Peer support

The 360° appraisal process supports, besides self-assessment and feedback, the professional development of trainers. One of the key pillars of this professional development is peer support trio. Trios (you + 2 other trainer colleagues) will be there to support you through this 360° appraisal process. You can help each other to interpret the data, extract the key insights, be devil’s advocate and plan your further professional development based on the findings.

We will give you some guidelines on how your trio could function, but it is important to know from the start that it should be tailored to you and your trio’s current needs, plans and wishes.

In these guidelines you will find answers on:

  • How to find your trio
  • What you need to do before meeting with your trio
  • How you could use your trio time
  • What if things do not work out and possible pitfalls
  • Resource bank

Download Appraiser Peer Support Guidelines in PDF

  • When finding two other people, we advise that they are not your closest colleagues but, in fact, those that you have not worked with a lot (or at all) until now.
  • These two other people could be from your organisation, pool of trainers you belong to, trainers’ association in your city or country, etc.
  • Reach out to them and make sure you have an agreement that you are a trio now.
  • In case you find yourself in an international group of trainers, you could also form your trio based on geographical closeness if you feel that there is a chance that you could actually meet in person.

Trio peer support is part of the 360° appraisal process and as such, comes after you have done your self-assessment and collected relevant feedback. Therefore, the steps that you should not miss before meeting your trio are:

Step 1: Complete your self-assessment by using the Appraiser platform. We recommend that you do self-assessment in all 7 competence areas, but we leave the final choice to you.

Step 2: Collect feedback from people who have seen you in action as a trainer. These people should have diverse roles: colleague trainers, contractors and participants. Ideally, you should gather 10 feedback forms (for the same competence area). You can ask for feedback on all 7 competence areas or choose 1 or 2. The important thing is that you have feedback from approximately 10 different people for each competence area you choose. You can use Feedback options on the AppRaiser platform for this as well.

Once you have completed these two steps, you are ready to face your trio.

Starting your trio for the first time, we recommend the following structure:

  • Start with opening and checking in. If you do not know each other, present yourself and your areas of work as a trainer, check with yourself and each other how you are at the moment and how much you want to share.
  • Share your expectations and needs – what do you want to get from the trio? What are the current needs behind this process,  e.g: lacking recognition of your work or longing for community and contribution?
  • Talk about the internal rules and guidelines you would like to follow, eg: keeping it confidential, being respectful, non-judgemental place could be a start.
  • Discuss what could be your shared purpose as a trio. It could be beneficial to write it down (e.g. create a shared Google doc for documenting your meetings), remember it and come back to it once in a while e.g to have an open and supportive space for sharing and learning from it through reflection and group empathy.
  • When trio foundations are complete, you can start! We propose to start sharing your 360 process (self-assessment you did and feedback you got) with each other: What were your impressions? How are you feeling about it? What are your conclusions? What do you want to do about it now? Some plans or steps to take?
  • When sharing make sure everyone has equal time to share and be heard.
  • Make plans for your next trio meeting! Schedule it realistically in your agenda.
  • Closure – check in again. How are you right now? How did this trio time serve you? What are you taking away with you?

If you have already been through the first (possibly unfamiliar) trio meeting, then for the next meetings we propose the following structure:

  • Opening- checking in with each other, how are we today
  • Decide how much time you can spend together for the trio, ensuring you leave time as well for closing
  • While you share, your situation/insights/thought, others have their focus on you with the intention of understanding and support
  • If you wish you could share and discuss these areas: Current needs in your professional development; ETS competence area you are focusing on and support on making sense out of it; Supervision of a current training environment situation that happened; Exercises from Hold Your Aces
  • The next person that shares can choose the same focus or use their time in a different way
  • Closing – check if your needs were met – did you connect with each other? Did you give and receive support? Is the structure of trio working for you?
  • Make plans for your next trio meeting! Schedule it realistically in your agenda.

Knowing that the objective of the peer support trio is to support your professional development, it is completely ok that some things will not work out and you would question the purpose of it, you can find yourself facing some of the following:

Possible traps, pitfalls What to do?
Listening to your peers (our yourself!) storytelling about something that is not connected with the intended topic. The need for sharing could sometimes be so strong that it could lead to venting on some triggers or topics that are not connected and in line with the needs of all in the trio. Recognise the moment, acknowledge it but break the story, bring attention to the present moment and lead to the key point of your trio.
Awkward silence, not knowing what to discuss, no clear direction Address the silence and share how it makes you feel. This is often a good conversation starter. At the same time, sometimes it is OK to be silent for a moment or two and then the new direction will appear.
Busy schedules making it difficult to meet. This is a real challenge, especially if at least one of you is a freelancer. And most probably, other things are higher on the priority list. Nonetheless, finding time is part of the commitment and perhaps you can first recheck priorities yourself and then with your trio as well.
Feeling the need of going in a direction that is not in line with the intended use of the trio – for instance: not exploring the feedback received but instead exploring more pressing (trainer) work-related issues You can find yourself in need of support based on a recent situation that could have a big impact on you. Practise making specific requests based on your needs from your trio- would they be willing to spend time to listen to you and offer support? Remind yourself that the learning comes from both sharing and listening, so this could be beneficial for all.
Occurring conflicts, different opinions, finding yourself debating rather than supporting It is totally ok to find ourselves in a place of ‘storming’ if you are getting annoyed with each other by recognising differences – acknowledge that to the group and how it makes you feel. Come back to your shared purpose and agreements and be ready to move on with creating an even more mature and safe space for trio support.

If even one member of the group is not thriving, the whole group may need support from the AppRaiser team: We invite you to seek support as soon as you sense that something is not working and you do not feel confident to address it yourself in your trio.