For better connections connect to your peers

Guido van Ingen, Head TS Sales NL

For this second peer coach session, focus on the connections that you have with your most important clients, both internal and external. When do you have the most valuable connections? Any best practices you want to share? Where do you have the most room for improvement? How can you maximize your impact, and what is holding you back from making the changes that can lead to better connections?

Sharing your experiences with a peer and getting feedback and support will help you reflect on and improve your approach. Additionally peer coaching will help you develop your coaching skills.

Rules of the Game

Ideally each session takes a total of one hour, with each person coaching the other for 30 minutes. To get the most out of your session follow the basic rules.


  • Listen with a sense of interest and engagement;
  • Avoid multi-tasking.
  • Remain fully focused on your peer;
  • Ask open-ended questions (why, where, how, what, when…);
  • Ask even more;Use eye contact (yes, digitally too);
  • Take short notes.
  • Why these ‘Do’ rules?

    Coaching is about connecting with people, inspiring them to do their best and helping them to grow. It’s also about challenging people to come up with the answers they require on their own. Coaching begins by creating space to be filled by the coachee, not by you; and the best way to start this process is by asking open-ended questions. The key is to remain open and receptive to whatever the other person wishes to discuss, without assuming anything or offering immediate solutions. This means being engaged in deep listening and being fully focused on the other, for the other.

Do not:

  • Criticize. Belittle. Be cynical;
  • Multi-task, as in checking emails or apps or your watch;
  • Jump into conclusions. Check regularly with your peer that you understand them correctly;
  • Offer solutions or ‘to do’ advice, unless specifically asked.
  • Why these ‘Do not’ rules?

    For the other person to speak openly, s/he needs to feel safe. Criticism, negative commentary, cynicism and even what might seem like a funny joke, but is at the expense of the other, will quickly and firmly stop the other person from trusting you and shut out constructive communication.&nbsp

    Listening is a whole-body process that happens between two people; it is way more than simply hearing. Let the other person see that you are fully engaged in listening by avoiding the urge to complete other tasks in parallel. Your role is to be a good listener and inquirer, so ensure you understand the other correctly, and resist the urge to jump ahead and offer your experience, knowledge or solutions. The more time you spend in pure inquiry, the more likely will the other person be able to come up with their own solution(s).