The Value of Your Peer Relationships

Almost all of us in the automotive industry have experienced some level of upheaval during the Coronavirus pandemic, and we can expect this uncertainty to continue in the economy for a while longer.  During this time, we have been looking for stability and ways to get through this situation.

We have found that our members are relying on each other more and more, and have found value in those relationships for both their businesses and their personal lives.  Members of RLO Training’s Bottom-Line Impact Groups have been meeting every week for 45 minutes to share good news and ideas with each other.  Restaurant challenges, community business collaborations, and T-shirt sales are some of the brilliant ideas that our members have come up with together.  Having non-competing peers from across the nation support each other and network during this difficult time has been invaluable.


Collaboration Yields Innovation


At all shops, safety is obviously our number one priority.  When it came to developing our responses to the virus, some shops that quickly created innovative solutions were able to share their policies and procedures with other members.  Instead of having to recreate the wheel, people were able to learn very quickly from their peers who were a step or two ahead in the timeline of the pandemic.  By adopting and adapting those practices from peer shops, a lot of trouble has been avoided.

By having guidelines that someone you know and trust has already developed, you are able to adjust your business practices to integrate those new ideas and policies.  As a business owner, it can be easy to get stuck in the way you have always done things, or to only see the things that affect yourself and your environment.  If you are relying on your own ideas, you are limited by your own experience.  When you expand your outlook to draw in your peers and bring in their thinking, you are able to come up with better ideas, better plans, and maybe even see the weaknesses that you didn’t see when you were stuck in your own space. 


Don’t Let Your Ideas be Limited by Your Experience


Not only are our ideas limited by our own experiences, but our information can be limited.  Whether it’s information on government assistance, city/county/state regulations, or just updates on the pandemic, the information flow can be confusing.  By reaching out, we are able to get the right information and can potentially apply for a program on time, or we are able to stay informed so we can give accurate information to our customers.  On the weekly phone calls for our members, RLO Training made sure all of the shops were aware of the payroll protection opportunity, and each of our members that needed to apply were able to do so and receive that government grant.  As all the information continues to be updated, it’s important that we reach out to our peers and share the resources that we find.


Perspective is Everything


Sharing best practices and confirming correct information is extremely useful.  These benefits can be a direct result of your peer relationships, but that’s not the only way that a relationship works.  When you offer advice and perspective to members of your community, you get to see the challenges they are facing.  Not only are you giving back into this peer relationship, but you can also see how other people’s situations can be applied to your own challenges.  As you collaborate with your peers to address their situation, you can gain clarity for your own environment.

Peer relationships are not only for the operations of a business.  Relying on our colleagues lets us know that we’re not alone in facing these challenges.  In this time of constant change and new challenges, the psychological support that we receive from others is invaluable.  We are not just seeing other shops experience the same situation; we are actually getting the direct support of others, which is truly valuable for us as leaders.  The network of support that our group members have been able to count on has been essential, and as one of our members put it, he doesn’t know how he would have been able to deal with this situation if he had not been part of a group.  


In Conclusion


By sharing best practices, people have saved each other from doing extra work.  Through critical thinking, our shops have been able to remove the limitation on their own thinking.  And by learning about other people’s challenges, we can understand our own situations even better.  We can directly support each other in this pandemic, and use our network to get encouragement and strength in this time.

RLO Training’s Bottom-Line Impact Groups provide you with support and a community.  If you are a shop owner and would like the benefits of being in a peer group, please contact RLO Training for more information.

Call us at 800-755-0988 or click here to contact us. 

RLO Training coaches and trains shops to run efficiently and profitably.

Written by RLO Training