Counselling is a very common term that we come across at different stages of our lives. It is not uncommon that we have been on either sides of the table on numerous occasions; providing it or receiving one. Counselling is generally required when one’s ability to see through a situation or “way forward” is unclear or confusing. The process may also include instilling confidence in many occasions. Hence it can be better understood as lending or borrowing ‘a clear state of mind’ for a specific purpose. Then again lending or borrowing of a commodity can be done only when one possesses it; ‘a clear state of mind’ to offer in this case. An advice with a clear state of mind stands a better chance of arriving at a desired outcome.
We approach a person for a good counsel only when we trust that person to possess a better understanding of the current situation than us, we believe that person is our well wisher and the person is a subject matter expert in that topic. These factors remain the same when we set out to provide counsel too. Counselling should never be offered unsolicited, unless it is one of our job responsibilities or to our near and dear ones, kids (as they are yet to understand that they need an expert advice in certain situations). Unsolicited counselling will not be effective and in some cases might create even more complications than the present situation.
Counselling at work or in our personal life have the same methodologies, but for some minor differences. At work, most of the times there are set procedures learnt by experience in place, when followed meticulously always return to the desired outcome. However, counselling in our personal life is slightly different. It is usually an ideal blend of our experience and wisdom.
The process of counselling could get complicated involving many factors such as financial, emotional, attitude etc. The list is endless, but here we will focus only on the framework involved. A few pointers below will help us understand the process in detail and serve as a guide to counsel effectively:
· Listening and understanding the problem - identifying the route cause is an essential exercise that needs to be done.
· Assessing the gravity of the situation, explaining the impact that it will have on the person who is being counselled is another important component – Remember the suggestion may not be the perfect solution for the problem in question. However, it needs to be a good fit for the person in question. (therefore the solution offered should be derived by assessing the capabilities of the person in question; in other words a practical one)
· Suggest a way forward explaining the benefits of implementing the suggestion – ‘In my opinion the best solution for you in the current situation’ is a good way to offer the solution.
Preparing the person before offering the solution, emphasizing the capabilities and limitations would send the message clearly and effectively. A good solution provided with a clear understanding of the situation, will benefit the person in many ways which otherwise would be difficult with their current state of mind. The benefits of the outcome will be remembered for a real long time.
My earlier post will provide an in depth analysis of our reactions to different situations. It will help us distinguish as to how we would react to a particular situation and how best we could possibly accomplish otherwise.
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