7 Accidental Counsellor Tips Connect and Influence Without Burning Out

An Accidental Counsellor Can Be Any School Staff Not Trained As Counsellors But Often Find Themselves in Counselling Situations By Accident.

The problem I see in schools is the usual approach of helping people is not working well, takes a long time and the problem issue continues without improvement. The reason this is happening is because you are time poor and may rush to give advice and come up with the solution or remedy to alleviate the problem the student is presenting to you. When you rush to tell people what to do, their motivation for doing it lessens. Not only that, you are implying that the person you are helping is not capable of coping or finding an answer for themselves. Below I outline 7 tips and principles that help you connect and influence the person you are supporting without burning out.


7 Accidental Counsellor Tips

Connect and Influence Without Burning Out



  1. It’s all about you.

It's All About YOU!

This is all about you. What state are you in? Your mental and emotional state will influence your approach. You can get triggered easily by some of the things you hear at school. You need to focus on your own wellbeing and be aware if you are stressed or anxious. With awareness you can adjust your state. Otherwise you react unconsciously to the triggers around you and this seeps into your responses.


  1. It’s all about them.

It's All About Them

Listen to the person, match, mirror and pace their language, thinking and nonverbal communication. You can’t hope to influence a person if they think, “you don’t get me”. Enter their world, communicate and reflect back to them what you are hearing and seeing. You want to “get the yes” – that is when you respond to what they say, the person speaking says “YES! That’s right”! They feel not only understood but also calm and safe. With this trust established they are more open to be influenced the solution focused language and questions you have for them.


        3. Influence.


Avoiding pain is the number one driver of human behaviour. Followed by gaining pleasure. To influence a person you need to focus on pain. Specifically, what it’s like for them when their behaviour or circumstance occurs. This is about the person telling you rather than you telling the person. Ask, “What’s it like for you when (INSERT PROBLEM) happens?” “Is this something you are sick and tired of?” “Is it something you want to change?” Of course it goes without saying that the focus also needs to be on what THEY can do rather than what OTHER people need to do.


  1. Get their why.

Get their why

This is critical. Finding personal reasons for change increases motivation for the change. It’s their reason why that has them “own” the change. The usual approach of telling a student the reasons they need to make a change lowers motivation for the change. You need them to convince you.

“So why do you think this important?” “Why would you want to make this better?”

This is the biggest issue I see in “accidental counsellor conversations” in schools. The staff member outlines all the reasons the student needs to change and the student is a passive bystander not owning or being involved in the change required of them.


  1. Paint the picture.

Paint the picture

“Constructing a vision of a solution acts as a catalyst for bringing it about.” This “Solutions Focused” approach is an evidenced based technique that helps you influence the person to achieve what they say they want to achieve. When the person tells you they are:


  1. Sick and tired of the same thing (PAIN) and
  2. Tell you WHY they want it to change you help them by getting them to
  3. Paint a picture of the change.


Ask the person, “How would you like things to be?” Here you need to ensure that the picture is:

  • Within their control
  • Has specific and concrete behaviours (actions)
  • Is in the “presence of something rather than the absence of something”. For example rather than I won’t be stressed and anxious (won’t be is the absence) I will be more relaxed and having fun (is the presence of something) etc.


  1. Focus on one thing

Focus on one thing

When the person paints a picture of how they would like things to be there may be several aspects to it. It’s important that you help them focus on ONE THING.

Say something like, “Wow you have told me several things about how you would like things to be for you.” Then reflect back to them what they have told you and ask them if you have understood correctly. When they say yes, ask them, “So which one of these things you have just told me about do you want to start with”?


  1. Follow up

Follow up

When the person tells you where they want to start, congratulate them and ask them WHEN they may start. Then let them know that you will follow up with them to see how they went. This acts as a further support and provides some accountability for them.

How To Overcome Failure

Today, I want to talk to you about Failure.
Failure can create two different worlds. In one world, failure can be used as a fuel or drive to fuel motivation and drive people to achievement and success. In another world and for other people, failure and mistakes can paralyse them. It can create a lot of procrastination and really prevent people from stepping up and being the very best that they can be.

I recall a story from a student that I was teaching and she said to me one day,

“I would rather not try and not put in the effort and fail than really work hard and putting my very best effort and fail.”

In her mind and for a lot of people, that is a justification. It’s a protection for them. They can cope with failure because they can justify in their own mind that they didn’t really work very hard for that.

Reframe Failure

How To Overcome FailureWhat we need to do is we need to reframe failure. What does this mean? It means we have to put a different meaning on it. People who use failure as a motivation and as a fuel or drive to help them achieve their goals and success see failure as information, just that. In many ways, they even welcome it. They see failure, they make a mistake, and they just go…

“Okay, now this is going to give me some information about how I can be better, make adjustments, adapt what I’m doing…”

And so, they welcome it because it helps them to improve and become better. However, for the other group of people that we were talking about that prevents them from being their best, they see failure very differently. For them, failure is personal. It’s an identity. They create an identity out of failure. I often say to people,

“Your results do not equal who you are.”

This is what we need to do now. We need to reframe failure so that we can welcome that when it comes. When it comes to see it as information, it’s a neutral thing. It’s information; not about us but about our approach. It can help adjust our approach rather than we fail and it’s…

“I’m no good.”

“I’m worthless.”

“I’m not smart.”

And it becomes personal.

Well I hope that this tip has been useful and you can use it in your own life and to help with other people. Perhaps you might want to leave a comment about how you’ve been able to use failure as a motivation to help you achieve your goals.

Thank You!

Conscious Classroom Management Training Liverpool 2012

Here are testimonials from attendees at the Conscious Classroom Management Training in Liverpool 2012

[tboc_button title=”Click here to find out more about the Conscious Classroom Management Training and register online” href=”/conscious-classroom-management-training/”]

I would recommend the Conscious Classroom Management Training to colleagues for the practical approach to classroom management.

Andrews Van Nguyen, Macquarie Fields High School

The Conscious Classroom Management Training was a great professional development, not drowned in theory, but instead providing practical strategies to help in various scenarios.

Peter van der Kley, Macquarie Fields High School

The Conscious Classroom Management Training provided great real life situations that can be applied. A great refresher course for classroom management.

Dena Dahdal, Mitchell High School

This Conscious Classroom Management Training has been absolutely fantastic and truly insightful. I have learnt lots about myself and how my class react on my feeling and attitudes. Thank you and I will be recommending that all teachers at my school at least come to one of your workshops. Thanks again.

Krystal Waite, Caringbah North Public School

The Conscious Classroom Management Training provided a range of strategies, a way of explaining students’ behaviour, a reminder to re-think how we go into a room.

Tracy Law, Hawkesbury High School

It was great at the Conscious Classroom Management Training to be reminded of behavioural management techniques, and to learn some new ones.

Daniel Shaw, Concord High School

The Conscious Classroom Management Training was very practical and gave good examples and fresh ideas for classroom management.

Ashleigh Scocco, Camden Public School

The Conscious Classroom Management Training reinforced many techniques that I am already using and provided new information.

Amanda Smith, Camden Public School

The Conscious Classroom Management Training was a very valuable session with strategies I can use every day in my classroom.

Kate Wilton, Gilroy Catholic College

The Conscious Classroom Management Training was extremely useful and engaging.

Alan Georges, Fairvale High School

The Conscious Classroom Management Training was a great day full of simple and applicable strategies.

Matthew Humphry, Prairiewood High School

Thank you very much for the time you took during the Conscious Classroom Management Training discussing specific needs of students in my class. I had tried everything and felt hopeless/unsure of how to make it to the end of the year. I feel more confident, realise I have been doing the right things and better prepared to go back to the classroom with new strategies.

Sarah Davis, Caringbah North Public School

The tips presented at the Conscious Classroom Management Training were great. Information was relevant to both Primary and High school.
Andrea Bowen, Koonawarra Public School

I liked the practical ideas presented at the Conscious Classroom Management Training, and scenarios discussed. Will surely help me and other teachers in my school. Thanks so much, Rocky. An excellent workshop!
Ni Ketut Ayu Puspita Dewi, The University of Sydney

Attendees from the following schools joined the Conscious Classroom Management Training in Liverpool

[tboc_button title=”CLICK HERE TO FIND OUT MORE ABOUT THE CONSCIOUS CLASSROOM MANAGEMENT TRAINING AND REGISTER ONLINE” href=”/conscious-classroom-management-training/”]
  • Macquarie Fields High School
  • Mitchell High School
  • Caringbah North Public School
  • Camden Public School
  • Gilroy Catholic College
  • Fairvale High School
  • Prairiewood High School
  • Hawkesbury High School
  • Concord High School
  • Koonawarra Public School
  • The University of Sydney

Teacher Professional Development

As any teacher knows, trying to control an entire classroom of young people can be extremely challenging, particularly if there are students who just do not want to cooperate. It can be difficult to know what to do to gain control and respect of the class so that each student gets the most out of their education. A well-managed class is a productive class, where students are engaged and performing at their full potential. Professional development for teachers is vital for learning classroom management strategies, interpersonal skills, and how to deal with behaviour issues.

When it comes to classroom management, prevention is the key to creating a good learning environment. This involves setting ground rules and expectations from the beginning so that students know what the boundaries are. Prevention also involves creating a good connection with the students so that they respect and trust the teacher. Once a good rapport has been established, students will be less likely to act out.

