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Peer Pressures: 5 Reasons You Frustrate Your Peers post image

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.

Filed Under:   Career & Learning, Communication
 
 
Karin Hurt
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.
 

Join The Conversation

What People Are Saying

Steve Borek   |   04 June 2013   |   Reply

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!

letsgrowleaders   |   04 June 2013   |   Reply

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 ;-)

Steve Borek   |   04 June 2013   |   Reply

I’m doing the 21 vegan deal just to see if I can do it.

My numbers from the last doctor’s visit look great.

I’m looking forward to learning over the next three weeks. We shall see.

Matt McWilliams   |   04 June 2013   |   Reply

Try vegan bacon. It’s actually delicious.

Eating vegan is expensive but so is eating right (i.e. grass fed meats). It’s worth it.

letsgrowleaders   |   04 June 2013   |  

@matt, vegan bacon is yucky.

Matt McWilliams   |   04 June 2013   |   Reply

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.

letsgrowleaders   |   04 June 2013   |   Reply

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.

letsgrowleaders   |   04 June 2013   |   Reply

Matt, I should add… very tricky for me too.

Anonymous   |   05 June 2013   |   Reply

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.

Robert Kay   |   05 June 2013   |   Reply

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.

letsgrowleaders   |   05 June 2013   |   Reply

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.

Jennifer V. Miller   |   05 June 2013   |   Reply

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.

letsgrowleaders   |   05 June 2013   |   Reply

Jennifer, thanks. My Dad’s a photographer and I’ve had fun working to incorporate some of his cool shots ;-)