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To help Scout leaders feel at ease we need to provide a supportive environment.   Here are some suggestions on how to accomplish that.

1. Let them know we really care:  Our responses and reactions must grow from a genuine concern for the leader.  They cannot be forced or faked.  They must be natural and real.  Let them know we are genuinely interested in helping them do a good job.

2. Establish a friendly relationship of trust:  Let them know they can count on our help. Let them know where and how to reach us.  Be available to help when needed.  Let them know we don't have all the answers, but together we will find them.

3. Be a good listener: We have two ears and one tongue, which seems to indicate that we should listen more than we talk.

4. Be able to share their pleasure in their successes and have empathy for their failures:  "Empathy" and "sympathy" have two very different meanings.  Empathy is being able to put yourself in another person's shoes so you can see his viewpoint.  Empathy doesn't require that you agree, just that you understand.  Sympathy is sharing an emotion, interest, or desire.  It is compassion or pity.  Sympathy indicates that you agree with the other person's feelings.

5. Maintain a positive attitude: We can complain because rose bushes have thorns or rejoice because thorn bushes have roses.  It all depends on how you look at it.

6. Be able to read body language: Read between the lines (or words). Sometimes a person's actions and expressions tell us more than his words.

7. Show them that you respect them for what they are: Put God first, others second, and self last.


1. As trainers, we should be concerned with helping leaders find the answers to their own problems.

bulletGive the leader additional information.
bulletEncourage the leader to think of several ways to accomplish whatever it is you've been talking about. Then let him make his own decision.

2. Do not give advice.

bulletThe advice you give just might be the wrong advice for that particular person.
bulletAdvice and practical help are not the same thing.

3. Sometimes when we provide personal support, we find ourselves in a counseling situation.

bulletTrainers should only apply "first aid" to these situations.
bulletIf personal support is required in areas other than Scouting, we should know to turn the situation over to qualified counselors.
bulletWe should realize our own limitations.
bulletIn problem situations, trainers sometimes do not know the real problem and may never know it.  If we insist on trying to solve problems with incorrect or incomplete information, we may do serious harm.

4. Personal support is more than a hug or a pat on the back.

bulletSome people are uncomfortable with physical contact.
bulletPeople uncomfortable or uncertain about physical contact still need personal support , but shown in other ways.







Additional Information:

Peer- Level Topic Links:
Techniques ] Characteristics ] Discussion ] Evaluation ] Lead Games ] Speaker Intro ] Objectives ] Power Point ] Power Point Resources ] Reflection ] Song Leading ] [ Support ] Techniques ] Trainer's Creed ] Scouting Urban Legends ] 1914 Training Program ]

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Last modified: October 15, 2016.