Do you know someone, perhaps a partner, a friend, a parent, a therapist, or a coach, who gives you the space to authentically be yourself, and shows continuous faith and support in your highest potential? Do they actively listen to the best of their abilities what you communicate from a deeper level of the soul? In their presence, you can comfortably be vulnerable without having to defend or maintain a certain self-image. You are confident about their motives and intentions, and very transparent with your own. There’s a profound level of trust in which you existentially understand and respect each other, while recognizing the ways you can grow and transform. The relationship becomes a continuous activity of mutual openness and support for each other’s journey to self-realization.
Trust is a reciprocal act of mutual openness: one takes the role of a receptive listener and the other of an expressive communicator, and switch roles when necessary. The level of understanding of the receptive listener, toward what is being expressed by the communicator, is relative to their level of self-awareness. When a person goes through extensive personal or spiritual work, they gain intuitive understanding of the meaning and roots of their behaviors, habits, motives, and feelings. They realize that these personality traits are surface expressions of unconscious mental patterns stemming from past beliefs, concepts, experiences, and repressed emotions. For example, feelings such as jealousy, anger, hate, or envy are unconscious, defense mechanisms to cope with stored, unreleased pain— and when finally released, awareness expands. The person’s identity eventually becomes a manifestation of the essential, spiritual qualities of the self. When one expands their awareness, they become more open and accepting of others’ personality’s flaws, knowing that beyond this surface dwells an expansive, spiritual self waiting to be manifested.
Receptive listeners, who have gone through extensive personal and spiritual development, have the openness to understand and support the communicator in a non-judgmental, unbiased, and empathetic way. They accept the communicator’s feelings, behaviors, and motives as superficial expressions of unconscious mental patterns, and try not to make judgments or assumptions about them. Instead, these listeners honor the highest, spiritual qualities of all individuals, and recognize their ever-expanding creative potential. Coaches and therapists are great examples of self-aware, competent professionals, who provide this quality and depth of listening, by asking inquisitive, thought-provoking questions. Whether you’re a coach, a friend, or a stranger on the listening end, always keep an open-mind, be accepting, compassionate, empathetic, and patient with what a person is trying to communicate. As a communicator, specify from the beginning the purpose of the interaction and the type of support you’re expecting from the listener. Remember to express gratitude and appreciation for the listener’s presence and willingness to understand. To trust, and be trusted, be your highest and most honorable self.
To conclude, here are three main indications that you are in a relationship of deep mutual trust:
1- You are at all times being your highest, most authentic self. There is no need to maintain a self-image or be self-conscious of anything. You are transparent with your motives and intentions.
2- Feelings are embraced and respected. You can open up with confidence and in a vulnerable way what you truly feel inside, with the other person offering their full presence, acceptance, and understanding.
3- You believe in each other’s expanding potential. You support each other’s decisions in life, and celebrate your blessings, achievements, and successes.
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. Always provides a culturally-sensitive, compassionate, and supportive environment.
Sometimes, unwanted thoughts, feelings, emotions, or memories from the past knock at the door of our conscious minds. We automatically label these guests as hostile, and firmly lock the door for fear they will cause havoc in our safe and comfortable homes. They leave and hide in far, unexplored regions of the mind, becoming our closest, permanent neighbors. Because we are afraid of ever coming into contact with these so-called intruders, we remain confined in our limiting homes, never exploring our unclaimed territories and their limitless resources. These neighbors become our greatest enemies who could potentially cause us discomfort, pain, or disturbance at any time— every moment of our lives becomes centered on avoiding them. Our choices, behaviors, and habits, from the way we act to the way we think, are influenced by their unconscious presence. We believe these neighbors will eventually disappear, but all we’re doing is build thicker, taller walls separating them from us. We never dare to cross the drawn line between our safe and limiting homes, and the fearful but infinitely expandable territory.
Coaching is a conversational skill where a professional coach co-creates a desired future with an individual. An honest conversation, and some resilience to overcome momentary disturbances are simply needed to make these neighbors vanish forever. All they want is a channel to express some deeper needs waiting to be fulfilled; that channel is the home of your conscious mind. Discomfort and pain do not indicate the presence of something negative, but rather the absence of what is essential. Emptiness is filled not by avoiding but by allowing what is meant to come in. When you open the door, allowing your neighbors to enter, you also open your way out of your comfort zone and release. While they’re in, they gradually dissipate after a few intense minutes and leave vacant the lands they previously occupied. You can now claim back the parts of you that were taken and repressed— you plant more seeds, enjoy more resources, live more abundantly, and you expand. You wish you’d knew before, that the momentary pains of facing these neighbors, which are your thoughts, feelings, emotions, and memories, are worth the resourceful territories you gain later. As more guests continue to show up at your door, life becomes a never-ending, cosmic journey of allowing the pains and pleasures of life to pass through, and infinitely expanding to your highest and fullest potential.
