Peer Coaching Can Be Risky—Here’s Why

In the business world, peer coaching — in which individuals of equal status come together for the purpose of mutual personal and professional development — is recognized for its potential to foster accountability, motivation, support, and other benefits  in the workplace. However, a new article in the Journal of Applied Behavioral Science warns that these benefits can be undermined by critical risk factors that need to be understood and addressed.

These risks can exist on the individual level…

Individual factors that contribute to negative outcomes of PC include mind-sets and values, inadequate skills relevant to peer’s needs, lack of self-awareneJABS_72ppiRGB_150pixwss, oppositional stance toward relational learning, unrealistic expectations, or lack of motivation to learn, help, or engage.

…and on the interpersonal level:

[T]hese include lack of relational competence, such as inadequate communication skills, overdependence, or submissiveness creating a lack of balance between peers, bad intentions, and finally betrayal or regret.

In addition, the authors say, there are risks that exist at the contextual level, such as “a highly competitive culture, inappropriate incentives and rewards, and mismatching of peers.” The article goes on to describe the ways in which managers can be aware of these factors in order to minimize risk and ensure the success of peer coaching.

Click here to read “Exploring Risk Factors in Peer Coaching: A Multilevel Approach,” published by Polly Parker of The University of Queensland and Kathy E. Kram and Douglas T. Hall, both of the Boston University School of Management, forthcoming in the Journal of Applied Behavioral Science and now available in the journal’s OnlineFirst section.

This entry was posted in Careers and tagged , , by Cynthia Nalevanko, Senior Editor, SAGE Publishing. Bookmark the permalink.

About Cynthia Nalevanko, Senior Editor, SAGE Publishing

Founded in 1965, SAGE is the world’s leading independent academic and professional publisher. Known for our commitment to quality and innovation, SAGE has helped inform and educate a global community of scholars, practitioners, researchers, and students across a broad range of subject areas. With over 1500 employees globally from principal offices in Los Angeles, London, New Delhi, Singapore, Washington DC, and Melburne, our publishing program includes more than 1000 journals and over 900 books, reference works and databases a year in business, humanities, social sciences, science, technology and medicine. Believing passionately that engaged scholarship lies at the heart of any healthy society and that education is intrinsically valuable, SAGE aims to be the world’s leading independent academic and professional publisher. This means playing a creative role in society by disseminating teaching and research on a global scale, the cornerstones of which are good, long-term relationships, a focus on our markets, and an ability to combine quality and innovation. Leading authors, editors and societies should feel that SAGE is their natural home: we believe in meeting the range of their needs, and in publishing the best of their work. We are a growing company, and our financial success comes from thinking creatively about our markets and actively responding to the needs of our customers.

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