One of my favorites folk adages is Vernon Sanders Law’s dictum: “Experience is a poor teacher because it gives the test before the lesson.” The truth underlying this humorous proverb is that leaders need to learn the lessons of leadership before they make mistakes that have consequences. Herein lies one of the prime advantages of belonging to a peer coaching group.
A group of peer leaders who meet together with consistent frequency offer one another the opportunity to discuss the challenges of leadership. In a safe setting with other experienced leaders, each participant can rehearse significant leadership moves with their colleagues. It has been my experience that when I have availed myself of such invaluable opportunities, my peers have refined my thought process, helped me see obstacles I was blind to, and positively shaped my plans thus exponentially increasing my chances of success.
The Importance of Peer Coaching
Time after time, my peers have saved me from overreacting, under-planning, blindly advancing, failing to consider people’s feelings and so much more. When I think of the leadership faux pas I would have made without the wise counsel of my colleagues, I shudder.
Wise leaders choose instead to sit with a group of brilliant men and women and listen to their years of wisdom and experience than to brashly go it alone. The collective knowledge base of a peer coaching group makes for markedly better leaders.
So before your next leadership crisis, invest in a group of peers you trust and agree to gather regularly. The lessons you learn from one another are infinitely more valuable than the ones you will learn via your own mistakes.