surveys and over 70% of people prefer to be coached by someone who is certified. Certification gets you much further because people trust you more now. They know that you were willing to put in the effort and the time to become a certified coach.

They also know that it isn't cheap to become a coach. This just shows potential clients your dedication and they will be able to trust you a lot more.

Mistake 3: Spending Too Much Money Setting Up 

At the end of the day, knowing what your product is and how you are going to sell your coaching skills is one part of the equation. The other part is sometimes people make the mistake of spending too much money setting all of that up. You don't need an amazing website with 5 funnels and 20 drip emails.

All you need is a simple website that showcases yourself, your story, the types of coaching sessions available, and your contact details. There's no need to go crazy at the start.

Mistake 4: Not Managing Money Properly 

Starting a business cost money, there is no way around it. But, we would also suggest always have a set budget that you are willing to spend to ensure that you know what your limits are. Sometimes people spend way too much money on something that they don't need and then they realize that they could have spent that money doing something completely different instead.

Mistake 5: Not Having A Good Support System 

Running a business isn't easy -- especially when it's something new like coaching. A lot of people are learning from scratch when it comes to the world of coaching. And sometimes they trust the wrong people and with that causes a lot of issues. Because bad advice can cause you to stray from what is truly important. So, always focus on finding the right mentors for you as well.

There you have it! Our top 5 mistakes that you should avoid when starting your own coaching business. If you are looking to get certified, please check out our program page to learn more about our next intakes. We can't wait to see you.

Talyaa Vardar

Coaching
Four Step Coaching Formula To Make New Year's Resolutions Work for You

New Year's Resolutions is something that everyone gets on when the new year comes around. People are ready to end the year and look forward to the new year. With each new year comes a promise of growth, change, and new experiences.

It's no surprise why New Year's Resolutions are a thing that a lot of people get into during the new year. It gives people a sense of rebirth and that now they have this new chapter to replace the old one that probably did not go so well.

This annual ritual cultivates hope for what there is to come and what we want to create. It gives us a sense of optimism and control over our life. However, a lot of these resolutions don't get executed in the end.

First, what are your resolutions? 

  • Are you aiming for a healthier version of yourself?
  • Are you hoping to finish what you have been procrastinating on the most?
  • Are you wanting to adopt a more optimistic view of yourself and your life?
  • Are you planning on learning some new skills?
  • Are you wanting to cultivate new habits, such as regular exercise?

Whatever your resolutions are, they are on your list because they are important to you.

Research tells us that only 70% of change initiatives are successful. The majority of change management initiatives are not accomplished because most people are not aware that our brain does not like change and it is not good at managing it. Our brain is actually designed to resist change and it perceives change as a source of threat to our survival.

FLOW Coaches are trained with certain coaching skills to impart effective change management and they learn a special coaching formula to support their clients in managing successful and meaningful change in their personal and professional lives.

This formula is called the Four Steps Coaching Formula of Change Management.

Applying the steps of this formula helps our brain to shift its focus from perceiving it as a threat to understanding it as an improvement or opportunity that comes with change. Therefore, the brain can be trained to cooperate with us instead of resisting change.

Here is our Four Steps Coaching Formula to Change Management that will help you accomplish your New Year’s resolutions. Each step requires you to ask yourself powerful coaching questions and answer them with special attention.

Step 1: Describe your pain

The first step of the formula is to start describing what makes you unhappy or uncomfortable. Our survival brain tries to move away from pain or discomfort. By acknowledging our pain points, we are helping our brain take the first step in controlling the negativity and thus, its consequences.

Step 2: Describe your vision

The second step is to ask yourself what do you want to cultivate. If you were able to move away from what gives you pain or discomfort, what would you like to create instead? When you describe your vision, think about it in terms of being, having, and doing so that it is sustainable for you.
Who would you like to become in your vision?

What skills, resources, knowledge, and experiences do you want to gain? What would you like to do about it? When you are answering these questions, clearly visualize your answers. This will help your brain build the connections between your lower systems and upper cortex.

Step 3: Describe your actions

This third step of the change formula is about describing the steps you need to take towards making the change real in your daily life. What are some action steps that you can take every day? As we always keep repeating at FLOW, “While praying move your feet.” What will your first step be?

Step 4: Be resilient

The last step is about taking ownership and accountability for your process. This requires you to build resiliency and tenacity in making change, including appreciating every win and being patient with the process. Don’t wait until the end to acknowledge achievement, but rather appreciate the small steps and wins along the way.

If you apply these four steps together, your brain will cooperate with you in managing the change, and you will overcome your inner resistance to change.

Imagine… while you practise these steps, at the end of the next year, you will look back and remember today as the first day of new habits… new beginnings… and positive change.

