Peer Consultation – Because you can’t do it Alone
Business leaders tend to be independent and we grow on the momentum of our own accomplishments. However, the truth of the matter is that no one knows everything and personal development hardly occurs in a vacuum. This is where the trend of peer consultation comes in.
Peer consultation is a process where those on equal employment footing and position request and share feedback with one another. Some arrangements are more formal and supervisory while others may be informal group settings. As a flexible arrangement, peer consultation offers many benefits to many different leadership and work styles.
Forms of Peer Consultation
Peer consultation arose primarily in the field of psychiatry but the model can work for business too.
A structured model would include a “supervisory” peer and the one receiving feedback. The latter would go ahead with their projects while the supervisor observes. After the projects are complete, the supervisor offers feedback. While this model is more hierarchical, the peer receiving feedback is welcome to consider or reject suggestions as seen fit.
Less structured models include peer consultation groups. While the groups adhere to a schedule, there is no further structure besides a time and meeting place. Group members will share ideas and ask for feedback on business situations—general or specific.
Benefits of Peer Consultation
Peer consultation focuses on professional and personal development and not just achieving specific goals or completing tasks. The lessons learned can be applied to all goals and tasks and not just limited to a specific duty in business.
Moving away from a hierarchical structure encourages interdependence between colleagues. Rather than many relying on one “expert”, all have a chance to become experts themselves. A challenge for me may be less of a challenge for a peer and I can learn and expand my abilities. This encourages leadership skills among other types of personal development.
Peer consultation is about choice. Not only can I choose which feedback is most appropriate for me, but I can also choose the peer consultant who is a good match.
No matter our capabilities and past accomplishments, there is always room for professional and personal growth. Other peers and their unique experiences can help shape ours. Try peering consultation today and see how your professional horizons can expand.