For each type of session, you should understand
the nature of the problem and the purpose or intent of
the meeting. You should also understand the desired
results, actions, or behaviors following a session.
Some key counseling points are as follows:
Perform counseling to solve a problem or to
fulfill a need.
Determine interview goal before meeting.
Review available records.
Give the individual the facts, whether they are
pleasant or unpleasant.
Be a good listener. Be fair.
Refer the individual to other resources for
Keep the individuals problem confidential.
Help the individual grow in self-understanding.
DO NOT lose your self control. The results
could be disastrous.
DO NOT make promises you cant keep.
DO NOT be quick to decide; not all problems are
solvable in a single counseling session.
DO NOT forget to document formal counseling
and have the counseling sheet signed.
When counseling is necessary, no matter what the
reason, you should first try to set the stage. What
does that mean? If possible, wait until after normal
work hours or at least until a lull occurs in the tempo of
operations to talk with the individual or individuals.
Try to find a quiet place where interruptions will not
occur. You may have difficulty finding a quiet place in
many operating environments, but do the best you can.
Your quiet place may be an office or a vacant corner of
the hangar deck, but try to get as much privacy as
Nondirective counseling occurs when you allow
your subordinates to determine the direction of sessions.
Your primary task is to listen to what they are saying.
Show you are actively listening by reacting to what is
said. Occasionally restate what has been said. Try to
develop a nonevaluative style of listening and
responding. That will encourage individuals to open up
and work out frustrations, fears, and worries without
fear of embarrassment. Often, simply letting people talk
out problems can help them find a solution. Use
occasional, general questions to guide the conversation.
Avoid questions that can be answered yes or no.
Often your counseling efforts will consist of little
more than providing information, pointing out
infractions, or pointing out failure to use common
sense. How you counsel will depend entirely upon
your personality and the personality of the individual
receiving the counseling. Use common sense in
developing your approach. At other times you will
have to work a little harder to get to the root of a
problem and help find a solution. When an individual
approaches you with a request for specific information
or your opinion, provided it is of a professional nature
and not a personal nature, guide them to a resolution.
Exercise caution when expressing opinions, however,
as they can become loaded guns if not carefully
thought out and expressly worded. If the concern is of a
personal nature, provide them with sources of help.
The Navy has trained professionals for this sort of help.
We all want to help our shipmates; however, caution
should be exercised when providing assistance with
You, as a frontline leader, are the first link in
spotting problems. You are in daily contact with the
workers in your unit or division. Be sure you know
how to spot problems and counsel your workers. If
you cant solve a problem, pass it up the chain of
command. If you ignore it, it may grow into a bigger
Dont be afraid to seek help when faced with an
unfamiliar situation. Your chain of command,
chaplains office, legal officer, and personnel office
often can help solve problems or offer advice. Be
aware of the resources available to you. The morale
and job performance of your people depend on your
ability to manage human resources. Unless you make
a conscious effort to develop that ability, your
leadership will never reach its full potential.
Which of the following is not a type of
advising and counseling session?