Insights from Flow

A Life Coaching Exercise: Dialogue with Your Future Self

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

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

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

Talyaa Vardar

12 Thought-Provoking Leadership Questions

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

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

Who are you as a leader?

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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


Talyaa Vardar

Coaching As a Transformational Leadership Practice

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Talyaa Vardar

Ever wonder how coaching can boost employee engagement?

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

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

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

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



Talyaa Vardar

Manager as Coach: Business Coaching Skills for Leadership Development

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

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

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

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

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

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

Talyaa Vardar

5 Ways to Build Credibility as A Coach

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Talyaa Vardar

Why Coaching is the Future!

COVID-19 and the changing workforce dynamics have completely shifted the way we work, think, and behave. Employee turnovers are higher than ever and continue to increase. Employees expect growth and development opportunities from their employers and are pushing for more flexible work arrangements such as WFH and Hybrid work models. At the same time, many individuals are struggling with their mental and physical health, and are looking for external help to find their purpose and meaning.

This is where coaching comes in. Coaching, previously seen as a luxury, is now being considered a necessity to combat employee turnover among businesses. Not only that, but many individuals suffering from mental and physical health issues are also seeking coaching to discover their passions and live a fulfilling life.

Because of these factors, the demand for coaching is higher than ever before and still continues to be one of the fastest growing sectors in the world (Willis, 2021)! According to the ICF website, the coaching industry value was about $15 billion USD (Willis, 2021). Experts have predicted that this number will rise to $20 billion USD by 2022, which is an increase of nearly 7% in a short span of three years (Willis, 2021)!

In addition to this, the ever-growing networking opportunities such as LinkedIn give coaches a strong platform to showcase their expertise and certifications, and connect with clients.

FLOW Coaching Institute allows you to do the same. At the end of your program, you receive FLOW’s ICF recognized certificate as well as badges to showcase on your social media platforms.

If you’re interested in becoming a coach to help individuals or businesses, click on this link to register!

Talyaa Vardar

How to Set Boundaries to External Negativity?

Are the world problems (pandemic, war, divisions between people) creating a fear response for you?
Let me tell you, constantly focusing on problems will make it worse, and you will only be moving between three survival responses that are fight, flight, or freeze.
Let's not go there because a fear response does not represent our true potential.
In the next two weeks, you can set boundaries to external distractions to protect yourself from the fear response and discipline your psychic energy to move above that kind of stress.

  1. Learn to say no to negativity and negative people 
  2. Restrict viewing news on conflict, violence, crisis
  3. Build learned optimism practice 

Remember, life is precious. So, you are! We are here to actualize ourselves and realize our full potential. If we allow external events to step into our boundaries, we will find ourselves not practicing our ability to protect ourselves and our life.
We have boundaries that are:

  1. Too flexible to say no. 
  2. Too rigid to say yes.
  3. Flexible enough to allow ourselves to say no when it is necessary, and say yes when we want to. 

Healthy boundaries should be flexible enough to let things in that are functional and give us a sense of meaning. 

7 Self-Coaching questions you can ask yourself if you sense a need to set boundaries that will help you control external negativity:

  1. How do you spend your time? Give a percentage to each event, person, activity. 
  2. As you measure your daily activities, what do you notice?
  3. If you keep repeating this pattern, where will you find yourself in a year?
  4. If you could change one thing that will make a positive impact in your life, where would you start?
  5. List three things you will change right now and name them as your ACT OF POWER. 
  6. Journal about them and start acting on each one every week.
  7. Measure progress and notice momentum. 

Talyaa Vardar

8 Self-Coaching Tips: Why Setting Intentions for 2022 is More Proactive than Setting Resolutions?

Yes, it is that time of the year again. So many of us are reflecting on the year we left behind and using the fresh energy of the new year, we are excited to make a new beginning.  We’d like to start the year with resolutions to plant seeds of hope. Speaking with my coaching and therapy clients, in years, I’ve concluded that most resolutions are forgotten in a few months and the optimism fades out. However, instead of resolutions, if we set intentions, then chances are high that we will be able to experience momentum and a sense of achievement in a few weeks as there is a whole different psychology behind setting intentions versus listing new year resolutions. Let me coach you on this as this is a powerful concept, I truly believe in.

5 major differences between intentions and resolutions

  • Intentions, unlike resolutions, are broader and embrace the whole person.
  • Intentions are inclusive of mental, spiritual, and emotional parts of our being versus resolutions are more a list of what one wants from the new year. 
  • Setting intentions can become a great self-awareness process as it helps you reflect on what is important and meaningful for you.
  • Intentions are active versus resolutions are passive. When you say I intend to, the activation of energy happens, and your subconscious starts to work for you.
  • Resolutions are a type of checklists, whereas intentions aim for real transformation and positive shift in an area or multiple areas of life.

8 Self Coaching Questions to Help You Set Intentions

Keeping in mind what makes intentions different from resolutions, ask yourself these powerful self-coaching questions and journal your answers:

  1. What would be the best outcome of 2022 for me?
  2. What about these outcomes are meaningful for me?
  3. How do I want to feel at the end of this year?
  4. What do I need to understand to make difference?
  5. What do I need to improve to make and manage progress?
  6. How will I know I am making progress?
  7. What will success look like?
  8. When and how can I start?

Talyaa Vardar

A Re-definition of SMART Goals: Increase Your Coaching Success by Using SSMMART Framework Instead

Setting goals are an important part of the ICF coaching process, whether short or long-term. Reading this blog will help you increase your coaching impact -whether you are a life coach, business coach, or executive coach- when setting goals.

SMART goals re-framed: Use SSMMART Goals Instead

SMART goals are popular in all coaching relationships, whether business coaching, corporate, executive coaching, or life coaching. An ICF coaching relationship ideally begins with setting smart goals.

However, in real life, some of the original goals during the phase of the coaching relationship might later become cliché or irrelevant when the coach does not go deep with the client.

Having studied psychology behind happiness and experimented with my coaching clients, I know that when we help the person to find the meaning behind the goal and go deeper in their mind, heart, and body about this meaning, then the goal becomes more authentic and sustainable.

When goal setting, I give my clients enough space to reflect and process. Goal setting is a creative process, and it should involve mind-body and heart.    

That's why, in this blog article, I would like to give you a useful framework that I use in my coaching. My secret ingredient is inquiring about asking thought-provoking questions about the ‘meaning’ behind the goal and whether it will bring a ‘sense of flow’. So instead of SMART goals, I use SSMMART goals.

SSMMART Coaching Questions:

  • Specific – What specifically do you want to achieve?
  • Sense of FLOW- What will FLOW look like when you achieve your goal?
  • Measurable – How will you measure progress? What will progress look like?
  • Meaningful – What about this goal is meaningful for you? Where do you feel it in your body?
  • Achievable – On a scale of 1-10, 1 is lowest 10 is highest, what is the chance of success?
  • Realistic – How will you know if the goal is realistic or not?
  • Timebound – What's the time frame on this?

Talyaa Vardar