As a PR practitioner, (and probably with every other job), it is important to take breaks from a day in the office and allow time for professional development opportunities. Whether it be a refresher of the basics, or something you’ve never learned before, I believe the insight allows for a reminder of why I love what I do every day.
On Tuesday, I attended the NCPRSA Public Relations and Marketing Seminar where I sat in a session called “Counselors Are Made, Not Born: How to Grow Into a Counselor, Not Just a Tactician” and acquired 12 steps to becoming a successful counselor. Each of these resonated with me for several reasons. Here they are:
1. Be a student of humans: In order to be an auspicious counselor, we must understand how we think and act as individuals, specifically in a group settings. In public relations, as a counselor, you will be advantageous if you continue to be fascinated by, and study others.
2. Be a student of yourself: Understand what motivates you to assist in finding what motivates others. Be aware of how you interpret situations, as well as how you react to situations. Aspire to be the best version of yourself every day.
3. Be an expert: In your business, in your clients business, in your competition, in all current trends… The more you know, the better a counselor you will serve as to others.
4. Try on someone else’s shoes: In every situation ask yourself “what would it be like to be that person?” Understanding your audience is imperative.
5. Appeal to basic human instincts: Be certain that your guidance is allowing for a solution that keeps everyone healthy, safe, and comfortable.
6. Keep it simple: Confusing your audience does not inspire clarity or reason. Speak clearly, speak honestly and leave them with one thing to remember.
7. Show that you care: Oftentimes, the power of praise is forgotten. Check your ego at the door, be respectful of colleagues, attentive to clients, and never forget to say thank you. It goes farther than you think.
8. Show a “spark”: Whether you’re in a meeting, defining a strategy or solving a problem, present something new and different. Give those you are mentoring something to think about, and more importantly something to strive for.
9. “Be the ball, Danny” (This was presented by men…naturally, there was a sports reference): Too often, we forget to trust our instincts. Successful counselors trust their gut.
10. Learn to ask and to listen: Don’t be shy about asking questions and being inquisitive, regardless of your level or leadership. As a counselor, be patient with those who have questions.
11. Choose wisely: Counsel those who are excited to learn from you. Give them extra opportunities to go out a limb. Pass your expertise down the ladder – watching them grow into a counselor themselves is extremely rewarding.
12. Go forth and conquer: Be confident in your expertise. Be confident in the fact that people trust you. Be confident in the results you produce. You are a mentor, a role model, a counselor – go forth and conquer.