Talyaa Vardar

Coaching
My Personal Thoughts on The Inaugurations and Possibility Thinking – Talyaa Vardar

It's been over 12 days since the Biden-Harris team took over the Oval Office. One word specifically stayed with me from President Biden’s inauguration speech. He said America is a country of possibilities. I am impressed by this subtle message - almost sending his citizens a subconscious signal to relax as what loads our brain stress is having a sense of being stuck. What relaxes our brain is knowing that we have choices… having possibilities.

Thinking about possibilities is a function of our creative brain. The part of our brain that is responsible for imagination, visualization, and scenario creation.

There are people that are born with a specific temperament inclined towards possibility thinking. For others, it is a function either learned or not. So many people are unable to generate possibilities and therefore feel stuck and stressed. The stress response that our brain gives to certain stimuli is more of a survival response - which means that our brain produces stress to protect us from threats so that we survive.

The dilemma is that chronic activation of stress response produces further stress and causes illness. Illnesses such as headaches, migraines, stomach or digestive problems or some mental health challenges such as anxiety, burnout, depression.

The good news is that possibility thinking is a way to combat unnecessary stress responses and it can be learned. How?

First of all, you need to learn to relax your brain. Guided meditation, making art, walking in nature, exercise and visualization are some methods that are scientifically proven to work for reducing stress and relaxing our physiology. Once you get to relax a bit, you can start to teach your brain to learn possibility thinking by asking these simple series of  questions:

  • What is one way to change/solve/improve this problem?
  • Are there any other ways to solve this problem that you might not have tried?
  • What will it look like when the problem is gone?
  • What else?
  • What will it look like when I have it?
  • What else?
  • Imagine that you already have it. What will be different?

These questions help us to tap into the unconscious system of our creative brain. If you add visualization to these questions and repeat them for at least a month, then you will start to experience a shift in your habitual mind.

You will notice that your brain starts to generate possibilities more than before.

You will notice that your brain is not as wired as before about problem orientation.

You will experience less stress, more relaxation.

Regardless of what has happened, stress is a huge factor in a lot of issues in all of us today. This is why I truly believe that meditation and taking some time for yourself is extremely important especially during stressful times like the past few months.

 

Do you meditate? If not meditation, what do you do to relax? I would love to know more!

Talyaa Vardar

Coaching
6 FLOW Coaching Strategies TO Help Build A Growth Mindset

Having a Growth Mindset helps the person to become successful. This growth mindset allows the client to focus on the growth of themselves rather than what might hold them back. They will choose to see the ways to grow and evolve rather than to sit still and wait for things to change.

The coach is responsible to help the person to wire her/his brain to have a growth mindset vs fixed mindset. A growth mindset has future orientation and helps the person to focus on progress. For that, one needs to set a meaningful vision and strategies to help to succeed that vision.

The most fundamental outcome of the Flow Coaching process is the client's establishment of short-term and long-term visions. In order for the person to accomplish this vision, the coach aids the person in setting efficient and meaningful goals. Another important outcome of the coaching process is the person's increased focus on the goals. With the help of the FLOW Coach, the person can better focus on accomplishing their vision.

The very basic elements of the FLOW Coaching Process that help to build Growth Mindset:

#1:Vision

The coach encourages the client to discover and express what he/she wants at the end of the coaching process. Sometimes, the time period of accomplishing the vision may inherently be longer than the coaching process and it is especially important to clarify this when setting the success criteria.

#2: Goals

In each meeting, on the path to the vision that the client might have, the coach encourages the client to define his/her goals of the meeting. This could be done with a very simple question like "according to you, what is the best outcome of this meeting?".

If the person is not sufficiently clear, a sequence of questions may also be used. The goal of the meeting is also referred to as the contract of the meeting. The clarification of the contract has critical importance in order for the process of the meeting to be focused.

#3: Creative Planning

In accordance with the established vision and goals, the coach supports the person in planning in the most efficient way, as well as creating alternatives and solutions.

#4: Scenarios

As part of the plan, it is also important that implementation is successful. While applying this, the coach supports the person in focusing on inner motivation and commitment to the process, against the challenges the person may face and unexpected situations.

The coach's job is to ensure that the person uses his/her creativity in order to develop alternative solution scenarios.

#5: Action Steps

In order to ensure development, you need to make a move. Like the Zen master says: the principle "Take a step while praying” is meaningful. Hence, in order for our intentions to be reciprocated in our lives, we define action steps at the end of each meeting.

#6: Sustainable Performance

Since FLOW coaching is a growth model, it is important that growth is spread throughout the process in order for it to be realized. The coach should bring up this topic and ensure that the client thinks about his/her commitment and sustainability to the goals of the process that he/she has defined.

If you are looking to grow as a coach yourself, we would be happy to be part of that journey with you. Click here to check out our latest intakes for you to become a fully certified ICF Coach at extremely competitive prices. We can't wait to see you.

Talyaa Vardar