Be a good peer

January is a dreaded time for managers in the realm of reviews. Regardless of the system your company uses to perform internal audits on it’s staff, they still have to be done. Ever wanted to have a big team under your expert tutelage? Not during this time of year you don’t.

During my review with the head of our little band of merry app makers, I had a discussion about mentorship. So often, we want qualified personnel to work with that don’t require a lot of watching over. From a skills perspective, it can certainly make the daily grind a lot more productive if you don’t have to worry about the person next to you is doing. From the perspective of growth as a company, however, we need more mentorship in our daily collaboration.

Often, we put ourselves down when it comes to work. We let things like our age or experience dictate whether we should speak up or not. I argue that you can mentor anyone regardless of how much wisdom or experience you have over another.

Maybe instead of “mentorship” we can call it “peership”. Yes I just made up a word, go with me on it.

This requires a lot on the part of the person with “seniority”. We can’t be afraid to let our egos to be inflated by our experience and actually listen to those around you. Maybe you missed a line of code, error in your report or small pixel out of place. Maybe the product could use one more (or one less) feature in the first release. Maybe we could just use a dose of humility and have an honest dialogue with how we do things.

Regardless, being a good peer means being open to giving and receiving feedback on how to make our work better. Have you asked for this from your team lately? Today is the day!

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