There is an infinite supply of blogs, websites and videos floating out there, vying for our attention on all topics imaginable. Many are bloated moments uploaded as an instant diversion but many others are amazingly informative, insightful and inspiring.

I confess that I spend too many hours passively watching, reading and sometimes listening to a variety of online sites. I wouldn’t keep doing it if I didn’t benefit in some way. Am I ever motivated by those linked in experts? creatives? emerging leaders? and not-so-famous bloggers?

Sometimes … but they rarely sustain me through to action, even if they do have a 1-2-3 list or an engaging message.  St Louis 2002

It’s the same thing with all the networks I subscribe to or attend. Please don’t misunderstand. They hold great value for learning, meeting new people, broadening my horizons…. However, there comes a time when one needs to exit cybersphere, curb the café chats, and delve into work. And when I need a thoughtful nudge or a jolt of reality, I have my real-life coaches, mentors and advisors (CMAs).

My CMAs are peers and colleagues with whom I purposefully explore and share…

ideas, ambitions, experiences and more.

What’s so special for me is the face to face interaction with people who know and care about each other. My CMAs are talented, generous, and helpful. As peer CMAs, one-on-one or in small groups:

  1. We come together with a common sense of purpose
  2. We create a gentle support base with a sense of accountability
  3. We all have valuable life-work experiences to contribute
  4. We trust and respect each other
  5. We observe ethics of confidence on personal matters
  6. We are creative and we have a lot of fun

Moving beyond the words, videos and networks — we inspire each other, we work together, and we free ourselves up to produce some amazing work within our professional and artistic endeavours.  How do we do this, exactly? Here are a few examples:

  • Ask probing questions without judgement
  • Offer alternative perspectives
  • Develop and work through creative problem solving exercises
  • Explore new places together and get the blood moving
  • Listen actively and openly
  • Observe, edit, give constructive feedback
  • Work silently on our own projects, together
  • Celebrate breakthroughs

Who is your peer mentor? Your real-life coach? Your true colleague?

 And how do they help to motivate you into action?