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U.S. Army Counseling

A quick overview on Army Counseling and exercise to help ROTC Cadets understand counseling.
by

Aaron Hrdlicka

on 22 October 2014

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Transcript of U.S. Army Counseling

Event-Oriented Counseling
Event counseling covers a specific event or situation. It may precede events such as going to a promotion board or attending a school. It may also follow events such as an exceptional duty performance, a performance problem, or a personal problem. Event counseling is also recommended for reception into a
unit or organization, for crises, and for transition from a unit or separation from the Army
Who is an Army leader?
An
Army leader
is anyone who by virtue of assumed role or assigned responsibility inspires and
influences people to accomplish organizational goals. Army leaders motivate people both inside and
outside the chain of command to pursue actions, focus thinking, and shape decisions for the greater
good of the organization.

The reason for counseling?
- To help subordinates develop in order to achieve organizational goals and objectives.

- "Subordinate Development" to help subordinates improve or maintain performance, solve problems, and attain goals.
Performance counseling
Performance counseling is the review of a subordinate’s duty performance during a specified period. The leader and the subordinate jointly establish performance objectives and clear standards for the next counseling period. The counseling focuses on the subordinate’s strengths, areas to improve, and potential. Effective counseling includes providing specific examples of strengths and areas needing improvement and
providing guidance on how subordinates can improve their performance. Performance counseling is required under the officer, noncommissioned officer (NCO), and Army civilian evaluation reporting systems.
Professional growth
Professional growth counseling includes planning for the accomplishment of individual and
professional goals. It has a developmental orientation and assists subordinates in identifying and achieving
organizational and individual goals. Professional growth counseling includes a review to identify and
discuss the subordinate’s strengths and weaknesses and the creation of an IDP. The plan builds on existing
strengths to overcome weaknesses.

Approaches to counseling
Counseling is not about leader comfort; it is about correcting the performance or developing the character of a subordinate. To be effective counselors, Army leaders must demonstrate
certain qualities: respect for subordinates, self-awareness, cultural awareness, empathy, and credibility. One challenging aspect of counseling is selecting the proper approach for a specific situation. To counsel effectively, the technique used must fit the situation
ARMY Counseling
FM 6-22
Coaching
While a mentor or counselor generally has more experience than the person being supported does, coaching relies primarily on teaching and guiding to bring out and enhance the capabilities already present. From its original meaning, coaching refers to the function of helping someone through a set of tasks. Those being coached may, or may not, have appreciated their potential. The coach helps them understand their current level of performance and instructs them how to reach the next level of knowledge and skill.

Future battlefield environments will place additional
pressures on developing leaders at a rapid pace.
To help these leaders acquire the requisite abilities, the Army relies on a leader development system that
compresses and accelerates development of professional expertise, maturity, and conceptual and team
building skills. Mentoring is a developmental tool that can effectively support many of these learning
objectives. It is a combat multiplier because it boosts positive leadership behaviors on a voluntary basis.

Mentoring
Mentorship is the voluntary developmental relationship that exists between a person of greater
experience and a person of lesser experience that is characterized by mutual trust and respect
Task:
The purpose of this class is to conduct training for Cadets on the proper way to counsel an individual.
Condition:
In a classroom environment a platoon sized element will receive instructions on the proper way to conduct a counseling according to FM 6-22.
Standards:
At the end of this class, Cadets should know the correct way and different approaches to counseling.
Stages of a Counseling Session
Open the Session:
Identify the purpose and establish a constructive and subordinate-centered one.
Discuss the Issue:
Help the subordinate develop an understanding of the issues and the viable goals to effectively deal with them.
Develop a Plan:
Develop a plan of action with the subordinate
Close the Session:
Discuss the implementation, including the leaders role in supporting the subordinates effort.
Types of Developmental Counseling
- Event Counseling

-Performance Counseling

- Professional Growth Counseling
Platoon Sergeant Initial Counseling (Event)
When?
Why?
Tips?
After
- discussing PSG's goals, family and experience with the PSG

- Inform the PSG of your goals, family and experience

- Relay your expectations

- Reveiw the Platoon's mission

- Review OER

- Update NCOER Support Form

*conduct follow up counseling every 90 days*
WITHIN 30 DAYS!
positive impact on working relationship
Develops a better command team
enforces critical thinking
Discuss what is important to you and the mission
Take time to prepare
create/ update everything
put everything in writing
Practical Exercise
Break into groups of three
Leader
Leader
Leader
Subordinate
Observer
Scenario 1
Leader:
You are the platoon leader for a military police unit in Germany. You have been in Germany for almost two years. Your family joined you four months ago after a 15-month wait for government quarters. When you first arrived, you considered economy housing for your family, but the expense was above your means. You also knew your family would be uncomfortable in the housing that you could afford to pay. Also, the housing would be far away from the military community facilities, including the schools, and your family does not speak German.

