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PRINCIPLES OF COUNSELING

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Provide supervisors with a responsive and flexible on-line management tool for main- tenance, supply, and manpower functions Improve the accuracy and timeliness of existing off-ship data reports without increasing user workload COUNSELING PERSONNEL One of the most important aspects of the chief petty officer’s job is providing advice and counseling to subordinates. CPOs who make themselves accessible to subordinates will find they are in great demand to provide information and to help in finding solutions to problems. The purpose of this section of the chapter is to present an overview of the basic principles and techniques  of  counseling.  This  section  is  not intended to be a course in problem solving, nor is it intended to provide a catalog of answers to all questions. This section will, however, give you an overview of general counseling procedures, some guidelines to use in the counseling process, and a listing of resources available as references. A point to remember is that counseling should not be meddlesome, and the extreme, of playing psychiatrist, should be avoided. But neither should  counseling  be  reserved  only  for  a subordinate that is having problems; you should also counsel subordinates for their achievements and outstanding performance. Counseling of a subordinate who is doing a good job reinforces this  type  of  job  performance  and  ensures continued good work. Counseling of this type also provides an opening for you to point out ways that a subordinate might improve an already good job  performance. Counseling the subordinate who is doing a good  job  is  relatively  easy,  but  a  different type of counseling is required for a subordinate whose performance does not meet set standards. This  section  teaches  you  how  to  counsel  the subordinate whose performance does not meet established job standards. In general, this section can be used as a guide to counseling personnel on professional, personal, and performance matters. Also, the basics presented here apply to counseling subordinates on their enlisted evaluations. PRINCIPLES OF COUNSELING Counselors should set aside their own value system in order to empathize with the person during counseling. The things the counselor may view as unimportant may be of paramount importance to the counselee. We tend to view the world  through  our  own  values,  and  this  can present problems when we are confronted with values that are at odds with our own. If persons in your unit think something is causing them a problem, then it is a problem to them, regardless of how insignificant you might believe the pro- blem to be. The objective of counseling is to give your personnel support in dealing with problems so that they will regain the ability to work effectively in the  organization.    Counseling  effectiveness  is achieved through performance of one or more of the  following  counseling  objectives:  advice, reassurance, release of emotional tension, clarified thinking, and reorientation. Advice Many persons think of counseling as primarily an advice-giving activity, but in reality it is but one of several functions that counselors perform. The giving of advice requires that a counselor make judgments about a counselee’s problems and lay out a course of action. Herein lies the difficulty, because understanding another person’s complicated emotions is almost impossible. Advice-giving may breed a relationship in which the counselee feels inferior and emotionally dependent on the counselor. In spite of its ills, advice-giving occurs in routine counseling sessions because members expect it and counselors tend to provide it. Reassurance Counseling can provide members with re- assurance, which is a way of giving them courage to face a problem or confidence that they are pursuing a suitable course of action. Reassurance can be a valuable, though sometimes temporary, cure for a member’s emotional upsets. Sometimes just the act of talking with someone about a problem can bring about a sense of relief that will allow the member to function normally again. Release of Emotional Tension People tend to get emotional release from their frustrations and other problems whenever they have an opportunity to tell someone about them. Counseling history consistently shows that as persons begin to explain their problems to a 4-26



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