We all have different working styles.

Some of us are self-contained, prefer working alone and seldom solicit opinions from others. Some prefer working in a group, asking advice and opinions, recognising the value of different perspectives.

The former can be satisfying – there’s nothing like seeing a task through and knowing the ideas, the execution and the end result are all down to you.

However, seeking help or opinions isn’t a sign of weakness. On the contrary, knowing when to do so shows strength and wisdom which will pay dividends.

As Ken Blanchard famously said: “None of us are as smart as all of us”.

I hosted a Webinar last week featuring a special guest speaker from San Diego, Leo Bottary, founder and managing partner of Peernovation. He’s an author, keynote speaker and thought leader on the topic of “peer advantage”.

Addressing an online audience of CEOs and business leaders from Scotland and the North of England, he discussed the array of reasons why it’s important to be part of a group of smart individuals from diverse backgrounds and to listen to a variety of perspectives. This is where innovative ideas and opportunities can be found.

Matthew Syed in his latest book “Rebel Ideas” highlights the need for this diversity to avoid group think, when everyone thinks and acts in similar ways, leading to catastrophic myopia – which he believes contributed to the tragedy of 9/11.

We also learn better in a group setting, as Leo demonstrated with some fascinating statistics.

If we review a piece of material once, we’ll remember 28 per cent of it for up to 48 hours. If we review it a second time, that goes up to 46 per cent. But if we review and discuss the material with others it goes up to a staggering 69 per cent.

Plus we’re more likely to act on what we’ve learned because a group can give us the courage to do so.

But peer group dynamics have to be right in order for them to be effective.

Leo talked about the importance of “psychological safety” in a group. Members must feel able to be open and transparent instead of putting on a brave face and pretending their problems don’t exist. And confidentiality is key to achieving that safe and secure environment.

This really resonated with me. My role as Vistage Chair has taught me all too well that honesty and openness is crucial to the success of peer groups, and that also applies to teams within the same organisation.

Leo discussed the difficulties faced by workplaces amid the Covid-19 pandemic and noted that, thankfully, platforms like Zoom still make it possible for us to work in a collaborative manner even although we’re on lockdown.

In fact, it’s actually paving the way for stronger collaboration in a number of ways.

Many junior staff are getting more 1-2-1 time with CEOs than ever before or are getting a chance to come out of the background more often. And we’re not all just sticking to boardroom chat – we’re being more open about personal things like our families and our emotional wellbeing.

One of the webinar attendees really hit the nail on the head when he noted that holding a work video call was essentially inviting colleagues into your home.

He believed this was strengthening the bond between his staff because it created transparency, allowed people to show their vulnerabilities and encouraged staff to be flexible to one another’s personal needs. That’s what builds trust – a key ingredient for high performing teams.

This goes to show that there can indeed be opportunity in adversity. While we’d much rather it was still the “old normal”, let’s hope the lessons we’ve learned during this new normal will help us create a more positive working culture as we move forward.

Laura Gordon is a CEO coach and group chair with Vistage International, a global leadership development network for CEOs.