The PPAI Expo is packed with promo pros. As you’re meeting people and sharing ideas today, you just might connect with someone who could become a peer partner with you. This is someone with whom you genuinely enjoy talking and someone who also wants to grow in the promo industry. A peer partner is truly a peer ­­– not a competitor.  

Leadership experts Rebecca Jackson and Elisabeth Hayes know what it’s like to have a chance encounter turn into a rewarding peer partnership. When they met, they had no expectations but enjoyed each other’s energy and professional camaraderie. They want others to recognize the benefits of peer partnerships and how to make the most of the experience. We share their thoughts in this issue of PromoPro Daily.

Learn together. Maybe you attended the same PPAI Education webinar or perhaps you read the same business book. As peer partners, you can then compare your takeaways and how you can implement them.

Learn from each other. Jackson and Hayes say time spent with a peer will surely spark an idea or new perspective you bring to work. You might also discover systems, tools or resources that could help you in your role.

Break out of a rut. If you feel stuck, a peer partner can help motivate you to get unstuck. This might mean sharing lessons or insights or just giving you a helpful nudge when needed. Hayes and Jackson say all it takes sometimes is knowing there’s a friend on your side.

Make progress. When you can bounce ideas around with another promo pro, it can help you sustain and maintain momentum. According to Jackson and Hayes, having regular discussions helps you reflect on and recognize achievements and celebrate those milestones.

How To Get The Most From A Peer Partnership

Set a goal. You might start by building on what you learn this week at The PPAI Expo. Then, as your conversations evolve, Hayes and Jackson say you might continue to support each other’s professional growth.

Check in regularly. Jackson and Hayes check in with each other monthly, but you might find a different rhythm works better. They say it’s most important to stay the course and honor your commitment to each other.

Adjust as necessary. A peer partnership should be something you both look forward to. If you’re not gaining anything from the partnership, look for ways to make it more meaningful. Hayes and Jackson say you might need to set different goals or approach things with a more open mind. If the partnership has run its course, that’s OK too. Take your wins and move on.

Peer partnerships are informal, but they can greatly enrich your life. Whether you work in sales, marketing, or you run the whole show at your promo company, be on the lookout for a peer partner with whom to share insights, perspectives and mutual support.

Compiled by Audrey Sellers
Source: Rebecca Jackson is a leadership expert who specializes in enhancing the skills and mindset of remote leaders. Elisabeth Hayes is an executive coach who works with ambitious mid-career professionals and senior executives.