When a person or a business seeks the help of a counsellor, they are seeking the help of someone who can share his expertise. Not everybody is equipped to be a counsellor, but almost anyone with business insight can become a counsellor in time. The minimum list of skills include:
Business Training and Experience
The client expects the counsellor to understand business. Often this will come from his own business experience. Other times it will come from training or a degree program. Sometimes both are called into play when it comes to counselling. But some kind experience in business is a must for the business counsellor. The client rightfully expects the counsellor has an advanced understanding when it comes to business and finance. A counsellor should be comfortable in that world and be familiar with all the resources and rules that are involved. They should have an understanding of business methods and philosophies and should be able to guide his clients to their solutions.
A counsellor needs to able to look at a problem and be able to dissect it and find its causes. The first critical thinking tool that a counsellor needs is to develop keen observation skills. He should be able to look at a situation and quickly grasp all of its parts. He then needs to probe until he understands as fully as possible all of those parts. A counsellor needs an analytical mind that can easily find its way around many details. When it comes to problem-solving a counsellor should be able to think in creative ways and have a strong grasp on the principles of logic. He needs to understand how to validate and test conclusions so he can help the client develop a workable alternative to a problem. His should be able to express his ideas in clear and concise language and help his clients do the same with their ideas.
A business is a group of people who come with the goal of making a living and creating an enterprise. Much of what a counsellor often does is discover how well or how poorly a group of people work together. He should be able to see quickly who is carrying most of the weight and who is carrying the least. If there are problems within the group, the counsellor can help the client discover the dynamics behind it. From there he can help the company resolve any “people problems” that might be hampering productivity. To do this, a counsellor must have a good understanding of human interaction and how groups perform.
Coaching skills are a little different from people skills in that a coach is more of a motivational influence. Using a sports metaphor, a coach is not a performer. He just guides the athlete to perform at his best level. A counsellor doesn’t “fix” a business. But in a coach-like manner, he guides the business to solve its own problems. In doing so, the client should learn enough about himself, his business, and his market to begin to solve his own problems. A good coach becomes obsolete as the athlete integrates the things he learns with the coach into his performance. A business counsellor should also seek such obsolescence.