Insights from Flow

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

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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!

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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.

 

You may also be interested in reading:

 

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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

 

You may also be interested in reading:

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Coaching
Why Online Coach Training Is The Best Way To Become a Certified Coach

21st Century has changed the way we learn. Not only we learn from many different sources, but also we have the luxury of educating ourselves or learning a new skill wherever we are and whenever we want. This shift is valid for coaching certification training programs too.    

As Professional coaches, we care about listening to demands coming from our customers. First we listened to our students... then our clients and people’s requests. As we listened we understood that we have to ease the life of our students and clients. We identified a few strategies to make that possible:

  • Professional Coach Certification should be offered at a more affordable rate to enable more people from the World to have access to coaching certification 
  • We understood that people need to learn in a flexible atmosphere. Since ICF (International Coach Federation) mandates that certain percentage of ICF Professional Coach Certification Training programs to be taught live we could not introduced a fully self paced learning package, but we made sure that certain percentage of the program (peer coaching practice, coaching performance evaluations, homeworks, etc) is still self paced
  • Eventually we have decided that online coach certification curriculum will give more access to more people, so we switched from being an onsite coach certification institute to online coach certification institute. 

Before we made this switch honestly even we had doubts that online coaching courses would not be as affective and productive as onsite, traditional methods. However, since we started the online platform, we have been having a blast of our lives as the core FLOW faculty,  students and alumni. Not only that we have become a global community but also we have witnessed tremendous positive shift in skill development of our coaches. The online platform as well as the curriculum allows all stakeholders (instructors, students, trainer assistants) to engage fully without sacrificing the quality of coaching practice and skill development.  We are also very happy that  because through online coaching certifion at a more affordable rate truly allows people investing in their skill development. Surely our PCC and MCC credentialed senior faculty members and mentors; the FLOW Coaching methodology & curriculum as well as ICF Coaching Competenties; live coaching demonstrations and live coaching practice and exercises during classroom time adds to the quality of learning and skill development.

A lot of times we don’t even notice that we are connected to each other through a screen which means that we are in flow ☺

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Coaching
The Differences between Coaching and Mentoring

It is a common misconception that mentoring and coaching are the same things however there are a variety of differences in between them. The main difference is that a coach doesn’t have to be a subject matter expect however a mentor but be experienced in the subject in which they are mentoring. 

Mentoring  Coaching 
A transitory relationship with an unspecified conclusion The time period and number of meetings are specified from the beginning
Mentors do not have to be certified and usually the nature of the relationship does not require mentor to be certified. There is a governing body for the coaching profession: International Coaching Federation (ICF). ICF set competencies and code of standards for professional coaching globally to get certified and accredited a number of training organizations internationally.
The frequency of the meetings may be informal or formal. The meetings may be spontaneous or planned, and the mentee can contact the mentor when needed.  The frequency of the meetings is much morestructured. There are regular intervals between the meetings. 
The term of the relationship doesn’t have to expire in a planned time frame. While it is employed in companies for the purposes of career development, knowledge, and experience transfer, in informal forms of mentoring, the mentor may approach the individual’s development in a more extensive manner.  Short-term. There is a specified time period, with a focus on clear development subject matters/issues. 
The mentor is more experienced and qualified than the mentee. Generally, individuals whose knowledge and experience is seen as valuable come together with less experienced individuals in order to contribute to their growth. It is not necessary for the coach to be more knowledgeable; this is a matter of preference.  However, it is crucial that coach has the skills and competencies to create positive shift in the relationship.
Mentorship relationship has focus on development. Coaching relationship has focus on awareness, transformation and positive change.
Mentoring sessions do not have to have a certain structure.  Professional coaching sessions should have a goal for each session; planning and actions each time.
Terms used to define the parties of a mentoring relationship are mentor and mentee. Terms used to define coaching relationship are coach and coachee or coach and client
Mentors can give advice Certified coaches can not give advice but rather ask thought-provoking open-ended questions. 

