Collegial Consultation

Collegial consultation (Intervisie in Dutch) is a form of peer-to-peer consulting. It is a powerful way to learn from and with each other. During planned meetings, a group of six to eight professionals presents work-related questions and problems, which are then answered according to a fixed structure.

 

The power of collegial consultation lies in the ability of the participants to ask the presenter of a problem good open questions, to stay away from answers and solutions and to listen with an empty mind. These are all coaching skills. Thus, you could see collegial consultation as a kind of peer coaching.

 

Collegial consultation meetings usually last half a day, in which an average of three issues are discussed. Depending on the method you choose, the discussion of one issue takes forty-five to sixty minutes.

 

I am often asked to teach new collegial consultation groups how to guide themselves. I always start by training or refreshing key coaching skills and making work agreements to create a (safe!) foundation which we can refer back to. I then supervise three or four peer meetings spread over a number of months, making the group increasingly responsible for leading the sessions until you can do it all by yourself.

It’s choice, not chance, that determines your destiny.

(Jean Nidetch)