Why Peer Coaching Is A Great Development Tool

Coaching comes in a variety of different shapes and forms. You can be coached by your manager in a five-minute conversation about a work challenge, by an executive coach in a coaching session, or with a mentor discussing your next career steps.

At its essence however, coaching is about helping people to help themselves.

It encourages:

  • Space to uncover different perspectives
  • New ways of looking at problematic situations
  • An objective sounding board
  • Support and time for reflection, clarity and mindfulness

Who better to offer this than the people we spend so much of our time with – our colleagues.

Peer coaching is a confidential, structured process through which to:

Work through challenges
Reflect on current workplace topics
Expand, refine and build new skills
Bounce ideas off a trusted partner
Teach one another
Solve problems

How does peer coaching work?

Each participant has an equal amount of time acting as both the ‘coach’ and the ‘coachee’.

There are three roles of a peer coach:

1. Thinking partner – a sounding board to facilitate clarity regarding problem solving, issues and direction.
2. Objective support – providing a fresh point of view, to help identify new strategies and opportunities.
3. Accountability holder – checking in with goals in order to measure success.

What are the benefits of peer coaching?

It remedies the sometimes isolating experience of being a manager and leader.
Encourages a collaborative workplace, where staff members interact freely.
A powerful vehicle for embedding company values.
It builds workplace relationships and trust.
Helps people to move past personalities.
Provides a space for innovation and creative thought.

Have you used peer coaching in your organisation? I’d love to hear about your experiences. Please leave me a comment below! For more information about peer coaching, feel free to get in touch

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Suzi McAlpine

Suzi McAlpine is a Leadership Development Specialist and author of the award-winning leadership blog, The Leader’s Digest. She writes and teaches about accomplished leadership, what magic emerges when it’s present, and how to ignite better leadership in individuals, teams and organisations. Suzi has been a leader and senior executive herself, working alongside CEOs and executive teams in a variety of roles. Her experience has included being a head-hunter, an executive coach, and a practice leader for a division at the world’s largest HR consulting firm. Suzi provides a range of services as a Leadership Development Specialist, including executive coaching, leadership workshops and development programmes for CEOs, leadership teams and organisations throughout New Zealand.

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