Last year the author participated in her first peer coaching process as a peer coach and client when the National Speakers Association invited its Certified Speaking Professionals to a weekend summit. They were formed into groups of 10 to 12 participants and assigned a facilitator. They then shared their specific professional challenges with one another. In peer coaching for individuals who may or may not work together, it is important to form a trusting environment to help each other engage in self-directed learning. Peer coaching differs from executive coaching or mentoring, which is when someone who is designated as having more expertise or experience is expected to provide wisdom, counsel, or advice. Peer coaching will only sustain itself if participants provide one another with ongoing value-added experiences. So it is worth the effort to periodically check in and evaluate whether the peer coaching process, whatever form it takes, is providing everyone with a return on their investment.
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