PVT Whidby has been in your platoon only a couple of weeks. He just approached you asking for a few days off so he can make arrangements to bring his expectant wife over to join him.
Subordinate:
You are PVT Whidby. You have been in the Army for ten months. You joined the Army because you couldn't find a job when you graduated high school. You married your high school sweetheart right after graduation. The two of yo lived on her earnings from the local steak house until you joined the Army. You and your wife have not had contact with her parents since the day you two got married. They did not approve of the marriage right after high school since you did not have a job; they thought you were not mature enough for the responsibilities of marriage.

You were at Ft. Bliss when the opportunity to transfer to Germany came up. Your wife was not happy at Ft. Bliss, so you decided to take the transfer to Germany. Your wife had been working in El Paso to save some money for the baby and she understood that you would have to go to Germany to get settled before she could come over. She presently lives in a rented trailer home. She wants to use the money that was originally saved for the baby to pay for utility deposits and for her plane to Germany. Your baby is due in three months and the doctor wont let her fly after the seventh month; this means you have to bring her over by the end of next week.

You asked to see your platoon leader to get a few days off work to arrange things.
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Scenario 2
Leader:
You are SPC Evenhus' platoon leader. Yesterday, you received word that SPC Evenhus did not perform his assigned duties to established standards.SPC Evenhus did not turn off the computer prior to leaving work and there was a fire that destroyed the computer. Prior to the incident, SPC Evenhus had performed his duties in an excellent manner. You have notified him that you wish to speak to him about yesterday's incident.
Subordinate:
You are SPC Evenhus. Your platoon leader has called you into the office to speak to you about the fire that destroyed the computer yesterday. You recognize that you may have been responsible for the fire. However, you have personal problems and you can't keep your mind on the job. Three weeks ago, Mr.House from Fly-By-Night Loan Company called you about a loan which you signed as a co-signer two years ago for your best friend who needed the money to buy a new car. At the time, you thought helping your friend purchase a new car was the right thing to do. Since then, some events have raised some doubt. For example, when Mr. House called, he told you the account was four months behind on payments and he was unable to contact your friend.He stated that his company insists immediate payment on the account. You managed to get a two-week postponement and you tried unsuccessfully to locate your friend. You have been avoiding Mr.House's calls because you do not see a solution. You have not told your wife because she did not want you to cosign the loan in the first place. The day you forgot to turn the computer off you left work early because your wife called and she sounded extremely upset. Mr' House talked to your wife and informed her that the remaining balance was due and if it was not cleared up immediately, the company would take you to court. Now you are facing a real dilemma. Your small savings are not enough to cover the debt and your on a stretched budget, you can't afford a lawyer. Your parents are unable to assist you.
Leader:
You are a platoon leader and your squad leader SSG Johnson just finished accompanying one of your best Soldiers, SPC Seals, to the Battalion Soldier of the Month Board. An hour later, your Platoon Sergeant steps in to say t Battalion CSM just called and informed him that SPC Seals won the board.

You decide to call SPC Seals into your office to counsel him on his outstanding performance and hard work that he demonstrated in preparing for the board. It is well known that the CSM takes a lot of pride in making his boards extremely competitive and winning the board is definitely no easy task.

During this counseling session, SPC Seals informs you that it is definitely his intent to continue on with his board process and further compete in the Brigade Soldier of the Quarter board which will be coming up in two months. You decide to take this opportunity to begin outlining a plan of action for his preparation for the board.
Subordinate:
You are SPC Seals and you have been in the Army for three years and in the unit over six months. Earlier this morning you competed in the Battalion Soldier of the Month Board. An hour later, the Battalion CSM called both you and your squad leader into his office and informed you that you won the board.

Your squad leader informs you that the platoon leader wants to see you in order to counsel you for winning the board. During the counseling session, you inform your platoon leader that you want to continue the board competitions and compete in the upcoming Soldier of the Quarter Board.
Scenario 3
Questions
FM 6-22
DA FORM 4856
What are the three approaches
to counseling?
-Directive

-Non-directive

- Combined
Directive
Advantages
Disadvantages
- Quickest method
- Good for people who need clear, concise direction
- Allows counselors to active use their experience

- Doesn't encourage subordinates to be part of the solution
- Tends to treat symptoms, not problems
- Tends to discourage subordinates from talking freely
- Solution is the counselor's, not the subordinate's

When do you use the Directive approach?
When time is short


When the leader knows what to do


When the Soldier has limited problem-solving abilities


*usually works best with small issues*
The five characteristics of effective counseling.
Purpose:
Clearly define the purpose of the counseling.

Flexibility:
Fit e counseling style to the character of each subordinate and to the relationship desired.

Respect:
View subordinates as unique, complex individuals, each with a distinct set of values, beliefs and attitudes.

Communication:
Establish open, two-way communication with subordinates using spoken language, nonverbal actions, gestures and body language. Effective counselors listen more than speak.

Support:
Encourage subordinates through actions while guiding them through their problems.


Non-directive
Advantages
Disadvantages
- Encourages maturity
- Encourages open communication
- Develops personal responsibility

- More time-consuming
- Requires greatest counselor skill

Combined
Advantages
Disadvantages
- Moderately quick
- Encourages maturity
- Encourages open communication
- Allows counselors to actively use their experience
- May take too much time for some situations
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