We all want units and Soldiers to excel:

  • Everyone needs feedback not just to bring attention to things to fix or improve but also to encourage the good things
  • Performance counseling is a means to guide Soldiers and to build high performing teams through such feedback discussions
  • Junior enlisted Soldiers of today are tomorrow’s future — leaders invest your time in developing them for those roles

Direct leaders need to guide junior enlisted Soldiers and provide feedback:

  • Counseling conducted to guide development can be as simple as having a conversation
  • Any important message needs to be thought about in advance of delivering it

A counseling card is simply an aid to:

  • Help leaders focus on core responsibilities expected of all junior enlisted Soldiers, regardless of their MOS
  • Offer questions to think about and review Soldier performance and guide the conversation

What the card is NOT:


What the card does:

  • Helps overcome obstacles to having performance discussions
    • We don’t know how. Many of us never had a SGT who role modeled positive developmental performance counseling
    • We don’t know what to cover for developmental/growth counseling
    • We can’t find time to prepare
  • Can be used to supplement what your unit requires for counseling
  • Identifies a good mix of responsibilities to develop technically and tactically competent Soldiers and to start to prepare them for leadership
  • Helps to think about counseling before doing it and makes it easier
How to use the card:

Step 1: Scan the core responsibilities and the set of questions.

Step 2:  Have a Soldier in mind & think about the questions for that Soldier.

Step 3:  What duties does the Soldier perform well.
a.  Always find something positive to mention. 

Step 4:  Select areas where you would like to see improvement.
a.  The Soldier may already be strong in a given responsibility and it would be helpful to get even better.
b.  Select only one or two to focus on for improvement.

Step 5:  Meet with the Soldier and have a two way discussion.
a.  Engage the Soldier and have him or her take ownership over what he or she does well and what could be improved.
b.  Avoid intimidating the Soldier during growth counseling.
c.  Make clear shifts to event counseling, if needed, to address discipline or others problems.
d.  Go to ATP 6-22.1, Counseling Process, for more guidance, if needed.

Step 6:  At the end have the Soldier back brief you on what he or she heard you say and what he or she should do going forward.

Step 7:  In the next discussion follow up on progress.

This is just a starting point to provoke thought and to use as a guide until counseling becomes second nature. Add to it and adapt it to your needs.

Tips for using the card:
Junior Enlisted Counseling Card Tips


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