Here are some affirmations to help you allow and dissipate your feelings, thoughts, and emotions with ease and flow. While you repeat these affirmations in your mind or out-loud, take deep breaths and feel your Being expanding as you pass through the sensations of resistance, discomfort, or pain that may arise:
"I am strong, vast, powerful, resilient, enough to handle and overcome any level of discomfort or pain. I allow the feelings and thoughts to pass through and leave with ease and flow. I am now wisely ready to let go, and open up for something newer and higher.”
“I am fully open and receptive for greater abundance and expansion in my life. I deserve only the highest and best things to happen. Everyday I make authentic choices that are in alignment with my fullest potential.”
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. Always provides a culturally-sensitive, compassionate, and supportive environment.
Most of the self-sabotage originates from dysfunctional and irrational thinking that we develop while growing up. We are all made up of thoughts, feelings, behaviours and habits As we are all aware that our thoughts can upset us, certain types of thoughts can also create negative feelings. I will continue to share a controversial fact with you. It might help you to realize that the thoughts that make you feel bad are often irrational or dysfunctional, and a lot of times you subconsciously keep producing them. These thoughts are not there to serve you anymore, moreover they are the masters of self sabotage. Not only do these thoughts prevent you from seeing the world with an objective in your mind and with neutral eyes, it rather distorts your view of the World and realities of your life.
So, let’s reflect back: Most self sabotage such as underestimating yourself, perfectionism, hopelessness, and low confidence are often caused by dysfunctional thoughts. When you gain awareness of what your dysfunctional thoughts are and how they are affecting you, then you can draw a line to avoid sabotaging yourself and experience a sense of progress.
Nine (9) Dysfunctional Thoughts That Help You Master Self Sabotage
Would you ever go to a dentist who doesn’t have a diploma?
We’re assuming that the answer is a straight no! Same principle applies to personal coaching certification. The first step to become a certified coach is to go through a legitimate training program accredited by the International Coach Federationand get certified.
So, first things first. Why personal coaching?
There is a reason why personal coaching certification has been one of the fastest growing career choices around the World in the last ten years. The truth is that, today’s people, unless they have a pathology or a serious mental problem, don’t want to go through years of therapy and instead, they want faster wins and solutions. Many people want to focus on now and tomorrow instead of digging deep into the buries of their past.
As life gets busier, more and more people are in need of support- the kind of support that will make them progress and move forward. Coaching does that and it Works! Personal coaches who are certified are educated well in the process of helping people to get from where they are to where they could be and where they want to be. Certified personal coaches who have credentials know how to help individuals to;
So, how can one become a certified personal coach? What are the steps of personal coaching certification?
Step 1: Find A Legitimate Coach Training Program
As we said before, first hings first: you need to enrol in a program that is certified from the International Coach Federation which is the regulating body for Professional coaching. ICF accreditation is quickly becoming the gold standard for all life coach certification programs. When looking for the perfect coaching program that fits your needs, be sure you only choose programs that are ICF accredited.
Like a college degree, earning your coaching certification is the best way to claim your expertise in the field of coaching. Make sure that when you are searching for a program, the program has an ACTP (Accredited Coach Training Program)certification type. ACTP means that the program offers the highest level of certification. Do not forget: you are in the field of helping people and people are sophisticated. An ACTP program will prepare you at the maximum capacity to guarantee that you have the capabilities and confidence to coach people.
Step 2: Make sure that your values are aligned with the program’s philosophy
While all ACTPs must live upto ICF ethical standards and coaching competencies, their models, philosophies and methodologies will differ.
For example, FLOW Coaching Institute’s Positive Psychology based ACTP personal coach certification program values the science of happiness versus the orientation of fixing problems. And moreover, it offers the use of a structure in a coaching session that has space for creativity and flow at multidimensional levels (mental, emotional, relational, physical, spiritual, cultural, political).
Step 3: Make sure that the program has it’s roots in science
It is quite sad but there are many coach training programs out there with unrealistic claims and no foundations in science. We strongly recommend that you choose a program that has links to a scientific discipline. For example, FLOW Coaching Institute’s ACTP personal coach certification program has it’s foundations in Positive Psychology that were pioneered by Dr Martin Seligman and Psychologist Mihaly Csikszenmihalyi .
