Executives as counsellors at work

Stressors at the workplace

The workplace is a zone of looming stress and conflict. Unavoidable and inevitable these form part of each one’s everyday personal and professional life. All workplaces are defined by high stress, intense emotions, competition, mergers, diversity, and pressures. Those who cannot bear that burden succumb to these pressures. Depression, anxiety, phobia, social avoidance; are negative outcomes of demands which exceed the capacities of employees.

Helping oneself

In its most ingenuous definition, counseling is a method to help people help themselves. Friendship is distinct from counseling. Yet friends and colleagues can be counselors if they adopt scientific principles of counseling. Adopting that patriarchal role, organizations can partake in this responsibility to make meaningful difference in the lives of those around them.

Autocracy to Mentoring

Gone are the days of autocratic transactional leadership where superiors were feared and loathed for their authoritarianism. With the new age contemporary leadership movement, team members look up to their leader for task and goal accomplishment as well for personal upliftment and feedback. Each one must possess that ability to help others help themselves.

Need to act

Stress is unavoidable, but the degree of stress endured can be modified by changing the environment or by changing the individual’s coping mechanisms. Stress management in the workplace is an important component of organizational behavior. Personal empowerment through workshops and psychotherapy helps those who approach professionals, but senior staff at work play an important role in building psychological wellness in their own teams.

MINDFRAMES: Reframing counseling at work

We target stress management at a narrow set of individual-level interventions (e.g., education, relaxation training, biofeedback, meditation) and at broader organizational level stress interventions. Part of this included empowerment of team leaders in interpersonal and empathic skills to counsel their team in times of need. Resilient employees have greater productivity and impact their organization with their exemplary performance.

Managers as counselors?

How can a manager become a counselor?
Counseling in its professional context is a process of helping a client help himself or herself. While executives at work are not trained counselors, principles of counseling can be adopted for bettering the emotional state in employees at work. Counseling is based on the fundamental principles of empathy, unconditional regard and a desire to listen. Thus while team members do not say they are going to see their boss for a counseling session, the new age leader is empathic and supportive of his or her team.

Proficiencies instilled

The aim is to instill new age servant leadership qualities in the leaders who are capable of taking up the counselor role for their team

  • Ability to listen to others
  • Knack at being non judgmental
  • Unconditional regard for the team
  • Visioning other’s perspectives
  • Seeing the larger picture always
  • Humility about one’s strengths
  • Awareness of one’s limitations
  • Influencing people by persuasion
  • Seeing the present and future
  • Appreciating situation realities
  • Willingness to serve the team
  • Commitment to the team’s growth
  • Service beyond one’s own self
  • Building a sense of community
  • Willingness for honest feedback
  • Goal to serve and build the team