50 Activities for Developing Counseling Skills in Managers
• Listeners should help the speakers draw on past interac-
tions. This is particularly helpful if they have worked in a
counseling context with the individual on previous occasions.
• At the end of about 10 minutes, listeners should produce a
second summary that should encapsulate the first summary.
• At the end of each summary, the employee is asked to
draw some kind of implication or conclusion from it; that
is, the individual is asked to take the next step. For example:
− Is this how you see the situation?
− What does this suggest to you about where you might
go from here?
• The counseling interaction is then stopped, and both the
observer and employee give feedback to the listener. The
feedback should be focused on the accuracy and helpful-
ness of the listener’s summary. As a general rule, the
summaries are helpful if they move, or help to move, an
employee forward in the counseling process, and this can
be identified when the person
• suggests new possibilities or desires;
• begins to talk about a new goal;
• begins to talk about a change in behavior, thinking,
and feeling, and how this might be achieved;
• may have identified an end goal and seen it as it
might affect the company and its performance; or
• starts to talk about a specific problem and what
he/she might do about it.
3. Repeat the process until each person in the group has had the
opportunity to play all three roles.
4. Distribute Handouts 44.2 and 44.3. Handout 44.2 gives an
example of summarizing, and Handout 44.3 lists the benefits of
using summarizing skills.
5. End by summarizing the whole activity and sharing that
summary with the participant. Use it as a basis for future action.