Step 4: Be coached.
It is important that you get coached to have an understanding of what it feels like to be coached. Successful coaches have göne through the process of personal coaching either before or after they complete their certification. As a Professional coach, working with a personal coach will give you authenticity.
Step 5: Focus on your competency development for building your practice and get mentoring and supervision on your coaching skills.
Research tells us that Professional coaches, whether life coaches or career or executive coaches, are the ones who invested in their skill development and have göne through mentoring and supervision for their coaching skills improvement. Coaching is about delivering meaningful & structured conversations towards desired outcomes and most of the time human beings are not linear beings and the conversation is not very straightforward. If you work with a mentor coach for supervision, with their support you will be investing in your competencies to run effecitive coaching sessions and provide value to your clients increasingly. Do not forget: You are in the busines sof generating value for other people. So you will only be successful as of the worth of the value you are generating for your clients!
Recently one of my life coaching clients was diagnosed with anxiety disorder. Until her I had no idea about how extensive we have anxiety problems amongst the people of North America.
For example, did you know that 40% of the teens population in North America has anxiety issues? Neither I did!
So, I made some research to be able to be able to keep coaching her while she is getting professional help from a psychiatrist and/or psychologist. Since we have a trust based ongoing relationship, I wanted to make sure that I am able to partner with her as her coach as she gets though this tough situation.
Anxiety is a brain condition that happens as a result of some triggering factors that we fear or worry about. When our brain gets triggered to remember some of the past worries or new ones, it generates fight, flight or freeze pattern of responding. This kind of response was first recognized by psychologist Walter Cannon (1929). According to research, our body usually respond to stress triggers in specific ways. In the 1930s, endocrinologist Hans Selye described these specific ways as the stress response. The stress response produces a predictable set of physiological changes, including increased heart rate and a sudden peak of blood flow, slowed digestion and increased perspiration. All of these responses result from release of stress hormones, such as cortisol and adrenaline. The fight, flight and freze response is an intense form of stress response. These responses are part of our survival system meaning that we don’t have to learn them. As these responses help us to run away from danger (or perceived danger), the stress response can not be based on higher-level thinking processes.
Though these responses are hard-wired into our brain and helped us for centuries to survive, they are not useful in responding to today’s complex issues. They are not useful when you face a conflict in the work place or at school. They are not useful to help you to pay your mortgage debt. They are not helping you to show your work at an annual presentation where 400 ears are listening to you. On the contrary, sweating, pounding or racing heart, dry mouth and other symptoms might cause you to flee or fight or freze in such situations which is not the smartest and most effective strategy to cope with our modern day challenges.
Here is a six coping strategies that you might like to know when coaching individuals through their stress response. Please note that these coping strategies do not replace therapy, they are just complimentary approaches to therapy to relax your clients and help you to coach them. They will not treat the symptoms, but they will reduce the discomfort and shorten the duration of stress response.
Grounding. When the stress response is active (rapid breathing, sweating, nausea, etc) tell the person to look around and find five things they can see, three things they can hear, two things they can smell an done thing they can maybe taste. This is called grounding.
Deep breathing. Breathing slowy will help extend the chest and diaphragm as a good start, and hopefully will decrease amygdala’s activation.
Help them to distract themselves. If we keep focusing on stress increasing symptoms, it only gets worse. Instead distracting the brain to other things will help us shifting our focus and hence shift our thinking process.
Help them let go of worries about what other people are thinking. People with anxiety are often worried about what others will think ora re thinking about them. They worry that others are watching them and judging them. Assure them that others probably do not notice any of the symptoms or they won’t care.
Coach them to be aware of their strenghts. Helping them to focus on their strengths and create mediums to express those will help indirectly those people to shift their focus to other areas in life.
Encourage them to keep a journal and note about what works. Coach them to observe what strategies work better in coping with anxiety and high stress and encourage them to find ways of increasing those.
Did you know that only two of five businesses are able to survive the fourth year of their business operations?
The main reason is that business owners, entrepreneurs and executives are very proactive personalities with a little habit of seeking help from experts. Even though most of them struggle highly because of their lack of knowledge in certain areas, they limit themselves in their single perspective and do not seek or accept help from experts. If only they knew that there are trained professionals who know how to help business owners, entrepreneurs and executives with the ability to co-create the business processes with them. These professionals are business coaches!
Research tells us that those who don't succeed don't build a strong support system. A strong support system involves surrounding yourself with people that are willing to partner with you in your journey. Building a support system should start with having a success partner that will listen to you, that will provoke your existing paradigms, help you to stretch yourself outside your comfort zone and discipline your planning on a regular basis. These skills are practiced by professional business coaches day by day, session by session.
