We have to be loving in our dealing with people. Remember that you are as liable to sin the very same sin as they are! If you were in the other chair, how would you want to be spoken to? What would prick your conscience? If you were looking and listening to you what would you as the counselee see? Angry face, clenched teeth, rolling eyes?
Sometimes your counselee will hit a nerve with you. Or their problem will be one that you know you have but have not dealt with. God is gracious in that while we pray, and prepare to minister to our disciple we are also preaching to ourselves. How good are you at preaching the truth to yourself? As a counselor people will see you as a light for the blind and as a leader.
I know there are some people who believe that leaders should be bullet proof, that they should never show weakness or be vulnerable. I disagree with this idea. I think it sets us up as somehow superior to the people we minister to. I have found that people respond much better to counsel when they know that I am a real person, with real problems, just like them! I do not ever want to present myself as a person who has it all together or has no problems.
I hope my counselee’s understand that I have burdens in my own life to bear and deal with. this comes out as I gain involvement, in talking and connecting on a peer level with them. This is an advantage we have to not being “professionals!” We are encouraged to connect with them on their level and to meet them at the level ground at the foot of the cross.