When I book a bargain flight and find myself surprised by free snacks on board the plane, I smile. If I go to an eye appointment expecting a pricey co-pay only to discover that a mystery update in my policy saved me some money, I do a happy dance.
Surprise perks are the best, aren’t they? Especially when they pop up in unexpected places, such as when you hire a career coach. Yes, you read that right, they can do a lot more than what you originally hired them to do—whether that’s dealing with an interpersonal crisis or helping you revise your resume to show off your C-suite potential.
This definitely applies if you partner with an executive coach. They work with company leaders who have 15 to 20 years of experience in the field and need help tackling bigger challenges, such as making a larger career pivot, inspiring a team, or mastering productivity.
Once you’re on the other side of the specific challenge you needed help with, you’ll see that there are some great additional benefits, such as:
1. Your Network Will Grow
I’m not just talking about the new connections you might make as a result of working together to create a networking strategy. In addition to asking you the questions no one else dares to and helping you generate new solutions, a good coach will point you toward the resources you need to deliver incredible things—and that includes other people.
Think about it: By the very nature of their work, coaches know mountains of talented, ambitious people. And when they to introduce them to each other, it’s the fire-starting equivalent of rubbing flint on steel.
Take me for example. When I told her I wanted to up my speaking game, my coach (yes, even coaches have coaches!) put me in touch with the leader of a local Toastmasters club with a choosy eligibility criteria. Thanks to this introduction, I’ve been able to meet and learn from advanced speakers whom I might not have met otherwise.
As you collect feedback from your coach, don’t be afraid to ask about her contacts in your field. Even if she doesn’t know the right person to help you, she probably knows the conference, Meetup group, or coffee shop where you can find them.
2. You’ll Improve Your Web Presence
Love it or hate it, social media impacts your customers, competitors, and every stakeholder in between. It doesn’t matter if you’re interested in new ways of attracting top talent to your team, or you’re looking to make a major career pivot yourself: Your work with a coach will lead you toward tools and platforms you haven’t yet tested, as well as those you avoid altogether.
Not sure how to brand yourself on LinkedIn? There’s a coach for that. Looking to motivate across generations and lead a collective vision? You can bet your coaching will touch on leveraging social to engage your teams. I even know of a business coach who teaches investment brokers how to expand their firms using Twitter.
That’s the thing about executive coaching: It isn’t just coaching for executives, by executives—it takes whatever form an executive needs. So as you work to achieve mastery, look for a coach that can help you expand your influence in the board room and online.
3. You Can Carry Lessons Over to the Homefront
Creating boundaries (or balance) between your work and the rest of your life is always a good idea, but don’t discount the possibility of rolling your leadership growth into some of the moves you’re making at home. It’s undeniable that sharpening the way you navigate change, manage conflict, and plan will trickle down into other areas of your life.
Keep an eye out for the intersections of your biggest work-life blockers!
In fact, many specialize in multiple areas. As you explore ways to increase revenue and reduce turnover for your enterprise, you can also uncover root causes of the overwhelm and stress in the rest of your life. Use your experience together to build your self-awareness both personally and professionally.
Everyone hits a plateau at some point, but you don’t have to remain alone at the top. The only thing worse than having a big vision that you can’t articulate, is being unaware of your areas of potential. Executive coaching can help you move ideas to results in just a few deliberate conversations and offers multiple fringe benefits—you just have to know where to look for them!
Photo of two people collaborating courtesy of Hero Images/Getty Images.