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Peer-to-peer development challenges some traditional assumptions about people development. Instead of relying entirely on the wisdom of anointed experts, it assumes that people often learn best from peers who share the same daily struggles of front-line professionals like themselves. Furthermore, peer conversations can provide emotional as well as practical support.
Peer-to-peer development was listed by the Harvard Business Review (Feb. 2006) as one of the 20 "breakthrough ideas for 2006".
Peer-to-peer replaces the one-way flow of information typical of training programs "the pour-and-snore approach" with fluid online conversations.
In peer-to-peer development one or two participants will be asked to bring a problem to the group. The other members give close attention to the problem-holder but will not solve the problem even if the answer is obvious. Rather, they ask open questions and dig deep to enable the problem-holder to get a deeper understanding of his/her problem.
By far the most obvious difference in peer-to-peer learning, is its insistence on questioning and gaining consensus about what the problem is. This forces the problem-solver to spend time on understanding the problem and its context and conditions.
Most individuals and groups rush to search for the answers. This is natural because most people are uncomfortable with spending too much time in ambiguity. The original problem is rarely the one that is most crucial. Groups that accept the initial problem often end up solving the surface problem. The group's first and primary task is to understand the problem. As some wag said: "It's better to first put your finger on the problem before sticking your nose in it."
Normally we search for one right solution, peer-to-peer development recognises there may be multiple right solutions.
Normally we try to eliminate possibilities, ask specific questions, be deterministic and sequential, in peer-to-peer development we collect insights, be holistic, integrate the possibilities, ask open questions and rely more on intuition and synchronousity.
Peer-to-peer learning is a development from Action Learning. It's important that the Peer-to-peer Learning Groups are set up properly and that group members have proper training. I have been trained in this technique by a woman we brought out from the UK. I train people with sufficient skills for them to be able to set up and run Peer-to-peer Learning groups throughout the organisation.
This product has been developed and is supported by Bruce Holland with help where required from other members of the Virtual Group Business Consultants. Bruce is a specialist in Peer-to-Peer Development Wellington, nationally and internationally. He specialises in public sector Peer-to-Peer Development and in other large private sector organisations.
All work undertaken by Bruce Holland is guaranteed. If at the end of the program the client doesn't feel that they have received value for money, they may adjust the bill and pay an amount equal to the value they feel they received.
Facilitation is a core skill, it's what I'm good at, if you'd like to know more, give me a call.
Bruce Holland, +644 570 0727, Bruce.firstname.lastname@example.org.
Key words: Leadership, leadership development, leadership management, leadership training, leadership program, leadership skills