When thinking of coaching solutions to support your leadership, peer coaching may not be the first to come to mind. More frequently individuals opt for more personal, one-on-one programs between a client and a coach, as it is easy to imagine our goals will be reached more quickly through our individual development and progress. While one-on-one coaching is highly effective, peer coaching is a fantastic way to get additional support without spending more money on another coaching program.
What is Peer Coaching?
For those who have leadership goals centered around personal development it can be great to experience coaching in groups because of the insight it brings working so closely with your people. Getting outside of your head and into the minds of others with familiar experiences offers a new perspective that you might have never considered!
One great way to do this is through peer coaching. Peer coaching works when a group of leaders (usually from the same company) get together regularly for a scheduled meeting to discuss their own personal development goals, and to coach each other on how to achieve these goals. Although you do not get the benefit of having a trained coach in the room, you do get unique insights from different leaders in your organization. By meeting regularly with these other leaders, you also enhance your relationships with your peers and hold each other accountable to meet their goals.
A New Perspective on Your Team
One of the most significant benefits of peer coaching is the exposure to new ideas, thoughts, and values from individuals with work and interests so aligned with your own. Having a comfortable “space” where team members trust and look out for one another gives them the confidence to use their voice and be truthful, reflecting well upon the authenticity of connections.
Additionally, peer coaching among those who don’t necessarily have the same job as you but are equally qualified and recognized professionally could yield insight that you might not consider given your position. Working in this scenario will push you to improve your active listening skills, as you hear the difficulties your colleagues face and mutually share your own. Let’s face it, when we need to offer and accept criticism, it’s much easier when it’s delivered through a 2-way street of communication.
Creating a Case for Accountability
One of the best benefits of peer coaching is the added accountability that your peers bring. By saying your goals out loud and sharing them with everyone in the group you make them real. In the following sessions your peers will check in on your progress and hold you accountable to your goals. By engaging in peer coaching you are creating a support network with your peers.
Actively listening to those around us gives the chance to build connections with our colleagues early on and is maintained by continuing to support them positively. When we aren’t comfortable with our relationships and circumstances, we hang back and let growth happen without us – something we definitely want to avoid to succeed!
Does Peer Coaching Influence Workplace Well-Being?
A goal that leaders often turn to peer coaching to assist with, is wanting to create a holistic well-being for them and their team, thus encouraging a healthy company culture. Honest conversations and encouragement from your peer group will guide you on how to alter your workplace behaviours to better represent the values that your team and you have!
Having conversations that are scheduled and intentional gives everyone the opportunity and the confidence to share what they need from you to grow. You’ll learn in real time what action to take to create a support network out of your team, building connections and furthering success.
What Else Can I Do to Support My Leaders?
If you are looking for more support beyond a peer coaching group, look into other coaching programs. Team coaching programs can be a great addition to peer coaching as sessions can be focused and aligned around goals or problems identified in the group. Additionally, if one leader is struggling with something specific, or needs more support than the rest of the group, they may benefit from a one-to-one coaching program with an executive coach.
To learn more about what coaching experience would be the right fit for you, download our Executive Coaching Guide here: