The Wise Counsel In The Room Approach

Great workers are often good at making decisions. Some may also choose to seek wise counsel before pressing ahead with their chosen plans. One leader expressed this in the following way.

“The team I lead is full of positive people who have high professional standards. There are occasions, however, when we make sure that we have a wise counsel in the room.

“The team often gets to the stage of clarifying 80% of the way ahead. It is at that point we may call on the wise counsel to help us to do a reality check.

“We know the kinds of questions they will ask us – such as being clear on our goals. It is then good to get their input, however, to check we are focusing on our purpose and principles. They also help us to focus on the possible way forwards to get the desired positive results.”

There are many definitions for wisdom. Wise counsellors often have the ability:

To draw on their experience and understanding to provide perspective, pass on knowledge and help people to make considered decisions.

Different people use wise counsellors in different situations. They may draw on their knowledge:

To help them to make personal or professional decisions;

To help their team or organisation to make decisions;

To help the decision makers in society to make decisions.

Wise counsellors often provide perspective and, when invited, are prepared to offer options. They recognise, however, that it is up to the person or the group of people to make the final decision.

Different counsellors follow different frameworks when helping people to make decisions. Some follow a version of the Three C approach. Bearing in mind the decision to be made, they focus on the following themes.

Clarity: They clarify the real results to achieve – the picture of success;

Choices: They clarify the possible choices, the consequences – the pluses and minuses – of each option and the potential creative solutions;

Considered Decision: They clarify the decision the person or the people want to pursue and the strategies they can follow to achieve success.

Looking ahead, can you think of a situation where you may want to use elements of this approach? You may do this by seeking help from such a person or even acting as a wise counsellor yourself.

If you wish, try tackling the exercise on theme. This invites you to complete the following sentences.

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