Why We Need Peers

Untitiled by johnkoEver take a minute and think about all the people in your life? Often we recognize so few – mostly family and friends. In life, though, there are many, many people who we interact with, are influenced by, and work with.

The people we know and interact with bring so many things to our lives. What we think, how we do things, the way we learn. It’s these things that expand our horizons and allow us to grow as individuals.

Our peers are not only our friends and coworkers. They are clerks at stores we visit and buy things from. They are our mail carriers and delivery people. They are our representatives in government, and teachers in our education system.  They are leaders in business, and in faith. They are the women and men who protect our country, and help us in emergencies.

Each of the people bring something unique, something special to the mix. Knowledge, leadership, compassion, guidance, strength, or camaraderie – our peers provide all this above and beyond our friendships.

In short, our peers make up the communities we participate in, both offline and online, which give us all such great resources to do great things together. I’m grateful to have so many people in my life, and to have the privilege of learning from them and with them.

Photo credit: johnko

Learn From The Truth

Truth by slowdevil Sometimes its hard to listen to someone telling you the truth.  Deep down you know they’re right, and that’s why you don’t stop them in their tracks.  You know you need to hear it even though you don’t want to.  It’s good for you.

The reality is that we often need to have our perceptions reset, and that means we need to listen.  It also means that we need a network of closely trusted peers that can tell us we’re full of it, and be able to remain close because of it.  If you don’t have that kind of network, then you haven’t been working hard enough in your personal social networking efforts.

Learning that the great idea you have is crap, or simply needs a few easy tweaks is as important as the ideas themselves.  The ability to listen to people who care about your success and take that knowledge forward to make what you do better is a learned skill that true professionals embrace at every opportunity.

One of the things I learned from SXSW this past week was that I had been neglecting a portion of my network.  Many of the people I had connected with years ago, I hadn’t kept up with and my future has been impacted because of it.  That was my realization of truth, pointed out by a friend while in Austin.  It’s not a mistake I’ll make a second time.

Now, what have you learned this week from a friend?

What have you done to help a peer succeed?

Picture courtesy of slowdevil.

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