Categories: PMO Tips
|Peer (noun) / a person who is of equal rank and standing with another.|
Top 10 Tips for Managing Your Peers
Tip 1: Assume a leadership role. Leadership is not something that comes with title and that can be given. You must assume it. Take command. Don’t be concerned with formal titles or reporting structures and relationships. When seeking to manage peers, don’t look for and wait on a formal permission to act; assume a leadership role.
Tip 2: Be courageous. Most people are understandably a little nervous about being too assertive in working with and communicating to peers. After all, seeming to manage or to direct a peer might not be received well. It may come back to you later in the form of resentment. These feelings are natural for both you and your peer. To help with the possible tension and stress, consider the worst thing that your peer can say to you which is likely to be just a no to your request. If needed, make a contingency plan for dealing with a negative response or attitude, but don’t be worried about hurt feelings. Leadership is part of business and in many situations peers have to work together without benefit of a direct report. Peer leadership is much preferred than having to have management involvement for every little thing.
Tip 4: Kind in mind that you need each other. Just as you rely on your peer worker for support, your peer worker also relies on you. Managing your peers involves a healthy give and take relationship. The more that you are able to support your peer in time of their need, the more that they will be able to support you and be managed by you in time of your need. You can bank on the favors that you have deposited.
Tip 7: Use the right style of communication. How does your peer like to communicate? Does your peer prefer formal by the book style communications and working relationships or does your peer prefer informal style communications and more personal relationships such as discussing issues and problems over lunch or even over a beer after work. Ensure that you match your situational leadership and peer management techniques to the style appropriate for your peer.
Tip 8: Frame your requests. In managing your peers, seek to always frame your requests. Find the win-win angle that benefits your peer and protects your peer interests. And, if there is not a win-win angle, then create one. Find a way to make it worth it for your peer to follow your lead, take your direction, and perform the work that you need to be performed.
Tip 10: Recognize your peer. How many times have we heard the saying, “there is no limit to what a person can achieve if they don’t care who gets the credit.” This is especially true in peer relationships and when you have to lead and, in essence, manage your peer. Spread the credit around, don’t hoard it or claim it all for yourself. For one, not recognizing the peer that you have just lead and managed in a successful achievement is the surest way to sour them on ever helping you again. For another, it’s just bad form.