Peer Assists

Brief Description:

peerassist.jpgPeer Assist brings together a group of peers to elicit feedback on a problem, project, or activity, and draw lessons from the participants' knowledge and experience.

Example Applications:

Peer Assists may be useful when:
  • You are starting a new job, activity or project and you want to benefit from the advice of more experienced people.
  • You face a problem that another group has faced in the past.
  • You had not to have to deal with a given situation for a long time. You are no longer sure what new procedures to follow.
  • You are planning a project that is similar to a project another group has completed.

Full Description:

Learning from your peers; someone has already done it:
  • Communicate the purpose. Peer Assists work well when the purpose is clear and you communicate that purpose to participants.
  • Share your Peer Assist plans with others. Consider whether others have already solved the problem; they may have similar needs.
  • Identify a facilitator external to the team. The facilitator is responsible for managing the process so that meeting participants reach the desired outcome.
  • Schedule a date for the Peer Assist. Ensure it is early enough to do something different with what you have learned.
  • Invite potential participants who have the diversity of skills, competencies and experience needed for the Peer Assist. Avoid the usual suspects. Peer Assist works well with six to eight people; break up larger groups so everyone has the opportunity to voice experiences and ideas.
  • Be clear on what you want out of the Peer Assist (usually options and insights) and plan the time to achieve them.
  • Allow time to socialise in order to develop rapport.
  • Allow a day and a half for the Peer Assist. Schedule time to Tell, Ask, Analyse and Feedback.
  • Spend time creating the right environment for sharing.
  • Plan the event to allow a balance between telling and listening.
  • Listen for understanding and for how you might improve your own activity.
  • Consider others who might benefit from this knowledge, then share it with them.
  • Commit to actions and keep the Peer Assist team updated.

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