The importance of peer relationships keeps emerging as a theme with my clients. Strong leaders recognize that their leadership must extend beyond managing up and down; they must also manage effectively across the organization. Although it may not be on your radar screen, peers play an important role in providing perspective on your performance, no matter how far removed they may be from your do day-to-day activities.
Even if you don’t need much of your peers’ involvement to achieve your business results, most companies expect you to care about and invest in their success. An investment in your peers demonstrates your willingness to go beyond what matters in your microcosm of the world, to think about how you can make a difference in other parts of the company.
Ask yourself the following questions to quickly assess your peer relationships:
1. How well do you know your peers?
Using a scale of 1-10 (with 10 the highest), rate the strength of your relationship with each peer. Do you know what challenges your peers face, pressures they feel, or what goals are most critical to them? Based on this information and the strength of your relationship, with whom should you invest more time?
2. What do your peers think of you?
Do your peers view you as someone who is willing to give them support? To quickly assess this, think about how much time you spend listening, problem- solving, or brainstorming with your peers and the degree to which you think beyond your scope of responsibility.
3. What value can you offer to your peers?
As you consider your strengths, background, and experience, how can you leverage them for your peers? What can you offer in the context of what matters to them? If you don’t know enough about their priorities, find out.
As you contemplate your responses to the questions above, identify one peer relationship that you would like to strengthen in the next six months. Come up with a small step you will take this week to get the ball rolling, and remember that small steps can lead to big results
© 2013 Neena Newberry | All rights reserved.