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Peer Review: Keeping Peer Relationships on Your Radar

There are three key groups of business relationships withing your organization that are important:

  1. People above you
  2. People below you
  3. Your peers

Of the three groups, I see the peer group neglected the most often.  It’s understandable.  You have to focus on your direct reports to get the work done and you certainly can’t neglect your management, so the peers get put on the back burner.

The peer group is critical to your success, especially in matrixed, collaborative environments, where peer reviews and opinions have heavy weight.

Peer relationships must be developed and given attention or they can deteriorate and derail your career.  This can be an informal coffee meeting, a more formal agenda meeting, whatever makes sense – but make it regular. That way, when an issue comes up (and it will) you have already invested in the relationship and resolving the issue will be easier, quicker and less wear and tear on both of you.

I have seen clients start out with good peer relationships and then take them for granted because they were busy with everything else.  Over time, the relationships eroded almost imperceptibly until they were tested.  By that time, you have to invest more time to get them back on track, if you can.  Make sure you aren’t surprised in a peer review.  Compared to the time it takes to repair a damaged relationship, it doesn’t take much time to keep peer relationships humming along – you will find it well worth it.

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