The Power of Peer Coaching

Getting A Consistent Outside Perspective Leads to Better Living

by Jordan Myska Allen, a lover of life and entrepreneur. He acts as a psychological, spiritual, and professional consultant and practices applied integral thinking.

One of the unique things about human experience is that we only have our subjective take on reality, and that seems to differ from other people’s subjective take on reality. The vast majority of the time we seem to live inside of our own unique bodies with our own unique histories, socialization, psychologies, preferences, and personalities. And from all accounts, we can never access the wisdom and beauty of someone else’s unique view without asking them. I recommend setting up a system of continuously asking someone: an accountability partner / peer coach. 

Even if you happen to be the most intelligent human being in the history of our species, you are probably missing important information about yourself and your own patterns because you cannot see yourself without a mirror. Yet the vast majority of our decisions, triumphs, and failures don’t occur in front of a mirror, and reflective glass can only reflect visual information. A peer coach acts as a mirror for our psychology, acculturation, behavior over time, and interaction with the systems around us.

All professional athletes and most executives running the world’s companies and non-profits have coaches. The world’s most revered spiritual teachers had teachers or gurus of their own: Jesus had John the Baptist; Siddhartha Guatama had Alara Kalama and Udaka Ramaputta. Even kings and queens have advisors. The obvious point is that the people who are the absolute best at what they do seek consistent input from outside of their limited personal perspective. A great way to do this? Set up a peer coach.

Almost every human being has goals they want to accomplish even if they debate the nature of reality, and progress on our goals has been proven to lead to more happiness and life satisfaction.[1] How you stay motivated and accountable? How can you make sure your goals are truly serving the things you care about the most? Get a peer coach.

You and your peer coach do not have to be perfect or knowledgeable about everything, but it is important that you honestly reflect back what they hear. You and your peer coach do not have to be best friends, but it is important that you trust each other. You do not have to meet every day or every week, but it is important that you stick to a schedule that you can depend on and actually motivates you both. You do not have to follow a formula, but it is important that you are actually coaching each other through something—like an Integral Life Practice.

Have you done this before? What are your best practices—what worked and what did not? What kind of structure did you follow? How do you stay motivated and accountable?

[1] Goal Progress and Happiness. How to decrease procrastination and increase happiness. Published on June 7, 2008 by Timothy A. Pychyl, Ph.D. in Don’t Delay. http://www.psychologytoday.com/blog/dont-delay/200806/goal-progress-and-happiness

Image: Some rights reserved by jeffweese

Category: Psych

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