What is it?
Peer leadership is a concept that may be integral to any peer-based intervention and is most often found in peer education programs.1,2 Peer leadership programs are also used to foster the development of leadership skills within the context of social justice.3 How does it work?
Peer leaders are individuals who already possess natural characteristics of leading others and who are nominated to take on a leadership position to carry out a more guiding and facilitating role.1,2 Peer leadership programs are based on the following premises: * Peer groups are powerful influences on the attitudes and behaviors of their members. * When young people come face to face with the realities of intolerance, they are often highly motivated to take action. * Peer leaders need to learn and practice basic skills and competencies to be effective. * Skill development occurs best when peer leaders are first exposed to a body of knowledge and then have opportunities to integrate that knowledge into their lives.3 Common ways peer leadership is used
The types of roles and responsibilities of a peer leader may include acting as a role model, educator, mentor or counselor for the respective peer group.1,2 Within the context of social justice, peer leaders are often trained to acquire knowledge and skills which help to promote the development of respectful, inclusive schools and communities. Peer leaders are encouraged to take active roles to address issues that are of most concern to them to work together in order to improve schools, communities and organisations for young people. 3 Examples of peer leadership program approaches
Peer Group Connection
PAL – Peer Assistance Leadership Program
Partners for Youth with Disabilities – Peer Leadership Program
How to lead your peers
By John Baldoni on March 31st, 2011 | 854516 comments on this posthttps%3A%2F%2Fsmartblogs.com%2Fleadership%2F2011%2F03%2F31%2Fhow-to-lead-your-peers%2FHow+to+lead+your+peers2011-03-31+19%3A40%3A29John+Baldonihttp%3A%2F%2Fsmartblogs.com%2Fleadership%2F%3Fp%3D8545 Tweet
Sometimes the best way to put yourself forward is to take a step back. Leadership is an act that requires stepping forward as a means of asserting authority. When it comes to leading peers, you can demonstrate authority by showing that you are willing to share your authority with others. Peer leadership is something that is often overlooked in leadership circles because, most often, we focus on what and how leaders lead their followers. This is appropriate, but much of what’s accomplished within an organization is because of people in the middle who get things done. Sometimes it requires leading up — what you do for your boss — but often, it requires what you do with and for your colleagues — leading peers. Throughout history, we have seen seemingly ordinary folk step up and take charge. Call it the “Cincinnatus model.” Cincinnatus was a Roman farmer who left his land behind to serve as Rome’s leader when the city was threatened by warring tribes. When peace was restored, Cincinnatus resigned his post and returned to his farm. Selfless service by Cincinnatus served as inspiration for George Washington, who followed his example. Leadership from the middle need not be an act of heroism, but it should be done with forethought and planning. The first thing to understand about leading peers is that it is a means of exerting control over someone else. If you have brothers and sisters, or if your children do, then you know the frequent complaint: “You’re not the boss of me.” With peers, you do not boss — you lead — and most often you do it by setting the right example. Let me offer some suggestions:
* Find the pain. Sometimes the need to act is urgent; it will hit you with the force of a two-by-four across the face. Crises provoke the need for immediate action. But you do not need to wait for a burning platform to step forward. Sometimes the...