Direct and Indirect Counseling

Question to Ask the Workplace Doctors about counseling:

When do I use indirect and direct forms of counseling with my employees?

Signed, Wondering

Dear Wondering:

Those terms, direct and indirect counseling, are most often used to refer to guidance and mentoring activities at work. If you are helping an employee decide about something or just helping an employee think through a problem or situation, you do direct counseling if you give him or her specific advice. You provide indirect counseling if, through questions and discussion, the employee is encouraged to think through the situation and make a decision.

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