Sometimes it can feel like we are the only ones facing an avalanche of challenges and that we are alone. What is more likely, though, is that others are going through similar hurdles. One of the ways to find others who are on the same journey is to join a peer group. A peer group will connect you with others who are up to similar projects and will provide a forum to discuss problems and resources. Mostly it will help you understand that you are not alone and will help make the process more enjoyable.
Peer coaching groups are essential in today’s complex world. These can either be formal or informal groups of professionals who come together to share their challenges or projects. Other team members can suggest helpful courses of action or resources. You and your peers are also available for support or advice between sessions.
How a Peer Coaching Group Can Help You
A peer coaching group can inspire you to do more professionally. If others in your group are doing great things, you will likely be motivated simply from being around them and hearing their stories. Your colleagues might show you a process that was previously unknown to you and will help you find your way to your destination.
You may be especially inspired by your group once you see that the other people in your group are your peers. If they are doing these new great things, why aren’t you?
2. Learn More
In your group, you will all share your current challenges or the projects you are implementing. The group meetings are a chance to contribute ideas and strategies to one another. It is also a place to learn from others’ mistakes and successes. Their stories will probably resemble your endeavors and will help you grow in new directions.
In your peer group, you will ideally have a mix of professionals at similar stages in their careers with diverse backgrounds. When there are others who have different expertise, you can see your challenges from new perspectives. Your growth will come even more quickly.
One of the things you discover when you join a peer group is that others are going through similar challenges. That moment may feel like a weight has been taken off your shoulders. It’s so easy to get immersed in our current problems and one’s perspectives of what is going on. Having a peer is like having a mirror held up to us to show us where we are, and usually what we realize is that we are doing just fine.
When things are not going well, those in your peer group can provide a shoulder to lean on. The other day, I had a project that I needed to get through that seemed insurmountable in addition to team-related issues. I was feeling defeated, and the first thing I thought about doing was to reach out to one of my peer group members. She listened to me and helped me through the moment. That call was priceless.
4. Specific Information
I am in two peer groups: one for CEOs and one for local entrepreneurs. Both have been very useful sources of information that is specific to my current context. In my CEO group, we discuss problems that pertain to our current roles. In my local group, we talk about issues regarding entrepreneurship, and just as importantly, local context information. Each geographic location is different, and things that work in one place may not work in another. That type of information can make a big difference when we are facing new problems within our company.
Peer coaching groups are an invaluable experience. As a professional, you will grow more when you are sharing your journey with others. However, the most important benefit is that there will be others with you, and that will make the voyage much more pleasant and interesting.