Insights from Flow

Coaching
Everyone Needs a Coach

"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.

  • Help you discover your unique traits
  • Make you figure out your strong points and how to use them
  • Assists you in developing a path to follow and achieve your goals
  • Helps you work on your self-confidence
  • Works on improving your personal and professional relationships
  • Supports you in progressing your life and career

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 info@flowcoachinginstitute.com to get more details and information about our upcoming programs

Talyaa Vardar

Coaching
“The Emotionally Intelligent Coach… Why emotional intelligence is so important for us as coaches.”

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…..

Thomi

Talyaa Vardar

Coaching
7 Ways a Spiritual Coach Can Support You

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:

  1. You become more mindful

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.

  1. You make more authentic choices

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.

  1. You find your life purpose

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.

  1. You discover activities you truly enjoy

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.

  1. You learn to build and maintain trustworthy relationships

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.

  1. You explore your individual meaning of life

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.

  1. You become whole in every sense

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.

Talyaa Vardar

Coaching
5 Questions Managers Should Reflect On

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:

  1. What is on my priority list in the next 10 minutes? 

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

  1. What can make the situation be clearer?

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.

  1. How would a great manager react to this situation?

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.

  1. What went right today?

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.

  1. What are my areas of improvement?

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 info@flowcoachinginstitute.com

Talyaa Vardar

Coaching
Why Coaching Should be a Mandate for Today’s Managers

The World of business has never faced multi-challenges as much as today;

  • The level of diversity in the workplace has never been this much.
  • The level of change through all industries has never been this fast and adverse.
  • Technology has never been this complex.
  • Global economy has never been this volatile.
  • Perception management has never been this challenging.

And all of these challenges have to be managed simultaneously. You can not choose one over another. Today’s manager has to face them all and deal with all simultaneously.

How do you do that? There is one answer. You can’t do it on your own! As a manager in order to cope with such pace, in today’s business environment, you need to learn to energise, facilitate, activate and enable others to bring their most effective self to the work every day. All of these skills are captured in one tool: Coaching.

Managers become leaders when they start coaching their people. Coaching leaders know how to;

  • Create self-awareness in terms of strengths and weaknesses
  • Help their people to identify where they are in term of performance and identify where they can be
  • Identify motivational barriers and help their people to work around intrinsic and extrinsic motivation
  • Facilitate the energy of their teams and individual employees
  • Create a collaborative culture by inviting others to co-create the desired atmosphere
  • Energize people by coaching them on their values and strengths
  • Invite others to create a respectful communication culture where diversity is perceived as a strength not as a threat
  • Enable their people to learn and improve themself
  • Inspires a growth mindset versus fixed mindset

coaching leader has the confidence and wisdom that he/she doesn’t have to know it all. They have powerful questions to create a learning atmosphere where people are eager to learn from others and when not knowing, developing the right inquiry skills and growth attitude is the norm.

How one does develop coaching skills in order to develop coaching style leadership?

  • Learning to actively listen with curiosity on what others are saying and not is the first step.
  • Learning to ask and practice powerful questions that are what, how, who questions are the second step. Asking powerful questions allows leaders to accumulate more information about their people, culture and barriers that prevent employees from succeeding.
  • Knowing how to help others to set effective goals, plan and identify actions also is part of coaching.
  • Having courage to question the motivational habits of people also is an important coaching skill. For example: How do you feel about this project? What about this problem demotivates you most? Once you identify their motivational barriers or triggers then you’ll be able to coach them towards increased energy and motivation.

Talyaa Vardar

Coaching
16 Success Factors to Consider for A Strong Coaching Business

Establishing any business isn’t easy and a coaching business is no exception. Every newly starting coach wanting to create a business has once spent a considerable amount of time watching the coaching business growing to maturity and stability. We hope the information in this blog will help ease some pressure off you to build your coaching business from scratch.

For a healthy coaching business, patience and creativity is key. Screen your market and understand the needs of your target audience and market and act accordingly. Gradually and eventually your business will flourish and stabilize. Following are the key factors that can act as a catalyst for a strong coaching business.

16 Success Factors to Consider for A Strong Coaching Business

  • Getting recommendations from past clients.
  • Emphasizing on success stories.
  • Gathering enough client testimonials.
  • Creating a brand image through media and press publications.
  • Encapsulating as much information as possible in blogs, videos and social media posts.
  • Regular and recurring clientele.
  • Clear understanding of needs and wants of your chosen market.
  • Differentiating strategy to make yourself stand out
  • Learning from your mistakes to turn them into opportunities.
  • Price yourself accordingly, adjust fees according to market research and standard for your target market. Make sure you success to bag enough bookings.
  • Never stop learning more about what you do.
  • Try to make use of market automation tools.
  • Formulize a methodical sales funnel where you know what makes your clients sign up.
  • Keep track of client data, how many leads generated and how many successful conversions.
  • Follow up with feedback.

Through this process you will understand about your most important and valuable areas and resources and should choose to invest most of your time and money there to help support your coaching practice. Understanding the core of your business will help you set benchmarks and understand your competition as well.

Growing your coaching business will not be a straight upward peak, there will be ups and downs but with more attention to your business and strategies you will have more ups than downs.

Equipped with the knowledge that you have today start your list of important factors today to help take your business to the next step. Get in touch with us at info@flowcoachinginstitute.com if you want to become an ICF Certified Coach or need help to set up your coaching business.

Talyaa Vardar

Coaching
Transform Your Culture with Effective Conversations

I don’t recall where I heard it but once I heard a story proving that culture eats strategy. After years of coaching people, executives and organizations, I couldn’t agree more.

CULTURE EATS STRATEGY.

Maybe you already know maybe not but 70% of change management projects fail due to the current environment throughout the organization.

I am sorry but it’s true. The culture of your organization is more powerful than your strategy and more persistent than your vision for positive change. It’s the environment that enables vision, goals, strategic plan, performance or undermines it.

Every culture has many layers of the culture that starts with a vision. Then there are values and habits which are followed by skills, capabilities, and resources. Then there are daily procedures, routines, actions; hence results.

The BIG MISTAKE that leaders, human resources or organizational development experts do is to understand where the culture is in all of these layers of the environment. Then setting up SMART goals for each layer to close the gap between where you want the organization to be and where you currently are. After this gap analysis, the most difficult part follows.: Convincing and influencing people towards contribution. That can only happen through talking to people.

Coaching conversations are transformative. If nothing else, coaching teaches you to lead effective conversations. No matter the size of your organization, effective conversations drive business strategy outcomes and create sustainable change. Learning how to integrate coaching into your daily conversations will help you to tailor your message with each person-as each is unique- and provoke people’s thinking process towards betterment.

4 Core Skills for Effective Conversations

Listen with a Focus to Understand

Ask Creative Questions

Encourage to Generate Alternatives

Manage Progress & Accountability

FLOW Coaching Institute’s coaching philosophy and professional coach certification programs are designed to provide these core skills with an applicable and practical approach. We teach these 4 core skills and more to help to real workplace challenges and goals to build trust, foster collaboration and engagement, enable people to contribute to better performance and business outcomes and create a culture where positivity meets productivity.

To learn further about our certified coach training programs please Click Here

Talyaa Vardar

Coaching
5 Reminders to Boost Your Confidence as a Life Coaching Student

When I started my ACC-level coaching certification with FLOW Coaching Institute, my previous experience related to this field consisted mostly of volunteering work in non-profit organizations where I supported, through active listening, individuals overcoming mental-health and homelessness challenges. I had no knowledge of the structure of an ICF standards coaching session, until I was taught the FLOW architecture model in class. With the in-class coaching demonstrations and the weekly practices with other students, I had the opportunity to implement what I learned and guide others towards achieving their goals in the most efficient and non-resistant way. However, there were few moments where I doubted my capabilities as a life coach and let this affect my confidence while coaching other students and new clients. I am sharing with you some of the realizations I made during my learning journey that helped me overcome the fear of “not being good enough”, and expand my coaching skills. If you’re on the path of becoming a certified life coach, here are 5 reminders to boost your confidence while you’re a student:

1- You are becoming a life coaching expert

Each client brings a unique background and story to the coaching session. During the weekly practices, you will have the opportunity to coach and be coached by other students with diverse types of goals. These practice sessions will push you past your comfort zones and make you explore different fields of application of coaching. At first, it might feel awkward to coach someone in a field that you are not fully knowledgable in, but remember, you are becoming a coaching expert first and foremost. With the FLOW architecture model, you will be able to drive a client towards achieving all types of goals, whether those be financial, relational, emotional, career-wise, spiritual, and more.

2- Your presence is valuable

Some of the most valuable things you can offer as a life coach is your presence and support. Providing a safe and non-judgmental space enable others to be vulnerable, share their goals, and explore their inner-world, while allowing creativity to flourish. Once you overcome the tendency to overthink what questions to ask next during a session, the focus shifts to the person being coached and the true meaning behind their expressions. When you start listening with deep attention to their words and body language, you enhance your intuitive ability to ask empowering questions and bring a natural flow to the conversation. Powerful life realizations are then made by the clients and by you, the coach, as well.

