There is two main ways to provide support as a leader: Counselling and Mentoring
By dictionary definition a Counselor is: “a person trained to give guidance on personal, professional or psychological problems”
Any organization serious about retaining its best people and establishing a long lasting culture, would have a system of counselling as a fundamental part of its strategy.
Companies and organizations invest millions in training employees, middle management or even partners – investments all to be lost if those trained individuals were to up and leave.
The likes of smaller companies and no-profits who generally do not have the budget to pay large salaries or provide other incentives as retainers, suffer greatly when key human resources dwindle.
An effective counselling system in a company or institution is a key solution to develop a caring organizational culture where individuals feel valued, understood, cared for and appreciated.
A system would be compiled of trained individuals who are actively looking out for the welfare of others.
Counselors care for an individual’s physical, emotional and spiritual well being, helping whenever the need arises.
Life has its ups and downs, its swings and roundabouts – each and every one of us find ourselves in situations when we need help and support, or simply just someone who we can talk to.
There are phases in everyone’s life that are critical… phases where one needs assistance.
That type of assistance will not always be available from a friend, partner, colleague or a superior.
A counselors duty, their service, is to understand… to be in tune with what’s happening in one’s life – to be a non judgmental confidant – knowing what the individual would like to change or develop, listening and being responsive to changes, helping set relevant and realistic goals, mentoring and facilitating growth.
There are 2 main areas of developing a culture or care in a community be that a company or institution.
Personal care, as I just outlined, and organizational cultural training.
Both could be done as a part of a well developed counselor system.
The personal qualities of a counselor are paramount.
They should be individuals who are selfless, compassionate, loyal, responsible, learned, balanced and above all patient, recognizing that growth is dependent on time, place and circumstance.
As well as individual counselors offering personal support, they will collectively offer organisational cultural training where groups of individuals from all levels of the workforce / community get the chance to grow together:
– to expand their consciousness,
– better their communication skills,
– develop their problem solving skills
– strengthen their values and understanding of each other
Speaking for myself, I feel protected, understood, nourished and enthused that I have an active counselor / mentor in my life, and that I belong to an organization where cultural development is emphasized a lot – it creates a background of well being and nurturing based on common shared values that lends to a personal commitment from me.
Do you have access to a mentor or counselor system?
If not, ask your seniors to discuss its importance and implementation.
Ask yourself do you naturally care for others?
Find out how to develop that natural tendency to serve those around you.
- Zoltan Hosszu, Joyful Leadership Manual
- Oxford Living Dictionary (2019). Oxford University Press. Retrieved