It is essential to keep the learning objective of the individual in mind in order to choose the right term to use. Mentors may use the same skills as coaching but the relationship that will develop will be very different from the one in coaching. Mentors are able to provide specific advice and feedback however the coach focuses on helping the individual find their own solutions. 

A coach has an ability to assist and encourage rather than direct and advice. Coaching is a partnership where the client works out what are their areas of improvement and how can they improve them. Most importantly coach also helps in the self-development of the coachee by increasing self-awareness. Unlike coaching, mentoring is more about providing directions and solutions. 

Mentoring is normally a relationship between two work colleagues where one is more experienced than the other. Due to this dynamic, the more experienced one can use their knowledge and information acquired at work to help the mentee at work.

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Coaching
4 Points to Consider Before Becoming an Online Coach

In today’s fast paced world, technology has freed all boundaries. Online coaching diminishes all traditional obstacles between the coach and the client. Coaches are free to use online coaching as a medium and work as digital nomads i.e. the use of video and audio calls to perform their tasks online.

Due to changing dynamics of the online coaching there are some points to keep in mind when going for online coachingas it is different from traditional face to face coaching. 

Following are the few points to keep in mind when turning into a digital nomad online coach

  1. Your environment can change:
    You have to keep up with your changing environment being an online coach. Believe in yourself that even though your environment is changing you are the same person. In changing environments, you would have to keep yourself self-motivated as your lifestyle changes and you might be faced with some distractions. You might find it difficult to work in a chaotic environment or even from a tropical getaway that is why it is important to maintain you focus.
  2. Your clientele will expand:
    Think about your ideal clients, would they prefer working with you digitally? Being an online coach creates an ocean of opportunities where you can have clients from different cities and countries all over the globe. This will widen your horizon and give you a chance to have a bigger reach when it comes to clients.
  3. You will be faced with unique challenges:
    Working boundaryless will bring you different challenges such as language difference, time zones, internet connections etc. It is up to how to tackle them and embrace the differences. Keep in mind to plan your daily routine to suit your client’s preferences.
  4. Creating an online presence:
    Unlike impressing people with your looks and freshly ironed shirts you would have to put an effort to building your online presence. An online coach certification, initial coaching experience, an area to coach in and a fresh coach bio are just some things to start from. Select your target market and create your coach identity keeping them in mind.

Once you become an online coach your skills and talent are the one that will shine more. You have to believe in your skills and be flexible just as your clients are flexible with you coaching online. Being an online coach brings its own challenges and perks and it is up to you how you weigh them. Being a digital nomad, you can work from the comfort of your own home with your coffee in your hands and the client on your computer screen. Online coaching expands you as a coach in many unexpected ways where you find yourself expanding your own range of skills. 

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Coaching
6 Steps to Build A Successful Coaching Business

In order to build a successful online coaching business, you need to develop a strategy first and then act on it. An online coaching business is like any other business where you have input, transformation and output. A proper business model is needed to create a successful online coaching business. 

The following are just a few steps to set your pace as an online coaching business owner. 

1. Make Commitment & Create Goals:

First step in creating your online coaching business is making a commitment to it. Create SMART goals to organize your resources and income. How much do you want to earn? How many hours do you want to work? What is your differentiation point? Make sure you remind yourself of these goals frequently and make ways on how to achieve them.

2. Identify your Clients:

To become a successful online coach, you must know all the pains and desires of your clients in order to serve them better. Get in touch with potential clients, ask them, observe them and know them as much as possible about what they actually look for. 

3. Differentiate yourself:

What is your unique selling proposition? There are hundreds of online coaches all over the world, how do you stand out from the crowd? It is very important to differentiate yourself and your offering to achieve success, especially in the early stages. Your job is to come up with an offer which solves the problems of your target market. 

