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
- 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.
- 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.
- 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.
- 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.
- 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.