Soft Skills, Communication Skills, Being Confident, Working with a Team
SKILLS DEVELOPMENT / 14 December 2016
Tuesday Tip: How To Lead A Team Of Peers
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Hannah Son
Content Writer
Redondo Beach

Being a leader is not an easy task. Leading your peers is even tougher. To lead a team of peers, you must possess all the characteristics of a great leader… and then some. Below are some tips you will need to be a great peer leader:  

1. Have Some Attitude

The easiest and conversely the most difficult skill necessary to be a peer leader is to have a positive attitude. Misery loves company, and so does positivity. Your team of peers will react to your attitude and the way you approach tasks will influence those around you. By looking at tasks as opportunities rather than challenges and seeing the potential in your peers instead of the flaws, you will attract people with a common attitude.

“If you want to gain influence and credibility with people working alongside you, then don’t try to take shortcuts or cheat the process.”

Influence is crucial when leading a team. Because positional authority is not a factor, the best way to lead is through positive influence. 

2. Have a Little Perspective

Perspective is crucial when leading a group of peers. Being in a position that allows you to make strategic suggestions for your team and look out for the better of the group is paramount to becoming a respected leader. Bottom line: don’t be selfish. 

I don’t know about you guys, but being a part of a team where members only look out for themselves is the bane of my existence (right up there along with celery and stepping in water, with socks on). For companies and businesses, the success of the entire team is far more applauded than the success of an individual. If you keep the perspectives of other people in mind and view the whole picture, you are not only aiding others but helping yourself to gain influence and trust. Bottom line: succeed together.

3. Spread Confidence, Not Gossip

Make your team feel good about their work. As a peer, you can relate to your members and as a leader, you can speak up! Empowering your team by spreading confidence can be very motivational. Leaders who use their authority to help their teams accomplish great things, foster members who want to work harder for them. And don’t forget to give praise and recognition when it’s due. 

Instilling confidence in your team means giving and gaining trust. It is important to stay true to yourself and stay out of the office gossip (Unless it’s the occasional episode from “the Office”, in that case, I fully support all office shenanigans). Engaging in small talk is a guaranteed way to lose influence among peers. Be a diplomat with your team, not a dictator (see next tip).   

4. Lead as a Friend

Use discretion when it comes to rules and regulations. Learn to lead with a level of leadership that won’t cause resentment or non-compliance. Leading peers means leading as an equal. You and I both know that admitting our faults can be difficult (Hi my name is Hannah and I have a nasty habit of peanut butter over-consumption) but it is important to put away your pride and ask for advice, learn from your team, worry less about what others think and admit your faults. Demonstrating leadership does in no way mean making a show of your authority. Be smart and take actions that establish your integrity and credibility.   

Leading a team of peers is no easy feat. It puts every last bit of your leadership skills to the test. However, if you have perspective, passion, and a positive attitude, you will demonstrate to them that you believe in the value of their work. If you employ these skills into your leadership strategy, your team will work as a more cooperative unit both with and for you. Learn leadership skills and more soft skills like this in ProSky programs, or test our your peer leadership skills with a ProSky professional training program.