Leaders are the single most important facet of every organization. They influence the personality and soul of the company and their work in today’s competitive environment has never been more challenging. It is imperative to surround time-starved leaders with value-added resources that are unique to their specific challenges to managing and leading well. One type of learning and development program that has great value, strong potential upside, and relatively low cost to design and implement is peer coaching for leadership development.
The reality is that people effectively learn and increase their confidence to apply that learning when they can apply the experiences of others to their own context. By definition, peer-based coaching programs provide a level playing field of similar experience so that learners can assess case examples drawn from the prior experiences of others, and make the relevant associations and connections to their own management and leadership experience.
Peer coaching programs can save time because the delivery system (whether live online or face-to-face) is group based and consolidated. It can save resources and leverage existing, internal intelligence in powerful ways as well because it relies on a home grown “faculty of coaches” that is already invested in the organization’s success. While 1:1 coaching is vital and irreplacable in some situations, if the learning and professional objectives for your leadership development are based on capacity building and skill development for resolving organization-specific issues, implementing a peer-based coaching program with internal subject-matter experts and proven leaders can produce outstanding results.
With a more intimate knowledge of the organization’s challenges, opportunities, weaknesses, and strengths, emerging leaders can learn how to accurately diagnose and close performance gaps within their teams by drawing on the evidence-based experience and knowledge of peers. There can be a more candid exchange of ideas and truth telling about the most common pitfalls and challenges of influencing change within the culture of the organization. A well-designed peer coaching program will build participants’ capacity to:
- Assess the true challenges of their work;
- Gain insights and proven examples of successful problem-solving efforts;
- Refine thinking (attitudes, assumptions, etc.) prior to action taking;
- Learn to provoke everyday conversation and draw out the experience and contribution of their direct reports; and
- Inspire greater levels of engagement by modeling the peer coaching structure within their own teams (i.e. a valuing of each individual’s core performance contributions, committing to time for reflection and learning, etc.).
Sostrin Consulting supports both emerging and established leaders in their development by designing and facilitating coaching programs that bring focus, balance, and performance improvements throughout their working lives. Learn more about our sought-after coaching programs here.