Here are 10 more reasons Talyaa Vardar, FLOW Coaching Institute’s Programs Director and a Business/Executive Coach for 15 successful years, shares with us. Talyaa believes that each businessperson needs a coach from the very beginning.
A certified business coach will partner with you from the very beginning until making sure that you don’t just survive, but also thrive.
"Everyone needs a coach"- Bill Gates, founder, Microsoft
A professional coach is basically a person who is there to support people in achieving a specific personal or professional goal by providing guidance and training.
ICF (International Coach Federation) defines coaching as partnering with clients in a thought-provoking and creative process that inspires them to maximize their personal and professional potential.
If a sportsman wants to improve his professional performance for a specific sport, he chooses a coach. In the same manner a coach can help people with other careers and professions as well as we all need feedback and a coach can help us with that.
Why do I need a coach?
A common misconception is you only need a coach if you are doing something wrong. People may feel they are falling behind in their career or not doing something right which in return may make it hard to accept that not everybody knows everything.
But you maybe surprised to know, all successful people seek a coach at some point in their life. They understand the need for constant improvement and becoming the best at what they do. It brings great value to seek innovative and new ways of doing things.
“The one thing people are never good at is seeing themselves as others see them, a coach really really helps” – Eric Schmidt, former CEO, Google
Coaches are not only helpful just to CEOs but to many other senior executives helping them to climb the ladder of their career. Specially if they are transitioning to a new role.
How can a coach help me?
When you partner with a coach, they help you to: discover what you really want to do in life.
How to choose a coach?
Investing in a professional coach is a long-term investment. It helps you put a lot of things straight such as your life, your career, your goals, your relationships and boosts overall satisfaction in your life. A coach helps you identity the direction of your life and how you can fulfill it.
Every coach has a different methodology and their own terms and agreements. You can find the one that suits your budget and plan. Ask for credentials, their certification institute (e.g. ICF), their testimonials, their area of work and their structure of working to identify what works best for you.
Whether you are a recent graduate, an entry-level professional, a parent, an executive, an entrepreneur, a CEO or unemployed if you simply want a positive change in your life and you seek answers to important questions let a qualified and certified professional coach help you with it.
If you want to become an ICF Certified Professional Coach send an email to firstname.lastname@example.org to get more details and information about our upcoming programs
In our FLOW Core Foundations program we talk early on about the “Be, Do, Have” of a coach…What we do through our coaching process and who and how we are in the world, the state that goes beyond our abilities to ask thought-provoking questions that support our clients in first finding the path and then the energy to create what they want and need in their lives. In my over twenty plus years of coaching one of the “haves” that has been demonstrated to me time and again is having what is called “emotional intelligence.”
There are many definitions of EQ but perhaps one of the most succinct and helpful comes from Daniel Goleman, one of the early pioneers in the field, who with Richard Boyatzis and Annie McKee wrote one of the seminal works “Primal Leadership, Realizing the Power of Emotional Intelligence.” They define EQ as “self-awareness, self-management, and relationship effectiveness” and say that the attempt to lead effectively absolutely requires these qualities. I would go so far as to say that this is equally true for effective coaching.
So, what does EQ look like and why does it matter? Well first of all our coaching stance requires us to be completely focused on our coachees…and in order to do this I need to keep myself out of the way. When a client brings to coaching things that because of my own personality preferences or life experience resonate for me personally, I need to be able to recognize when my own “story” starts playing in my head and isolate that from the experience of the client so I don’t “contaminate” their experience with my own. I need as well to manage my own energy so that it doesn’t “infect” my client’s experience. Coaching focus is all about the “other” not about the coach.
Now that’s not to say that my own experience doesn’t have value…of course it does. It is the source of my learning, my whole way of being in the world. But I need to be consistently aware of the ways in which my personal experience can creep in…We talk about the levels of listening in our coach training…and the first level is the place we all know well of being more focused on what we are thinking and feeling and wanting to say or do in a conversation or meeting, rather than on what the other person is actually saying and perhaps needing. Unless I have and continue to work on my own self awareness, what is really mine and not yours, there is a distinct danger of the voice in my head starting to blather about my thoughts, wants, what I want to say etc.
