If you’re the type of person who loves to help others feel better about themselves and are great at listening, why not put those fantastic skills to good use and make a career of it?
We all need a little help and guidance from time to time - recent studies show that the NHS had over 1.4 million new referrals for counselling last year alone!
With the stigma of talking about our issues and seeking therapy rapidly decreasing thanks to the incredible work of leading charities, news articles, celebrities and social media influences, there has never been a better time to consider a career in the health and social care sector.
Whether you’re the person that your friends naturally seek out for advice, or you simply want to try out a few tricks to see if counselling is a possible route for your new career, we've put together a few top skills that you can use now!
When did you last sit down with a friend and have a proper chat? No phones, no social media, just an old-fashioned chin-wag?
We all lead extremely busy lives and when we do get a moment to relax we tend to automatically reach for our phones and catch up with our friends through Facebook, Instagram or Snapchat. But, let’s face it: socialising through a screen isn’t the same and one-one-one contact. Taking the time to put down your phone and really connect with your friend or loved one is really important, and it’s a skill that could take you into your new career!
Next time someone is talking to you, put your phone in your bag or pocket and make a point of maintaining eye contact. We all feel much more valued and appreciated when someone is really paying attention to what we’re saying and it helps us to create a firm bond with the person we’re communicating with.
Ask Open-Ended Questions
A successful career in health and social care relies on you being able to ask the right type of questions. Asking open-ended questions is a great way to get the person you are talking with to really open up and explore how they’re feeling. We’re more likely to share our feelings if we’re actively engaged with. This also helps you to dig a little deeper into their perspective and opinions, allowing you to offer your advice and guide them towards a positive conclusion.
We all want to be able to help the people we care about and provide them with a comforting shoulder to lean on if things are getting a bit tough. Getting into a delicate conversation with a positive mindset in place is very important as you will be ensuring the conversation is guided to a successful outcome for the benefit of the person you are conversing with.
We’ve all had a friend turn to us for help and advice after going through a tough breakup, sometimes all we need is someone just to listen to our inner thoughts and feelings.
Being there for someone you care about is a wonderful bonding experience and turning the conversation from tears to smiles is one of the best feelings in the world.
If you’re a natural at this, talking therapy or ‘cognitive behavioural therapy
’ might be a skill you can use in your next heart to heart!
Although verbal communication is the foundation of any successful relationship, it's important to recognize, though, that it's our body language that speaks the loudest. Things like our facial expressions, gestures, eye contact, posture, and tone of voice all indicate the way we truly think and feel about something.
When we are able to "read" these signs, we can use it to our advantage. For example, it can help us understand the complete message of what someone is trying to say, enhancing our awareness of people's reactions to what we say and do.
We can also use it to adjust our own body language so that we appear more positive, engaging and approachable.
Developing this skill will help immeasurably in your understanding of the underlying thoughts and emotions of the person you are speaking to.
Counselling can be a really rewarding experience for all involved. We all need to get things off our chest sometimes and applying just a few of the above skills to your next conversation can really help support your friend in finding clarity in any given situation.
If you find it easy to build relationships, win people’s trust and put others at ease, starting out in the health and social care profession may be the perfect opportunity for you.
Interested in knowing more?
Ready to take the next exciting steps towards a career in health and social care?
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