The October 2014 issue of Productive! Magazine has made me think of the support that everyone needs in their lives. Sometimes it is professional mentoring, and sometimes it is peer mentoring. It can also simply be the way we bring up our kids or look up to one of our professors at university.
As the poet John Donne wrote, “No man is an island.” We live in a connected world and interact with other people; we can choose to make these people a part of our success. Every “productivity guru” will tell you that one of the most effective ways to change a habit is to ask for peer support. Having done that for a while now, I’d say that having a network of peers in the most important aspects of your life is critical to your success.
Peer mentoring - helping each other grow in business
My friend Wiktor, who’s running the biggest Ruby programming and outsourcing house in Poland, suggested we should do something like “peer mentoring” — meaning we should get together every month for a short 1-hour Skype session and talk about how we run our businesses. What works for us, what doesn’t. What we recently discovered, introduced, and canceled. Essentially we just share experiences and exchange ideas. We’ve been doing it for a number of months now (with a few exceptions), and I’d say it works really great for both of us. I’ve learned a lot from Wiktor and hopefully he’s learned a thing or two from me. We look forward to each session. Plus, it’s only once a month, so we’re not getting tired of each other (yet).
Peer mentoring works for us, because:
- We trust each other — we’ve known each other for a few years now, and we know we can talk openly about issues in our companies
- We don’t compete — we are in different industries
- We’re both CEOs — both very much “shaping our companies” — so we have similar problems and challenges
- We want each other to succeed — we know that each of us genuinely wants to help the other one achieve his very best
Apart from Wiktor, I also have a few mentors who help me shape my company, and I make sure to call them regularly to exchange ideas and to learn from the guys who are a lot wiser than I am.
Tap into your peer network now and grow!
And in the meantime read more articles about mentoring, peer support and productivity in the issue 24 of the Productive! Magazine
Question: Do you mentor anyone? Are you being mentored? Have you ever tried peer mentoring?