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Start coaching each other!

After several weeks of Covid-19 lockdown, you and your teams will finally have settled into a routine. Everyone will have organized a workspace and appropriated the tools needed for communicating remotely. So, the team is productive again, but something is still missing: an attentive, empathetic ear.

Your co-workers turn to you when they’re faced with an operational difficulty or have to make a tough decision. On the other hand, they are sometimes all alone with their worries and the problems caused by the disruptions to their day-to-day lives. You can make things better by encouraging them to take part in peer coaching. 

What’s the idea? To talk about your doubts, the challenges you’re facing and your anxieties with a colleague, as well as your successes and hopes. The colleague is there to listen and offer encouragement without being under pressure to try to find a solution – which is sometimes the most difficult thing of all. Organizations that have introduced peer coaching see a substantial rise in their teams’ level of engagement, sense of belonging and fulfillment. 

How can you promote this peer coaching? 

 Set aside one hour a week for your employees to devote to coaching; 

 Draw up a list of co-workers who want to take part, then share their names so that everyone can choose their partner. Ideally, this should be someone who is outside their team and the chain of command; 

  Encourage pairs to begin the session on a positive note – for example: “What do you like about teleworking?” 

  

Better still, set an example: find a peer, coach each other and let everyone know about it! 

  

Find out more: “Newly Remote Workers Need Peer Coaching” Aaron Hurst, MIT Sloan Management Review, April 20, 2020. 

  

Françoise Tollet
Published by Françoise Tollet
She spent 12 years in industry, working for Bolloré Technologies, among others. She co-founded Business Digest in 1992 and has been running the company since 1998. And she took the Internet plunge in 1996, even before coming on board as part of the BD team.