It is never too late to find what makes you happy and find meaning in life. This is how Flora defines herself. After working in the finance industry and experiencing numerous personal challenges, in 2016, she found her passion for coaching. Her philosophy and way of seeing life inspire others, as she says, bring spring in times of difficulty.
We wanted to know a little bit more about Flora, so we sat down with her to learn more about her coaching philosophy and many more things. Here is the interview.
When we read your story, we were very impressed that you put others’ happiness above your own. How was that discovery of being your own spring to help others?
It was overwhelming, life-changing, powerful, with a light taste of bittersweet melancholy.
It was in April 2017 at the closing ceremony of my ACC coaching course when I came up with this realization and commitment to start being the spring in my life first. Spring has a sense of warmth, joy, hope, transformation, new life, new beginnings, new opportunities, new perspectives, a new life.
Each human being is conditioned to operate in a specific way, which sometimes is based on a script written during our childhood. We all have beliefs that limit us. Sometimes we let the status quo set dictate what we believe is possible. Other times we allow our own self-doubt to take precedent. Other times, we may have unconscious beliefs that hold us back. Life is a journey and offers us great opportunities or challenges to start our personal growth journey to look inwards, build self-awareness and find our true selves.
The narrative “be the spring in others’ life” which was my way of being for more than 30 years, has been challenged by the serendipity of events that made me realize that this didn’t serve me anymore. Life happens for us, not to us. We simply need to reflect on the learnings and shifts we need to make to unleash our true potential.
Why did you choose to work in the finance industry, and what was it like to move into coaching?
When we are young and not surrounded by a supportive environment, we may not be aware of our gifts, talents and what inspires us in life. I think this is a journey we all must go through in life until we find our way to our “Ithaca”.
At the age of 18, I was fascinated by the business world and dreaming of a managerial role. I was admiring some successful business leaders I happened to have in my network, and they inspired me to follow their path. And I liked it. Finance was a great school for me; great learnings both at personal and professional level, new skills and capabilities built, a richness of diverse experiences, challenges and opportunities created by moving around in audit, consulting, planning; in Greece and Switzerland and 3 different international organizations.
In 2016, an amazing boss and mentor invited me to explore coaching in parallel with my corporate career. Apparently, she saw something in me that I couldn’t see. I had no idea what coaching was but driven by a curious mind and open heart, I decided to invest in it. I still remember how surprisingly overwhelmed I felt after my first coaching session; a deep sense of fulfillment that I have never experienced before in my career.
And I naturally fell in love with the art of coaching. Since then, coaching has been present in my personal and professional life and became a way of thinking and being.
To make this world a better one, we need to start with ourselves first. I am responsible for my own happiness hence I am responsible to take my personal growth seriously and commit to becoming a better person, building better relationships with people around me hence having a positive impact on others. Serving others in any way or channel is my driving force.
You describe coaching as an art. Tell us more about that and how you get inspired.
I truly believe that coaching is an art. It’s about being able to recognize what works best for each individual and switching my style to suit my client, finding the right approach, questions, words, tools, and the right key to unlock my client’s potential. A coach, like every artist, creates his/her craft using conscious skills and creative imagination applied, tailored, adjusted to every individual. Proficient coaches are creative, inventive, and curious. Coaching artistry is just that… an art.
The beautiful artistry of coaching is that every person is different and there is not one answer. That’s why I need to continue learning, researching, experimenting, being creative, exploring new techniques and personal development tools. It’s a magical art when I coach from my soul and my higher self, putting my mind on mute.
My sources of inspiration are people, nature, and books.
I believe that every individual is unique, special, different. Everyone has a success story that is worth unpacking and listening to. I love exploring people, they have always been and will be my best teachers. I am inspired by people’s vulnerability, openness, authenticity, creativity, the beauty of their souls, and inner drive.
I love nature, the best designer ever that exceeds any expectations, unlocks imagination, inspires creativity, and supports healing. I spend a lot of time in nature, exploring the mountains in Switzerland, meditating by the river or the Aegean Sea, admiring the wisdom and divine beauty of nature in all its forms.
Reading books is one of the best sources of refreshment I can give to my mind. When I read an amazing book, I don’t even need to look for new ideas, because ideas will come to me from the pages of a brilliant book. There is so much wisdom and inspiration in the books; powerful, authentic, and real. Every book motivates me to improve and move forward.
What does your coaching program consist of?
I am a passionate certified integral coach. “Integral” means inclusive of everything (mind, heart, body, spirit), entire, complete, whole. I approach every client with an empty mind, genuine kindness, and curiosity. My coaching style is specific, tailored, and crafted for each person. Every human being is unique and has a unique way of being and interpreting life and this is what we are trying to unpack and build awareness on. I make my clients feel seen, heard, respected and comfortable enough to be themselves and share the unique qualities that only they embody. When this occurs, they start to flourish and collaborate with life, and transformation happens.
My approach is holistic. I am looking at the whole person, mind, heart, body and spirit. Over time my clients explore new ways of thinking, new horizons and with small daily baby steps, they develop a new way of being. We set together clear, tangible, and measurable goals and work in partnership to achieve them.
My focus is on making my client’s relationships with themselves healthier and reframing their inner voice based on self-love, acceptance, and compassion, and this is how transformation occurs. This is the necessary and vital starting point to enable my clients to handle their life, problems, and relationships in a better and more efficient way.
Who is your target audience?
The integral coaching approach allows me to be able to coach any human being regardless of the problem or difficulty that brought them to coaching and enables me to get underneath the coaching topic. I am coaching the person, not the problem.
This question allows me to clarify a misconception that some people may have about coaching. Coaching is not a remedial procedure, it’s a developmental investment. The most successful people in our world take their personal growth seriously and make sure that they have a coach, mentor, or are involved in activities that support their development at a physical, mental, emotional, and spiritual level. Self-awareness is an endless lifelong beautiful fascinating journey. The desire to be coached comes from a space of self-love, self-worth, and genuine curiosity.
All human beings who are curious to discover themselves, be happier, find their meaning, become their best selves can contact me and work with me. There is always a trigger or challenge in our life which may lead us to coaching, whatever it is, I am more than happy to support everyone out there.
Is there anything you would like to share with us?
I would like to kindly invite the readers of your blog to reflect on their meaning in life.
We are visitors on this planet. We have been offered this life, let’s do something good, something useful with our lives. We were all created for something awesome.
Finding our life purpose creates a sense of meaning in your life.
“Try and leave this world a little better than you found it, and when your turn comes to die, you can die happy in feeling that at any rate, you have not wasted your time but have done your best”. Lord Robert Baden-Powell’s
Special thanks to Flora Bami for being part of this excellent interview.