One of the many things that Steve Jobs, Bill Gates, Oprah Winfrey, and Barak Obama have in common is that they all utilize coaches.
The higher you rise in your career, the less likely you have people who challenge you to level up. Even if you or your organization have reached the pinnacle of your success—you may be wondering what is next.
Below are just a few ways a coach can be of benefit.
What Is a Coach?
In our youth, we had teachers and extracurricular coaches that pushed us to new heights. Many of our teachers and coaches set the foundation upon which our professional accomplishments are built.
As adults, we may come across a mentor or leader that challenges us. However, the time they can commit to us is not as significant as the teachers and coaches of our youth. Understandably so, as we are far from their only priority.
This is a shining example of how and why turning to a industry, executive, or general business coach can help.
What Is the Difference Between a Coach and a Consultant?
Your organization may already utilize a variety of external consultants. While both coaches and consultants provide invaluable third-party insights, their roles differ.
Generally speaking, a consultant specializes in a targeted area of opportunity and provides a strategic roadmap to success. They work with you and personalize your strategy, but their role is to provide a measurable framework. In other words, they walk you through what to do. Consultants can work one-on-one, but they often work with small or large groups.
A coach works differently. They also have areas of specialty and utilize best practices. However, they don’t tell you what to do, they lead you to your answers. They ask thought-provoking questions that challenge you in a way few leaders are currently challenged. Some coaches provide group training, but they primarily work one-on-one.
Unlike consultants, coaches understand the connection between personal and professional development and innovation. You can come to the coaching table with a specific question or area of opportunity, or something as vague as wondering what is next for you or your organization.
Now, let’s dive into a few of the specific ways a coach can help you level up.
#1 Identifying Areas of Opportunity
Every leader has areas of opportunity. Some you are aware of, and some are blind spots. As leaders, there may not be someone available to challenge your blind spots. If you are being honest, your ego may get in the way when someone does.
A coach will face the areas you’ve identified head-on and knows what questions to ask to identify your blind spots. They will challenge you, but also provide you with tools, resources, and techniques.