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The Purpose of Counseling

  • Date Submitted: 03/08/2013 05:38 AM
  • Flesch-Kincaid Score: 41.4 
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To be an effective counselor, a leader must understand his be, know, and do attributes. The Army Leadership Manual describes these attributes in detail. Briefly, what a leader must be is described by the professional Army ethic and professional character traits. What he must know includes technical and tactical information, people, and the situation. What he must do is provide leadership that directs, implements, and motivates.

A leader’s personal beliefs, technical know-how, and motives are important. To be respected and believed by his soldiers, he must have a sound professional foundation. His strengths and weaknesses as well as his sincerity will be quickly sensed; soldiers know if a leader cares and is concerned for their well-being. The leader’s character and competence are demonstrated to others by his conduct in day-to-day activities. His personal example sets the standards. Therefore, a leader should meet or exceed the standards of conduct and performance expected of subordinates. Advice and guidance offered in counseling will not be followed if the leader himself does not meet
the required standards.

Counseling is valuable to the leader in a number of ways. It can clear up misunderstandings. It can save time by teaching soldiers to solve their own problems. It can also help to improve an individual’s motivation and to develop teamwork. Counseling provides leaders the opportunity to talk with subordinates and to learn
more about their concerns and the problems they face in the unit. Finally, counseling can help keep good soldiers in the Army. Counseling is inherent in leadership—at any time, in any environment.

Counseling responsibilities range from holding scheduled, structured counseling sessions to reacting to problem situations as they occur or giving on the spot guidance and praise. Every day the small unit leader is faced with many different situations where timely guidance may help subordinates to solve...


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