What do you need to know about FM 22-101? This is the Army’s Field Manual for Leadership Counseling. If you are a leader in charge of other officers, NCOs or Soldiers, this is the field manual for you. This FM covers the ins and outs of counseling your subordinates. It teaches the who, what, why, when and where are Leadership Counseling. FM 22-101 contains five chapters and several appendices.
Here is a summary of what you will find:
Chapter 1 covers counseling and leadership principles. It talks about the importance of praise, how to develop soldiers, and responsibilities for counseling. It also provides tips for being a good leader, such as:
- Knowing yourself and seeking self-improvement.
- Being technically and tactically proficient.
- Seeking responsibility and taking responsibility for your actions.
- Making sound and timely decisions.
- Setting the example.
- Knowing your soldiers and looking out for their well being.
- Keeping your soldiers informed.
- Developing a sense of responsibility in your subordinates.
- Ensuring that the task is understood, supervised, and accomplished.
- Training your soldiers as a team.
- Employing your unit in accordance with its capabilities.
Chapter 2 covers the fundamentals of counseling. It gives approaches to counseling and teaches you the basic skills to be a good counselor (leader). What I got from this chapter was the importance of caring for your soldiers as people, soldiers and individuals. It also discusses the importance of setting a strong personal example. It also covers the approaches of counseling based upon the soldier’s personality and skill-set. Two approaches include direct and indirect.
Chapter 3 provides the reasons for counseling, such as reception and integration, performance, personal, discipline and professional growth.
Chapter 4 teaches you how to do effective counseling. This is the “nuts and bolts” and the chapter will teach you how to prepare for counseling, how to conduct the actual counseling session, and how to follow up with soldiers after the counseling. It also covers some of the common pitfalls of counseling.
Chapter 5 covers training leaders to counsel. You will learn why you need to teach your subordinates how to conduct a counseling session, how to role play with them, and tips on giving feedback. This will help you develop future leaders who know how to develop future leaders.
As you can see, FM 22-101 is loaded with great tips about how to effectively counsel your subordinates. When it comes to leadership counseling FM 22-101 is the best resource out there. Do yourself a favor and get a copy of this Field Manual and add it to your leader’s library immediately. That way you can refer to it whenever you have a leadership counseling question.
Do you have any questions? Is there anything you would like to add about FM 22-101? Just post your comments and questions below. Thanks.
Former Army Major (resigned)
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