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  • Writer's pictureMelanie Reinersman

Kindness and Respect: Two Keys to the Counselor’s Role

Updated: May 27, 2020

Beneficence, actively doing good, is a primary responsibility of career services professionals, according the NCDA Code of Ethics, and involves respecting the dignity of clients. Not surprisingly, this focus on kindness and respect is a hallmark of former NCDA President and Ethics Committee Chair David M. Reile, as he stated at the 2017 National Career Development Association Conference in Orlando. What happens when a counselor’s role is centered on beneficence? And how much more can be accomplished with such a great starting point! ~ Melanie Reinersman,

FOCUS ON: The Respectful Model

A counseling relationship can progress ethically and holistically when the multidimensionality of the client is recognized. The Respectful Model offers ten factors that influence the client’s psychological development and personal well-being, from “Religious” and “Economic” to “Unique” and “Location” (hence the acronym RESPECTFUL is revealed). Read more about the model that aims to understand the client’s worldview and recognize the counselor’s bias.

FOR PRACTITIONERS: Loving Kindness Meditation

Counselors face many challenges and stressors, making the practice of self-care vital. Loving Kindness Meditation (LKM) is one option for a holistic wellness approach for practitioners. “The process of LKM begins with the action of mentally directing warmth, love, kindness, and compassion toward oneself. This is the foundation of the practice” (pg 5). Read more.

Career Spotlight: Most Competent and Warm Professionals

How do Americans view careers in terms of competence and warmth? Not surprisingly, nurses and teachers are ranked highest, while dishwasher and truck driver are at the opposite end. A few random observations are included in the Princeton research finding, albeit little explanation. View the chart that shows how respected a profession is.

TOP TEN: Ways to Proactively Promote Respect

Studies show that disrespectful behaviors decrease morale and increase turnover. What can you do to promote respect? Be sure to appreciate diverse opinions, avoid gossip, and try being a bridge builder are just a few. Read all ten tips to help make respect an organization’s core value.


“No act of kindness, no matter how small, is ever wasted.” - Aesop
“I’m not concerned with your liking or disliking me… All I ask is that you respect me as a human being.” - Jackie Robinson


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