4. Put a price on it:

If you are targeting a niche area of coaching don’t be scared to charge a premium for it. Match your pricing offer with your worth so you can skim out non potentials and target quality clients. 

5. Find Clients:

Try to reach out in your network to find immediate clients. Keep it simple and talk to the emotions of your clients. At the end of the day the clients want to achieve results, and this is what you will commit to deliver them as their online coach.

6. Connect with your audience:

Find time to look for ways to expand your business and visibility such as build an online community where you stay in touch with your clients. Invite members to join the group and the conversations, post client interviews, testimonials and related content so you stay connected with the audience. Grow your community by encouraging joint ventures and partnerships. 

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Coaching
What is Business Coaching?

Business coaches are typically experienced entrepreneurs, business executives or business owners themselves who decide to use their talents for building and growing a business to help other business owners reach their goals.

The difference between business consultant and business coach lies in the conversation. Business consultant gives advice and provide a direct support; whereas business coach provides insight and act as a motivation & accountability partner in the relationship. In business coaching as in all professional coaching relationship, the business coach applies a system where he/she acts as an accountability partner and the approach is not only focused on business results but also the skills, habits and relationship matters that will lead to these desired results.

While business consultants provide direct information and advice available on how to start and grow a business or how to track business metrics, specific to your unique business, business coaches, on the other hand, are able to provide something more important – personalized, custom approach.

As the Microsoft’s founder, one and only Bill Gates pointed out once: “All famous athletes has a coach, why not I should have one?”.
We agree with Bill Gate’s logic – the fact that great coaches and mentors are the quickest routes to success – to most every pursuit, yet the same logic is often overlooked when it comes to growing a business. Business coaches are typically expert entrepreneurs or executives with years of business experience who know what it takes to make a business successful.

For a fee -either retainer or a package based- business coaches work alongside executives and business owners to help them define their goals, polish their vision and strategy for their business, and set in place a series of plans that will help the owner and his/her team achieve their desired results.

If a business owner goes through tough challenges or runs into problems along the way, the business coach will be there to help them to navigate their issues in the most effective way possible. Those challenges do not have to be directly related to business, they might also be personal challenges of the business owner for example finding the right talent or going through so much stress or leading family dynamics in family companies might also become the focus of the business coaching relationship.

Having a business coach is much like having a highly experienced success partner on your team, and the value that they bring to you and your business priceless.

Whether you have business goals that you want to work towards or your business is struggling and you need a way to revive it or you simply want to take your brand to the next level, bringing on a certified business coach on board is one of the best investment decisions you would give. Investing in a business coaching relationship is a very effective ROI.

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Coaching
7 Key Business Coaching Questions to Coach Start-ups

In business coaching it is important that the business coach is capable of coaching the entrepreneur or executive through 9 pillars of business planning. Every business owner should be able to answer these key business planning questions.Whether the coach has a business background or not it is important that he/she gets himself well acquianted with these aspects of business coaching.

So if you are a business coach or wanting to become one, create a template for your coaching process with these 9 pillars and related coaching questions below:

  1. Value proposition
    • What is the business? What value does one get by using your service/product?
    • How would you describe value proposition for the business?
  1. Customer segmentation
    • Who is the target audience? What segment (B2B, B2C, …)?
    • How would you describe customers/clients?
  1. Channels:
  • How are you planning to reach out to your clients?
  • What kind of sales and marketing strategy do you need?
  1. Revenue streams:
  • What are some potential revenue streams for the business/for you?
  1. Key resources:
  • What do you have or know?
  • What other resources do you need to develop/acquire? (techonology, people, talent, skills, know how, raw material, money, investment funding…)
  1. Key partners/stakeholders/talent:
  • What type of support do you need?
  • Who can help you? What kind of talent do you need?
  1. Cost structure:
  • What are the costs: operating costs and fixed coasts?
  • How will you manage your costs? What do you need to reduce/ stop/increase?

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