Updated: Apr 25, 2022
Do you remember when you were studying for SAT (or equivalent exam) or a relatively difficult college-level course? How difficult did it all seem? You might remember that vague discomfort when you were dealing with an unsolvable problem or a hard-to-grasp concept, but your teacher told you it was straightforward! I mean, it was straightforward for the teacher who lived and breathed that subject material over multiple years. But for you, it was quite overwhelming as you were going through it for the first time.
During those times of my life, what helped me more in learning was sharing frustrations and elations with my classmates (my peers, who were going through the same experience). Some of the best tips and strategies to tackle those new concepts, and hard-to-crack problems came from my peers. I remember long nights at dorms/libraries/friends' homes/cafes where we all tried to solve those seemingly unsolvable problems, discuss those hard-to-grasp concepts and learn together. The discussions where we all shared our views and ideas on how to handle the challenge were more engaging and fruitful than the (mostly) one-way delivery of classroom lectures. It was like rowing with a crew! As we all were in the same boat and had the same end goal, the rowing was not only fun but also highly effective than paddling on our own.
#PBJAM builds on this very phenomenon. There is also a rich body of management science/organizational psychology research in this field dating back to the 1980s. Here are some salient points and insights from the science of peer-based behavior modification that we leverage at #PBJAM in the context of #professionaldevelopment.
Interacting with peers and a skilled facilitator in a non-competitive, apolitical yet persuasive setting provides mutual accountability and a steady cadence to individual improvements and actions, especially in #PBJAM's small curated groups.
Tangible, repeating feedback and confirmations from the manager, work colleagues, and non-work colleagues provide more accurate guidance and assessment than quarterly/semi-annual development dialogues or 1-off seminars/training/courses
Each individual has different skills, capabilities, preferences, and challenges that change with time – hence, our peer-based, tech-driven approaches prove more effective and durable than canned courses/current approaches
At #PBJAM, we form peer groups from our subscriber base who are interested in our particular program. For example, for our 12-week "Better You!" program, we form groups of three peers, each of whom comes from a different company, but all have complimentary professional soft skills and development aspirations.
Peer group formation is driven by our self-learning algorithms that take into account many factors like level of experience, cultural background, functional orientation, industry focus, skills, and development needs. The goal for our algorithms is to find the best possible matches from our subscriber base that create capabilities exceeding those of the individuals and boost each other's #professionaldeveloment endeavors. This is an exciting frontier of science and art!
Peers at #PBJAM have certain common characteristics and behaviors thanks to our platform, structures, processes, and frameworks.
Peer Characteristics on #PBJAM:
Not a mentor or a coach or a guide, but a buddy who walks with you shoulder to shoulder with similar end goals
Comparable professional context, lingo, and experiences (not the same!)
Able to understand and appreciate each other’s challenges
Able to empathize with situations, perceptions, and anxieties faced by you as of now
Interested and engaged due to mutual development opportunities (learning and growing together)
Not colleagues from the same company/location (co-workers, supervisors, or direct reports) to avoid shadows of organizational bias (politics, personal discomfort, professional conflict of interest)
Peer Behaviors on #PBJAM:
Take the #professionaldevelopment journey together rather than acting like a coach or a guide
Notice each other’s blind spots (something that is visible to others, but not to you) objectively
Provide a different perspective (based on their experiences and skills) that you might be missing
Challenge the effectiveness of steps you are taking (as a critical friend)
Hold each other accountable (using #PBJAM structures and frameworks)
Keep each other on the right track through thick and thin (celebrating successes, sharing failures, and discussing better options for the next steps)
Interested to know more about our #science? We have a full section replete with research articles and summaries for registered users! Curious to know how this could help you? Watch our 90-second videos on how #PBJAM is changing professional lives on our homepage. Read testimonials!
Want to enroll on our platform? Ask your manager or HR partner to sponsor you for our discounted pilots of the 12-week "Better You!" program.