Peer Support Groups: A Golden Opportunity for Your Managers and Your Organization

by Lindenberger, Judith Wednesday, November 07, 2007
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About Us
Published in OD/Leadership News March 2007

Developing the leadership skills of managers across your organization creates a wealth of new opportunities and a common language of leadership. No single program experience builds strong leaders better than peer support groups.

Peer support groups can help managers succeed more and work less. Most managers have few resources and few places to turn to get advice on marketing, strategic planning, how to hire the best people, how to lead an organizational change and team building, etc.

One of the most powerful steps a leader can take - at any stage in his or her development - is to find a group of peers. Creating an enterprise can be a lonely task. If you are alone in creating your business (and having a partner or partners doesn't mean you're not alone), opportunities for learning and teaching are lost. With a peer support group, you can accelerate your growth and eventually give back your wisdom and experience to those coming after you.

Having an extra set of eyes and ears to look at the performance and goals of your business makes a world of difference. Working with your peers means you don’t have to go it alone. It also holds you accountable to someone outside of your business.

Who Are They and What Do They Do
Peer support groups are gatherings of peers attracted to each other by a common set of experiences and capabilities. Normally the group is a maximum of 10 people. They have the opportunity to share knowledge and different perspectives as well as providing accountability and developing their own network.

Peer support groups helps managers to:

  • Talk about issues you cannot address with your staff
  • Learn about successful practices and new resources
  • Network with other business leaders
  • Focus on key goals to achieve business objectives
  • Increase productivity while decreasing work time
  • Widen profit margins
  • Realize your dreams through accountability
What They Are
Peer support groups come in many shapes and sizes. Some are geographically based, by locale or region of the country. Still others are linked to a particular frame of reference, such as the biotech industry.

Experienced small group facilitators run peer support groups. Look for someone who has built his or her own business, is a trained feedback coach and who has expertise in more than one area of running a business.

We are starting to see the signs of an improving marketplace - start to invest in yourself and your organization by joining a peer support group. It will give you the greatest chance of achieving the success you deserve and have worked so hard for.