What I've learned from peer groups so far

Hello Reader,

We just wrapped up our second round of peer groups, and they were really awesome. I've gotten great feedback every time we do them, and particularly as a remote team, they have been such a strong point of connection.

I wanted to share the format we came to, after a bit of trial and error.

  1. We start with two things to bring us into the present moment together. We do a short breathing exercise, and then each person lists 1 thing they are proud of from the last week. The breathing gets us into a parasympathetic state where we can listen well, think deeply, and rest. The thing we're proud of changes our brain focus to a positive one and there is some science saying that state makes it easier to change habits and make good decisions.
  2. Next, we ask how each other is doing. Physically and mentally, where is each person at. We try to practice active listening, asking questions and probing further into people's answers.
  3. Then we talk through 1 or 2 more questions. These vary with the group but here are some examples:
  • What has the pandemic been like for you?
  • Share some of what has happened in your life, how it has impacted you.
  • What would getting better feel like?
  • What has helped so far?
  • What is your biggest challenge right now?
  • Where is the majority of your stress coming from right now?
  • Where have you built your best friendships in the past? Where have you met people recently?
  • What is your greatest strength as a parent?

I pick 1 or 2 of these questions to focus on each time, and vary them based on the needs of the group.

4. Finally, we choose an action item to close out the session. These are typically something that came up during the call and each person reports back that they completed the task! Some things we've done are: organize a small area in your home, do something nice for someone else, practice your favorite form of self care, work on something creative. Just depends on what comes up during the call!

Other logistics:

  • Each group has their own private slack channel. We use these to talk about scheduling, follow up on action items, and support each other between sessions.
  • I schedule all the sessions. I know that if I don't facilitate that part, it's not likely to happen. I find a time for each group and schedule them monthly for the year.
  • I attended the first 2 sessions for each group. It was a lot! But also so rewarding and fun. I wanted to get everyone used to the patterns of the meetings so they can now host themselves.

Have you tried peer groups at your company? I'd love to hear how they are going for you!

Take care,



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