What Is Peer Group Networking
It’s a generally accepted fact that two heads are better than one for solving problems, making plans, discovering new approaches, etc., etc., etc.
So, if two heads are better than one, what about five or six or seven or…..? That is what a peer group network is…a group of people who want to improve and further expand their personal capabilities or share their experience with others. It can be professional, business related, or any number of things. Each person brings a different experience to the group, thus expanding the knowledge and understanding of all participants.
How Can I Benefit
In a peer group network, members bring issues or questions to the group and get the benefit of the experience and thoughts of multiple people. Or, the group may study a common problem for alternatives. Often this will surface thoughts the individual may not have considered or present alternative solutions and approaches that would have gone unnoticed. Many times the “new alternative” may be something that has been implemented by someone in the group, so the individual or group gets the advantage of that experience without some of the trial and error usually involved with trying something new.
Peer group networks also provide the opportunity to establish relationships with the members and broaden the network for each individual. Whether in business or life, there are times we need to be able to consult or seek advice from someone whose judgment and experience we respect and value. Having that peer group relationship and experience opens the door to comfortably seek opinions and advice from other members of the group that we know will have something to offer. It broadens the network of valued acquaintances who are a resource for finding services or direction that might help with a business or personal desire or issue.
Being a member of a peer group networks carries with it responsibility and accountability to the group Each member is expected to contribute and bring value from their knowledge and experience. Peer group members must be accepting of feedback that may not be comfortable at times and open to providing constructive feedback to other members in a respectful way.
Peer groups are an excellent way to broaden experience, get new insight, receive constructive feedback, and grow a valuable network. It should be one of the tools used in developing personal effectiveness.