Peer Pressures: 5 Reasons You Frustrate Your Peers

Don’t destroy fantastic results with lazy relationships. Strong performers grow backwards when trust breaks down. Small issues mushroom overnight. Peers stop helping. Communication collapses. Careers derail. Without support, working harder can backfire. Unchecked frustration fertilizes conflict. Invest in your peers like you invest in your team.

5 Peer Problems

  1. Lack of Investment

    The Problem: It’s easy to under-invest in peer relationships. Leaders tend to focus on their team and boss first, and leave peer relationships to naturally evolve. Peer relationships take time and energy to grow properly. There’s a higher likelihood of competing priorities and agendas, and no natural hierarchy to inform norms.

    The Solution: Make a deliberate investment in the relationship. Take time to understand their goals and objectives. Ask them what worries them and how you can help. Break bread. Learn about who they are outside of work. Invest in their success.

  2. Too Many Spectators

    The Problem: You work the issues in meetings. Your disagreements have an audience. Sometimes conflict emerges in front of your boss.

    The Solution: Take issues offline. Stakeholder potentially contentious issues in advance. When conflict arises, call them afterwards to work through. Resolving peer conflict is not a spectator sport.

  3. You Don’t Ask For Help

    The Problem: You know they’re busy too, so you don’t ask for help. That can make you look arrogant, or aloof.

    The Solution: Understand their skills and ask for advice, or even support. There’s no greater form of flattery.

  4. You’re Not Acknowledging Their Contribution

    The Problem: Okay, suppose they did help you and now, you’re getting a lot of recognition for your work.

    The Solution: Stop give credit out loud to the right people. Make a big deal of how much they helped.

  5. You Don’t Proactively Share

    The Problem: You share, but seldom first. You look toward a balance of give and take.,/p.

    The Solution: Say yes as much as possible. Help as much as you can. Don’t keep score. Then, help some more.

Your peers provide diverse perspectives. Your peers have resources you need. Today’s peer may be tomorrow’s boss. Invest well.

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Posted in Career & Learning, Communication and tagged , , .

Karin Hurt

Karin Hurt, is CEO of Let’s Grow Leaders and a former Verizon Wireless executive. Karin was named on Inc.’s list of 100 Great Leadership Speakers for Your Next Conference, the American Management Association List of 50 Leaders to Watch, and as a Trust Across America Top Thought Leader in Trust. She’s the award-winning author of two books, Winning Well: A Manager’s Guide to Getting Results— Without Losing Your Soul, and Overcoming an Imperfect Boss. She’s regularly featured in business publications including Fast Company, Entrepreneur, and Inc.

13 Comments

  1. I love having convos with peers.

    I make it a regular habit to reach out to a diverse set of people in my industry.

    They give me different perspectives. They teach me new things. They give me a standard for which to shoot for. They help me raise my game. They remind me if I’m on the right track. Some remind me of who I don’t want to become.

    It’s never a good idea to live in a vacuum.

    p.s. Day 3 on the plant based diet. It’s expensive eating vegan!

  2. Steve, Great add. Building a diverse network of peers you trust is so important… I love that you add looking outside your own company to build peer relationships. Diverse perspectives enhances creativity.

    p.s. I’ve done the vegetarian thing, but not vegan. Bottom line, I like bacon now and then 😉

  3. I suck at 1, 3, and 5. My wife is getting on me about #1 in particular because I am leaving some friends behind. Ironically that ties right into #3. #5 is all about being a bit shy and trying to seem humble and not too eager to take the floor.

  4. Matt, you raise the important point of balancing act. You can’t keep every peer with you forever. I think peer relationships are one of the trickiest parts of leadership…. particularly for the highly driven.

  5. Karin. You’ve got me thinking of the times I’ve raced forward to achieve MY goals to get MY recognition or to further MY team. The thought makes me cringe. It takes guts and wisdom to step back and balance your objectives with those of your peers, but wow, what lasting and powerful bonds it forms. What results it delivers in the long term. Thank you for bringing it to mind.

  6. Karin. You’ve got me thinking of the times I’ve raced forward to achieve MY goals to get MY recognition or to further MY team. The thought makes me cringe. It takes guts and wisdom to step back and balance your objectives with those of your peers, but wow, what lasting and powerful bonds it forms. What results it delivers in the long term. Thank you for bringing it to mind.

  7. Robert, so great to have you in the LGL community. Read your post on progress… not unrelated 😉 Moving forward quicky while damaging peer relationships may feel like progress, but will jeopoardize your long-term vision.

  8. Karin,

    Love this: “Unchecked frustration fertilizes conflict” – I’m all about organic imagery for workplace blogs. Cool! Glad, too, that you found benefit in my “workplace relationship audit” post – I think that concept ties nicely into this post. People are “keeping score” even when you don’t know it and then boom! conflict.

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