Counseling employes simple, lay coaching and communciation techniques. At its simplest, it is a private talk with someone that helps the individual with a personal problem. Counseling:
As a leader, people will come to you with problems. Because you are a leader, you will spot people with problems. You can't turn them away or just let them suffer, because the ignored problem, if serious, will almost inevitably become a group problem.
Counseling is considered pretty difficult. Professional counselors, like lawyers, bankers, clergymen, vocational counselors, teachers, psychiatrists and others, sometimes spend years learning how to counsel in their fields. People often pay large amounts of money to be counseled.
Why should leaders learn to counsel? Why should a team leader, for instance, need to know how to counsel? Why is it considered one of the competencies a leader ought to know?
“Counseling” is sometimes just another word for “listening.” When troubled, many times it helps the individual to just talk it out, to voice their concerns and express what’s troubling them. Just having their worries or problems heard by another gives the person a sense that his or her problems are legitimate, thus perhaps increasing their self-esteem and their feelings of adequacy in handling the situation.