Peer-to-Peer Coaching: Your New Secret Weapon

The managers who care the most are often the ones who take responsibility for creating coaching cultures in their organizations and effectively developing future leaders.

After any training event, they are also the managers who inevitably ask some version of this critical question: “How do you successfully embed and sustain positive behavioral changes to impact those around you when the pressure is on?” It’s an essential question—and one practically every company that attempts to develop a coaching culture continually struggles with.

As companies continue to search for the holy grail of reinforcement, sustainment and adoption of leadership best practices, they continually step over the one thing that will actually help them achieve what matters most, often because they’re seduced by technology.

Many employers seem to think that with the right technology, they can fix anything. But this question cannot be resolved with another app or software. Technology is there to streamline, support, track and recognize changes, trends, activity and results, but it’s not the ultimate panacea of answers to this overarching question.

Here’s my response to that manager’s burning question: peer-to-peer coaching.

Conceptually, leaders understand it’s up to them to ensure that coaching is well-received and sustained amongst their team. But they rarely stop and put themselves in the shoes of the person being coached, let alone allow themselves to be coached by their peers.

Every manager needs to create alignment and set expectations before coaching their team. But how are you going to continually build the one dominant and influential skill that will determine your success and impact—your coaching acumen?

Sure, you can continually seek out training, coaching from your boss or even hire an external coach. But the most powerful resource you can leverage is right in front of you—your peers.

Through peer-to-peer coaching, you not only reinforce best practices, but also build a deeper level of trust with your peers.

Without peer-to-peer coaching, companies incur a great cost. As the leader, if you don’t establish an authentic, trusting connection with your peers, what behavior are you exemplifying for your team? What kind of relationships do you think they will now foster with their own peers and customers?

When managers develop a trusting relationship with their peers, that makes room for authentic coaching to happen. Firstly, think about what you’re modeling. You need to be the change to ensure that those you interact with and influence will take notice, especially your direct reports. I’ve observed this time and time again—employees think, “Wow! My boss is reaching out to another manager for help and for coaching? That’s pretty cool! If they see value in doing this on their own time and terms, then maybe it’s time for me to take advantage and embrace coaching as well.”

Secondly, your direct reports start coaching and supporting each other at a deeper, more authentic level. Consider how this might affect your daily workload and the results you’re trying to achieve. This is how you change a culture—with human-to-human interaction.

Your team is a reflection of you. As Gandhi said, “be the change you want to see in the world.” In other words, you must model what you want to create. Look in the mirror and ask yourself, “Are you authentically modeling the behaviors you want to see in your team?”

Keith Rosen, CEO of Profit Builders and founder of Coachquest, has delivered his programs to hundreds of thousands of people in practically every industry in over 75 countries. Rosen has written several bestsellers, including “Sales Leadership,” “Own Your Day” and the globally acclaimed “Coaching Salespeople into Sales Champions,” winner of five international best book awards and the No. 1 bestselling sales management book on Amazon for eight consecutive years.