Achieving success is easier with a strong peer network: a group of trusted colleagues who can provide feedback, share insights, and support you when you need it most. Here’s how to create one:
- Be intentional about who you want in it. It can be a mix of people and more diversity will make the group more valuable. Be careful about who you include: ideally members of the network need to work together and complement each other’s perspectives.
- Develop a loose structure. Be clear about the group’s goals and values, eg decide how to be supportive, the frequency of discussions and the type of topics to address. Also agree how often will you meet and how you will communicate.
- Understand broadly where the strengths of the network’s members lie. It helps to play to people’s talents.
- Give as well as receive. Be ready and available to help the people in your network, show genuine interest, and don’t be transactional. The more you give, the more you receive.
In situations like a new job role or a family crisis, a conversation can be used to provide invaluable support. It may simply be active listening or something more practical and involved – either way a great support network is invaluable.