Today, I want to share some of my best Army Quarterly Counseling Tips with you. As a leader, you are required to conduct a quarterly counseling with anyone you supervise who is a NCO or Officer. This counseling should be done face-to-face and summarized in writing. While I bet that fewer than 2% of all Army leaders actually do this (it might be even less than that) you should still make it happen. Here are a few tips to help you succeed.
Tip # 1: Get Organized
The first thing you need to do is get organized. You should create a counseling packet for each person you rate. Add in all the important documents and keep it updated in a central location. Make sure you have their previous counseling statements, evaluation reports, 2-1, and other important documents.
Tip # 2: Educate Yourself
Your next step is to educate yourself about Army Counseling. If you don’t have a lot of experience counseling others, there are plenty of manuals, regulations and resources you can refer to. You can also get input from your boss or from a trusted peer. You don’t need to be an expert, but you should have basic fundamental knowledge about how to counsel and mentor others.
Tip # 3: Schedule It
Your quarterly counseling session won’t happen by accident. If you look at any unit’s training schedule, there isn’t any time allocated for counseling. You have to get out your day planner and schedule it in. Get with the other person (the person you rate) ahead of time to make sure they don’t have any major assignments or duties that will interfere with the counseling. Set a good time that works for both of you.
Tip # 4: Get Feedback Every Month from Subordinates!
My next tip is to get feedback from your direct reports/subordinates every month. Have them hand you a summary of everything they accomplished during drill weekend. Have them do that every month. Before they leave to go home from drill weekend, make sure you have that document in your hand. Add it to their counseling packet and consolidate the information before the quarterly counseling session.
Tip # 5: Utilize the OER/NCOER Support Form
You should utilize the support forms as much as possible, especially for your NCOs. In essence, you should be writing their evaluation report as you go. Every time you do your counseling you should update the documents. If you keep doing that, the evaluation report will already be written at the end of the rating period.
Tip # 6: Just Do It!
My last tip is to “just do it!” At the end of the day, I’d bet that less than 2% of the USAR and ARNG leaders actually do their initial counseling and quarterly counseling with their subordinates. It’s sad, but true. You need to be part of the 2%. Stop making excuses, be the leader you should be, and make it happen. Even if you mess up and don’t do everything perfectly, at least you can say you did the right thing and counseled your subordinates like you were supposed to. Besides, the counseling isn’t for you. It’s to help your subordinates become better leaders.
The Army quarterly counseling process isn’t hard or difficult. As a leader, you simply need to MAKE the time to make it happen. It definitely won’t happen by accident. By following the six tips I just mentioned, you should be well on your way to knocking out your quarterly counseling the right way.
What are your thoughts? What are your best tips for doing your quarterly counseling with your subordinates? Leave a comment and let us know.