Counselling in a business venue works like counselling in any other venue. There are many features that are similar and the goal is taking something that is broken and making it whole. This can be said to be the main difference between mentoring and counselling. Mentoring builds and supports the novice while counselling does that and also repairs the established business. All counselling includes the similar steps like the following four.
The counsellor’s first goal is to engage the business or individuals within the business in evaluating the problems and the current state of the enterprise. This occurs through a series of interviews with individuals or groups. From these interviews, the counsellor assists his clients in sorting out and discovering problems that need to be fixed within the business. The counsellor will dig deeply into the workings of the business and look for problems within its techniques or larger system. This evaluation is non-judgmental in that is not about assigning blame to personnel. The question is “what is the problem” more than it is “who is the problem”. Identifying what it is that is keeping the company from being the best it can be is the priority at this stage of the counselling experience.
The counsellor does not approach the situation as though he has all the answers. His job is to guide the client in finding his solution to the problem. Advice is always a part of this but only as a suggestion. The counsellor coaxes the client to seek his own solutions to the problem and gives feedback to help guide him through the maze of choices and possibilities. Ultimately, it is the client who has to live with the decision and the counsellor recognizes this.
Organising / Reorganising
Once the solution is found, it becomes time to organize integrating it into the business. This might include small changes to the organization or more comprehensive changes. Change is never easy for anyone and most counsellors are versed in change management to help walk a business through any changes it might need to make. For a new business this may be fairly simple since all are working with a blank slate. With an older business, the resistance to changing what everyone has grown accustomed to may be more difficult. But a good counsellor will know how to guide them through it and help create a new direction for a business.
One of the biggest complaints with consultants is that they come, they pick a business apart and then they disappear leaving it in a mess with only a handful of suggestions with which to work. A good counsellor gives the business tools to monitor its progress and to re-evaluate itself frequently. Counselling is not so much about fixing things as it is about providing tools for growth and sustainable future. It sets up new patterns and behaviours within the business that can be used in the future for reflection and reorganization as needed. Clients of counsellors are not left abandoned. A counsellor typically will stay with a business or a person until all goals are met and the support is no longer needed. Ideally, when the process is finished the client is taught by the counsellor to be his own counsellor.