The goal of the Peer-to-Peer Consultation Exercise is to facilitate feedback and advice from peers in an open and psychologically safe environment, inviting greater clarity and focus to challenges that peers face, especially leadership challenges. Some may choose to host this exercise within a larger program, such as at a leadership retreat, or as part of strategic planning, among a variety of other contexts.
During the session, individuals will each bring their own leadership challenge to a small group of peers where confidentiality is an agreed upon norm. Peers will help each other define success, identify challenges, and begin to formulate next steps for action. Meanwhile, peers will also be provided with an opportunity to strengthen their diagnostic and coaching skills by helping probe problems, challenge assumptions, and identify action alternatives by asking constructive questions.
- Detailed instructions for the session facilitator/coordinator
- Instructions for peers to determine and describe their leadership challenge (note that this is to be carried out before the session)
- Instructions for the peer-to-peer consultation session
- A short slide deck to help facilitate the session
- A worksheet for individuals to take notes on the feedback they receive regarding their leadership challenge
Summary of Resources and Responsibilities Involved
To facilitate this exercise, one or more people should take charge of the following elements:
- A space (such as a conference room) conducive to convening one or more groups.
- A projector and/or handouts to show the instructions and supporting slides during the session (this can be useful when facilitating several groups concurrently).
- A timer for each group (smartphones usually suffice) and an assigned timekeeper.
Responsibilities Involved for Facilitators
- A person or group to schedule the session, arrange the room, select the peer participants (in one or more groups of 4-5 people), send leadership challenge writeup instructions, share the leadership challenges across group(s), convene group(s), establish norms, give session instructions, support participants, and wrap up.
- Each individual should set aside 30-60 minutes several days before the session to identify, writeup, and reflect on a leadership challenge. Leadership challenges should be written concisely but with enough detail for peers to understand and respond.