Further we all have our particular patterns, our ways of being in the world. I am someone who tends toward action…and achievement…Nothing wrong with that unless I allow my needs to generate impatience…Emotional Intelligence profiles and practices enable me to more clearly see how these and other patterns weave their way through my life and how I need to be careful not to get frustrated if my client’s pace seems to me to be very slow….Emotional Intelligence profiles have also highlighted for me my own personal need for action over relationship. This is really important learning because we know that any coaching relationship has to begin with trust. As a coach I can do nothing for or with my clients if they don’t trust me. And so, I need to manage my own action orientation carefully to allow for the time and attentiveness to the “other” so crucial for building a sense of trust. Our clients set the pace…lead the dance in that sense and we have to follow.
Personally, I believe that understanding the importance of and the process for creating strong emotional intelligence is one of the most important steps a coach can take in order to enhance their skill set and their effectiveness. Next month I will be back with a case study or two to illustrate my point. In the meantime, let me encourage you to explore the literature in this field….it will be well worth your time and is really interesting. “Primal Leadership” is a really good read!
For now, good coaching…..
The essence of every spiritual tradition or practice is to make you reconnect with the most authentic aspects of yourself, the ultimate ground of Being. A life coach with a focus on spirituality, not only helps you set goals and attain them, but also makes sure that they align with your core self: that means your values, your passions, your real interests, and your creative skills. Spiritual coaches support others by helping them make choices and take actions that come from a source of authenticity. The focus of the session shifts from “having” toward first and foremost, “being”. In other words, when you learn to be in total alignment with your core self, and in peace with your present circumstances, your environment transforms to match your new, more relaxed, inner state. The outer world is simply a reflection of your inner life. Here are 7 ways a spiritual coach can support you in creating a rich and fulfilling one:
With the combination of mindfulness techniques used by many spiritual coaches, you start embracing the present moment and living in the now. Your focus expands, and you become more attentive to smaller details. Your performance at work and any other tasks boost, and your daily productivity grows.
Your motives will be questioned, in a non-judgmental and unbiased way, so that your choices truly align with your deepest, most meaningful values. By taking actions that feel valuable right, your intuitive skills strengthen, and life becomes a miracle where every choice you make is the most optimal and rewarding one.
Your mission and calling in life become clearer as you meet over time with your spiritual coach. You get a clear sense of your contribution and service to the world, and how to use your best, most unique abilities to accomplish them.
You learn to say “no” to the activities that drain you, and “yes” to the ones that nourish your spirit. You start doing things because they truly bring joy and value to your life, and honor your needs. And for the tasks that usually feel dreadful (like filling taxes form), you start appreciating their overall value as your motivation increases over time.
By becoming more confident of your own abilities and strengths, others become a value-added rather than a necessity in your life. You enhance your ability to make mutually-loving connections based on authenticity. You are fully authentic in every situation you find yourself in.
A spiritual coach will never impose a spiritual teaching or tradition on a coachee. Through thought-provoking and reflective questions, they will help you develop your own philosophy of life. They make you see the world from a more optimistic and expansive perspective.
Your inner and outer world become one. Life becomes a harmonious flow, with the least resistance encountered. You become a burst of energy that shines light on others.
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 teaches meditation and mindfulness techniques individually and for corporate groups. Always provides a culturally-sensitive, compassionate, and supportive environment.
It is a common assumption that managers have all the answers, but the truth is, management is as much about the questions as it is for the answers.“If you want the answer—ask the question.” ― Lorii Myers
Asking the right questions keeps the thought process active and helps you seek out new concepts and ideas. Knowing when to ask what question can improve management skills dramatically. Effective questions are the ones which promote growth, enhances interaction, increases knowledge and helps with choosing the right decision. There are some important questions that can help managers be more effective in their management skills.
5 Questions Managers Should Reflect On:
Prioritization and managing time effectively are one of the most important management qualities. Questioning what to do in the next few minutes and what is important helps you get tasks out of the way efficiently and effectively
Managers often face scenarios when teams are struggling. Questions like this can help rearrange the situation and organize what needs to get done. Bringing clarity brings direction and vision and can turn the situation into a favourable one.
If you have an inspiration or an idol you look up to, you can often ask yourself how would the particular person act if he was in your shoes. It opens your mind to new ideas and gives you the push to take the right step by re-enacting the situation in your head.
It is very important to reflect on what made you successful or what made you fall behind because it is the most common indicator of you and your teams’ strengths and weaknesses. Asking such a question can help you promote what is required and avoid similar negative actions for the future.
Successful managers believe in continuous learning. They never stop learning new things and always look for new opportunities and ideas to adopt. Innovation is key. Finding new ways to do things promotes creativity and a manager should always be in its pursuit.
Management involves coaching which is asking the right questions to lead your clients/team members to effective solutions by themselves. If you want to learn more about coaching email to us at email@example.com