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How Can You Tap Into Peer Mentoring?

 3rd March 2014 by gihan

Peer MentoringWhen the term “mentoring” is used in a business context, it is most commonly pictured as the wise, grey-haired senior executive having lunch meetings with an up-and-coming younger employee. There’s nothing wrong with that picture, and it’s probably still the most common form of mentoring in business. But have you also considered the power of peer mentoring, which happens between peers, colleagues, and possibly even competitors?

Mentoring isn’t only for passing on wisdom and experience in one direction, especially now, when everybody – even the newest graduates or youngest team members – bring valuable skills, experience and insight to the organisation. Peer mentoring, where people with complementary skills and experiences mentor each other, allows you to capture these skills and maximize these opportunities.

Mastermind Groups

One example of peer mentoring is a mastermind group, where people meet regularly to share ideas, questions, answers, and insights with each other. The mastermind group, popularised by Napoleon Hill in the book “Think and Grow Rich”, is formed primarily to help its members, who generally work independently of the group, but seek advice, guidance and counsel from the group. In your own role, consider how you can use mastermind groups – for example:

  • Create or join a mastermind group of your peers
  • Explore the opportunities that are already available within your professional association or industry group
  • Encourage your team members or employees to create or join their own mastermind group

Another form of peer mentoring happens across organisations and industries, where people with different skills come together as a group. For example, an accountant, lawyer, marketing expert, IT expert and financial planner might form a group to help each other and act as an informal “board of directors” for each other. Their diversity helps to broaden the outlook for everybody, and they can also offer informal advice within their respective areas of expertise.

I’ve done this in a number of ways …

A couple of years ago, I started The Perth Business Book Club, which meets every month to discuss a current business book. At first, this might not seem like a mentoring space, but it does bring together business owners with diverse backgrounds. The book of the month is just a starting point for our discussion, and we build on it to discuss our own businesses.

I also host a monthly mastermind group for my membership site, the eGurus Community. Because members are scattered around the world, we meet virtually using a Google Hangout. This is just as effective – and possibly more effective in some ways – as an in-person meeting.

I also host another monthly mastermind group for a group of conference speakers, to help each other with that aspect of our business. We all graduated from the same program, so we can speak the same language and we’re broadly at the same level. Again, this involves people from different locations (Australia, New Zealand, and Dubai!), so we use a Google Hangout for our meetings.

How can YOU get some peer mentoring?

Don’t miss out on the opportunity to get – and give – mentoring in this way. It’s a powerful way to share ideas, ask and answer questions, and get laser-focussed advice for your business.

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