Professional development for teachers can also impart behaviour management strategies that teachers can use to keep the students on track. These could include verbal and non-verbal reinforcement, humour, positive and negative feedback, and rearranging students and work stations for better productivity. Teachers must have a range of methods for ensuring that communication lines stay open and consistency is maintained.

Finally, teacher professional development courses can give educators insight into how to correct a behavioural problem in the classroom. Effective strategies include removing the student from the classroom, diffusing the situation before it gets out of hand, and involving the parents. Experienced teachers know that not every strategy will work with every child, so professional development sessions can give teachers a range of backup options to choose from.

Regardless how long one has been teaching, a teacher professional development course can give a great deal of insight into classroom management techniques, and how to effectively facilitate better behaviour in the classroom. Teachers can learn new methods of how to assert authority, foster communication and respect, and create an environment where students can learn at their full potential. When order is maintained in the classroom, both students and teachers can benefit.

References:   http://humanconnections.com.au/conscious-classroom-management-training/  

Top 12 Ways to Enjoy Your Teaching Job

You work hourly, daily, continually, and purposefully toward creating a school experience that is satisfying for your students. But what about you? What are you doing to ensure that your school is a wonderful place to teach as well as learn?

With summer drawing near, it’s the time to stop counting down the days until break and start enjoying your job.

Here are 12 tips to help you make the most of your school days:

Amp Up Your School Social Life

1. Don’t Hunker Down:

Escape from your classroom once in awhile.While sometimes we need to insulate ourselves, take a quiet moment or maximize our classroom downtime, it’s also imperative that we actively, consistently, and intentionally seek time and space with peers. Use this brief change of scenery and moment away from the classroom to come up for air.

2. Let’s Do Lunch: Eat lunch with your peers, not alone at your desk.

The time you have in school is rarely your own. Lunch is one moment in your day when you get to seek others out. Don’t let this daily opportunity escape you.

3. Total BFFs: Make friends with colleagues.

According to Gallup, people who have a best friend at work are seven times more likely to be engaged in their job. That means that laughing, talking, and sharing time with your colleagues is a part of your job! If this goal isn’t part of your priorities, it should be.

4. Make Peace, Not War: Resolve lingering personal conflicts with colleagues.

What degree of stress walks into the building with you each morning because of a workplace conflict with a colleague? How much energy and joy does this conflict sap from your overall satisfaction with teaching? How would your energy change if this conflict was resolved? You know the answers to these questions. Now go and address it!

Make the Most of Me Time

5. Pencil It In: Schedule moments in your days when you’re NOT available but are in control of your own space and time. Even for a moment.

Making time for yourself is not a bad thing. Catching your breath, taking a moment’s peace, and re-energizing is not only good for you, it’s good for your students and colleagues. They want you peaceful and focused!

6. Loosen the Digital Leash: DON’T email during every free moment.

Little by little, your computer may be eating away at what little spare time you have. Take a weekly technology audit of your time. How much “free” time are you spending on the computer? How else could you spend this time that would better feed you and your energy?

7. The Last Bell: Leave school while it’s still light out.

Are your friends and family happy you do this work? Do you have anything left for them at the end of the day? If not, you need to dedicate yourself to creating boundaries and expectations around your role as an educator that also allow you to play the role of spouse, parent, friend, and partner. Your friends and family will thank you. Your students will too.

8. Sgt. Sleep: Get enough sleep and be militant about this goal.

Even if you stayed up late working every night, your work would never be done. Your students can’t learn when they’re exhausted. You can’t teach when you are either.

Live and Learn Like a Kid (or at least how we tell them they should)

9. Extra-Curriculars: Pursue hobbies, passions, and interests in your own life in the same way that you hope your students do.

Teaching is your job. It’s probably your passion. But that’s not all you do or all you are. Making time for your own pursuits is not only an important part of your own personal development, but also fulfills you in ways that you can then turn back to the people you serve.

10. The Kindness Boomerang: Say your “thank yous” and “good jobs” in hopes that this positivity will come back to you.

If you’re thinking kind thoughts about a colleague, say them. If you’ve been meaning to thank someone for the role they play in your life, do it. Get in the habit of speaking and writing your positive thoughts about others. Odds are, you’ll hear similar thoughts in return.

11. Reawaken Your Curiosity: Learn something new everyday.

Being a life-long learner is part of being a life-long teacher. Read about a subject matter that may or may not pertain directly to your content area. Show your students what love of learning looks like.

12. Play Student: Sit in on a colleague’s class to watch, enjoy, and learn from a peer.

The very best mentor and model you could have may be next door. Make time to watch other professionals in your building. Rather than analyzing the experience, enter into the experience with a goal of pleasure and enlightenment.

How do you stay positive in such a stress-inducing profession? Share in the comments section!

By: Nathan Eklund

Connect and Influence without Burning Out
Accidental Counsellor Training