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Chapter 11. Maintaining Harmony Within t... > The Leader as a Counselor - Pg. 127

Maintaining Harmony Within the Team 127 Counseling is a means of helping troubled associates overcome barriers to good performance. By careful listening, open discussion, and sound advice, a counselor helps identify problems, clarify misunderstandings, and plan solutions. When a team leader "counsels" an associate, it's more analogous to that of a coach of an athletic team counseling a player than to a psychotherapist counseling a patient. Professional counseling should be done by trained specialists, and, as you will learn in this chapter, sometimes referrals to these specialists are necessary. Counseling may be called for when team members bring gripes or complaints to the leader, when they have problems with other members, or often when personal problems are interfering with their work. Gripes and Grievances Sometimes it appears that everything is running smoothly. Nobody complains. Everybody seems to be happy--and then there's sudden disruption. You never saw it coming. Another scenario: You think your team is one happy family, but slowly it falls apart. Some members quit or transfer to other departments; absenteeism and lateness get out of hand; when extra effort is needed, the team doesn't give its all. Grievances and gripes that cannot be uncovered and adjusted or clarified fester in the minds of the aggrieved. This may show up in poor work, purposeful slowing down on the job, absenteeism, and high turnover. It could lead to unionization and organized employee antagonism. Some means should be provided for employees to bring grievances to the attention of a person in the organization who has the authority to correct it.