PEER SUPPORT GROUPS
Last week I was invited to attend a peer group session made up of 8 business owners. After a continental breakfast, the 8 members took turns sharing how their businesses were doing. Without exception everyone shared that their business was doing fine or that there was nothing new.
After the first round, the sharing centered on the best type of referral each one needed, or an introduction to a specific type of business.
The meeting concluded with a 20 minute presentation by one of the members, explaining their business.
Although they labeled themselves as a peer support group, it was, in my opinion, nothing more than a closed networking session.
A peer support group should not have as its main purpose networking. One important lesson I learned in my 25-plus years of small business consulting is that someone can look perfectly fine but every business owner has something going on inside. There is always something that needs to be “fixed”, either in the business or within the business owner.
A true peer group support session has as its main purpose the emptying of oneself and sharing from the heart the issues that are a concern to you and your business.
Confidentiality is of prime importance as is trust in one another. The other members may or may not have a solution to a specific problem, but they all have ears and can listen. Often time just verbalizing an issue can bring relief to the person carrying the burden.
As trust grows in a peer support group, so grows the friendship among its members. Once established, a peer support group may never disband.
Yes, there is a correct method to the formation of a peer support group. It does take some work as well as time. Knowing the core values of each individual member is often the best starting point. Keep the membership to a maximum of 10.
Always reach out to The Duck if you have questions.
Great things in business are never done by one person. They’re done by a team of people. Steve Jobs
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