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Junior Leader Training -- White Stag Leadership Development
Note Newly published! Learn about the basic eleven leadership competencies every teen needs. Order the book Team Leadership Skills for Teens.


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:

  • Encourages individuals to talk and express their feelings in a safe, trusting environment.
  • Helps reduce minor interpersonal aches and pains—common sense stuff.
  • Helps the person talk about "where it hurts."
  • Is focused on what to do "until the doctor arrives."
  • Enables a learner to see a need for change—a change in his attitude— and accept the help you or members of his patrol or others can give him.

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?

  • Because everyone has challenges or problems from time to time.
  • Because as an effective leader, individuals will grow to respect you. They will seek you out and ask for counsel from you.

“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.

Note Newly published in 2016. Learn about the basic eleven leadership competencies every teen needs. Order the book Team Leadership Skills for Teens. Buy it now—only $9.99. Copyright 2008 Brian Phelps. All Rights Reserved. Brief passages may be quoted for reviews or commentary.

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