Try Peer Coaching to Help You Improve Your Professional Skills

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Dr. Marshall Goldsmith, executive business coach and popular author, suggests an effective way to help a person sharpen his or her skills as a business owner, manager or employee. It is called “peer coaching.”

Here is how it works. Identify a peer who may be on the same, higher or lower position level as you, and discuss the concept of serving as a peer coach to each other. The idea is to offer helpful “forward feedback” that will help the other person improve the things they do in the future. The idea of offering “forward feedback” is that it suggests that behavior is something that can be changed and is not a permanent habit.

For example, your partner has an issue of not completing work assignments on time. This problem creates a backlog of work for his co-workers that cannot be done, because they are waiting on your partner. This causes stress and short tempers by his co-workers. By giving him direction to make it a priority to get his assignments done early, this creates the opportunity for positive reinforcement from his other colleagues. This can create circumstances for this individual to do the things necessary to get their desired results.

You can praise the person when you catch him or her doing it right. Over a cup of coffee or lunch, you can share the results of each other’s success stories, which will further reinforce the desired behavior change. This can further serve to strengthen the peer coaching bond between the two of you and to reinforce the desire for improvement.

So remember, by working with a peer coach over a period of time, you can both slowly improve your skills and your company’s productivity.

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Tom Borg is president of Tom Borg Consulting, LLC. He is a business consultant, speaker, coach and author. He shows companies and organizations how to attract and retain more clients and customers.


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