3- Take care of your well-being

As an ambitious person who wants to see my coaching business grow and succeed, I can relate to the constant drive and pressure to keep being productive and always bring new innovative ideas to the table. What keeps me going forward is those little moments where I allow myself to relax, refuel, and find balance with the activities that bring me joy. For new students, remember to take a step back, once in a while, and focus on your own growth. Being a coach doesn’t mean you should be perfect: you are still humans with needs that are yearning to be honored. Give yourself the same level of love and support you would have with your clients.

4- Start building your support group

In your life coaching classes, you will be part of a group of students who share similar interests in coaching and who are also growing their skills. During practice, you will have the opportunity to be coached by these students and have the space to work through some of your insecurities, insights, and goals. Seeking my group’s support has personally helped me gain more confidence and continuously shift into a more positive mindset throughout the program. You may even learn from the new questions that resonate with you and then add them to your evolving question bank.

5- Be yourself

What distinguish you from other coaches is your unique set of experiences in life. Although the FLOW architecture model gives structure to your coaching sessions, your individuality brings the energy and dynamism to them. Captivate your audience with your authenticity, and don’t forget to add a touch of your personality and humor in your thought-provoking inquiries. Imagine a career where you can be fully authentic, help others, and bring financial abundance into your life: that is life coaching!

Talyaa Vardar

Coaching
Conquer Your Obstacles in 8 Steps and Succeed

Our personal and professional lives are full of challenges and setbacks, but through years of professional coaching and counseling, I have observed that those who master high performance are the ones who are able to consistently rally their emotional strength in the pursuit of their goals—no matter what gets thrown at them.

So, if you want to succeed in the stage of life and go beyond survival 101, I would like to encourage you to cultivate new habits towards developing emotional resilience. Through working with your inner coach you will conquer your obstacles and build a fulfilling successful life. Here are the 8 steps to Conquer Your Obstacles:

Steps to conquer your obstacles

  1. Stay present to emotions such as anger, fear, regret, and sadness to understand how they trigger you and what do you do after you have them. Then do one thing differently at a time despite your fear or your anger. This will allow you to learn to start managing those emotions better.
  2. Distance yourself from your stress triggers and ask what is the meaning of those triggers in your life? This will allow you to conquer your stress instead of letting it get in your way.
  3. Analyze past setbacks and make a list of your learning to come back even stronger.
  4. Pay attention to the feelings of others, but don’t let those feelings to burn you out.
  5. Renew yourself physically, mentally and emotionally periodically.
  6. Work on your conversational skills. Learn to express yourself in a professional manner.
  7. Build a strong support system. It is important you have people that are willing to support you when the time comes.
  8. Always make a priority to network no matter what your job is about. Don’t be shy in reaching out and connecting with people. Networking will enable you to learn what is going on outside your close circle and refresh your perspective.

 

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Talyaa Vardar

Coaching
5 Ways to Ace Your Coaching Relationship

Recently light has been shed on what can go wrong during coaching. Coaching Institutes and programs must place their focus on what to do and not to do during coaching conversations and coaching relationships. An effective coaching certification is needed to equip coaches with tools and processes to mitigate the risk of mistakes and negative effects while coaching.

Negative effects of coaching can be defined as unwanted results for the client caused through coaching. These can have a big impact on the wellbeing of the client.

Coaches must be proactive with their approach to avoid the unwanted effects and take precautions during coaching so that it goes according to the ICF set standards and follow a structure.

5 Ways to Ace Your Coaching Relationship infographic

 

5 Ways to Ace Your Coaching Relationship:

  1. Think about long term influences of coaching on the client. Engage clients and find out about the goals that the client wants to set and paths to achieve them. Also, allot each coaching session it is on goal so there is clarity for the client.
  2. Avoid having and imposing personal emotions during coaching. Be empathic and show compassion to your client but don’t get too carried away by emotions. Stay on track, be resilient and don’t let the client’s personal issues come in between your coaching relationship.
  3. Be confident in your abilities as a coach. Gain your training, your certification and the required coaching experience and let your skills do the job for you. Coach with confidence as it is evident to the coachee and can affect your coaching connection.
  4. Try to reduce the stress and emotional exhaustion that comes with coaching. Manage a decent number of clients so it doesn’t take you over the edge. Having an uncontrollable number of clients may lead you to burnout.
  5. Excel at your communication skills. Develop and work actively on improving your communication skills whether it’s the use of open-ended questions or active listening. An effective coach certification program will equip you with the tools and processes necessary to hone your communication skills.

To become an effective coach with all the best qualities and to know more do’s and don’ts of coaching join our upcoming coach certification programs or email us at info@flowcoachinginstitute.com

 

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