Companies have spent billions of dollars on traditional leadership development programs, including leadership trainings, employee workshops, retreats, and other one-shot techniques to improve performance. This may briefly change employee behavior, but the improvements are usually short-lived. Instead, employees need a support system that will empower them to continually improve, and build networks of trust and communication with their peers, so that the whole business keeps developing.
This type of support system is core to Numina’s sustainable leadership development program. As part of the system our facilitators guide employees to coach their peers. Employees learn to listen, give support, and most importantly just be there as another presence in whatever it is that they are facing.
By coaching and being coached by their peers, employees learn to trust each other, to find their leadership styles, to communicate better, and work more effectively together, all of which makes work more fulfilling. Learning to listen well gives people the opportunity to become more aware of themselves and others. Offering simple, attuned support improves confidence in both the one offering support and the one receiving it.
This system of coaching is a piece of cultural infrastructure that, if maintained, can create a profound change in the business as a whole. This is because, unlike one-day leadership trainings and weeklong retreat, the benefits of facilitated peer-coaching continue to grow even after the facilitator leaves.
Peer coaching also helps people be more real with each other. When employees get to see what others’ obstacles or unfulfilled potentials are in a supportive environment, it usually reminds them how everyone struggles, regardless of position or skill. Peers also help each other track their progress. Others can often see changes in a person more clearly than that person can themselves. By reflecting these changes back to the person, they get reinforced.
The Harvard Business Review says that all this is key to creating a positive workplace culture since this kind of environment stems from “fostering social connections, showing empathy, helping others, and asking for help and talking to people about their problems.” Having a positive culture leads to “significantly higher levels of organizational effectiveness—including financial performance, customer satisfaction, and productivity.” So clearly, there is a lot to gain—both individually and as a company—by having stronger connections between coworkers.
Numina pairs our immersive app(https://itunes.apple.com/us/app/emerge!-your-personal-leadership/id964362994?ls=1&mt=8) with real-life facilitation. With the app employees are guided to develop greater leadership traits, including self-awareness, connection, confidence, and power in a way that’s totally personalized and relevant to them. This coaching can then be seen by their colleagues between facilitated meetings, where everyone can offer further inquiry and support. The use of the app with the facilitated meetings establishes new habits of peer-learning in the work context and in the relationships where it matters.
For example, one of our clients was able to acknowledge and, with the help of his peers, dispel the self-doubt that constantly plagued him. He uncovered the doubt by completing the sessions in the coaching app. Then by discussing the root of this doubt and how to resolve it with his peers, he was able to see how others saw his potential and valued him whereas he often had a lack of faith in himself. The coaching app was significant in that it helped him surface the doubt and share it with others in the peer group in a way that was raw and impactful. Revealing this doubt to others helped our client’s peers be more appreciative of who he was and also be more aware of his insecurities so that they can better support him. This experience shared by the peer group also led to stronger relationships and mutual respect because our client was so earnest with himself and everyone else. It is with that deeper kind of honesty that employees and teams become more open and trusting and ultimately contribute to a company culture that brings the best out of employees and the company as a whole.
We’d love to hear from you. Contact us if you’d like to explore how Numina can help you establish a supportive peer-learning environment in your organization.