Tag Archive for: counselling


Working together, with a group of returned missionaries is such a joyful delight.
Last night, despite being geographically dispersed, literally thousands of miles apart, through the marvel of technology, we were focused, unified and purposeful in the pursuit of a new book project.
Our working title โ€“ โ€œ๐‘ซ๐’‚๐’Š๐’๐’š ๐‘บ๐’‚๐’๐’• โ€“ ๐‘ฌ๐’—๐’†๐’“๐’š๐’…๐’‚๐’š ๐‘ท๐’‚๐’“๐’‚๐’๐’๐’†๐’๐’” ๐’•๐’ ๐‘ฎ๐’๐’”๐’‘๐’†๐’ ๐‘ป๐’“๐’–๐’•๐’‰๐’”โ€
It is a collaborative effort.
Collaboration: โ€œis the act of working together to produce a piece of work, especially a book or some research.โ€
I certainly liked the feeling of being a team again.
Any successful collaboration requires our time as well as effort to communicate and gain understanding.
Whilst serving in Belgium and the Netherlands, each of them learned that to be successful in their work, they must be together, as one.
Creating a culture of collaboration was essential in the mission field, and now a new opportunity has arisen for them to co-create in a collaborative way.
Together they shared their views, we heard different perspectives, and received a broader understanding of the project at hand in a respectful and loving way.
It was captivating, engaging and quite frankly just so exciting to be working together again.
I was so grateful to sit in counsel once more with so many of my dear friends.
Individuals brought their own unique perspectives to our discussions, which is of course highly desirable in any great collaboration.
I count it a great blessing and privilege to work with each one of them.
It was as if weโ€™d switched on a powerful divine light as we collaborated and shared ideas.
We began to understand each of our roles and how the project work will move forward.
Through experience, we all know the best collaborators also need to be great communicators.
We learned that successful collaboration allows for lots of benefits to emerge that are essential to success, including delegation, innovation, planning, persuasion, agility, and speed.
And we got off to a marvellous start!
It feels that all of this experience didnโ€™t just happen by accident, or random chance, but rather by divine design.
I canโ€™t wait to meet again in two weeksโ€™ time.
How do you feel about working in a collaborative team?

Tuesday Mornings…

Tuesday mornings arenโ€™t going to be quite the same anymore!
For the last 3 years, Jurgen, Chris and I would spend an hour online together as a Mission Presidency, counselling about all of the important matters of running the Belgium Netherlands Mission of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints.


Whilst the missionaries were starting their Preparation Day (P-Day) weโ€™d be counselling together to address the salient challenges of the week.
And there was always lots to talk about.
Although we met weekly, I think hardly one day has passed by that I havenโ€™t spoken with either Jurgen or Chris.
The wise writer of Proverbs tells us that โ€œin โ€ฆ counsellors there is safety.โ€ (Prov. 11:14.)
Counselling together with one another was a constant.
Weโ€™d counsel together in order to reach a united conclusion, to help us know the direction we intended to pursue was in harmony with the Lordโ€™s will.


The three of us never sought out these assignments, we were simply asked by a church leader to serve, giving many hours voluntarily every week.
Itโ€™s been a labour of love for all of us.
Over the last 3 years we have developed a strong bond of friendship too.
On Sunday evening, I took a trip up to Zwolle, with the Assistants, to spend some final moments with Jurgen, Analรญa, and Christel.
I took some time to release Jurgen from his responsibilities in the Mission Presidency and we enjoyed the opportunity to reminisce for a while too.
One of our sweetest memories was when we set up an experimental โ€œSocial Media Districtโ€ for a few months. Lots of lessons were learned together as Jurgen, Analia and Christel spent many long hours working with many missionaries in the office together in Gouda.
For several months, Christel was travelling almost daily between Zwolle and Gouda, as we built some momentum in our social media efforts.
Days never to be forgotten, for sure!
Helen Keller said โ€œThe best and most beautiful things in the world cannot be seen or even touched โ€” they must be felt with the heart.โ€
As I recall the sweet memories made with my dear friends, I know that it is all about what we have all felt in our hearts together.
Thank you for all the memories.
Until we meet again dear friends.

Mission Leadership Council

Every six weeks, the leaders of the mission gather together to counsel about the relevant matters of the day.
Our topics yesterday included:
– Study Your Language (SYL) – daily!
– Teaching the Gospel of Jesus Christ
– Drawing on the Powers of Heaven
– Being united, knit together as one
– Dealing with constant Change
– Hot Chocolate and Sifting – see Luke 22:31-32
– To the Rescue – Ministering to the one.
– Christlike attributes
– Team work
– Communication Skills
– Social Media and Content Updates…
These are very special days, never to be forgotten.
As missionaries come and go in the mission, gaining an understanding of leadership and counselling together, is such an important part of their growth and development.
Oh – and we also like to have a little bit of fun too!
The pictures capture just one of our lively learning activities of the day!

Back 2 Basics

Yesterday in our mission leadership council, we met together with one simple message, it was time to get “๐๐š๐œ๐ค ๐Ÿ ๐๐š๐ฌ๐ข๐œ๐ฌ”.
Sometimes it can appear to be a little overwhelming to serve as a missionary, especially as we look all at once, of all that is expected of us to do.
Perhaps it is the same in life for you too?
Is it time to give your attention to the simplest and most important matters, that you may well have ignored for a while?
As we counselled together yesterday, when we get back to the basics, we discovered within ourselves an enhanced capacity to cope with our busy, complex world.
And what are those basics?
Well, they are all found in Preach My Gospel and the Book of Mormon.
Why not speak with one of our missionaries today, they’ll be more than happy to share some of the basic principles that will bring you real joy in your life.


I was excited to receive the picture attached from my dear friend, Eelco Scheltinga, who serves as President of the Den Haag Stake (diocese).

He and I meet regularly to discuss all aspects of missionary work in his stewardship.

In addition, he also meets regularly (like the other Stake Presidents โ€“ Angelo Leman, Percy de Wilde and Jerry Bletterman) with his Zone Leaders (ZLโ€™s) and Sister Trainer Leaders (STLโ€™s), who are assigned to work with many missionaries in other wards & branches.

These 5 missionaries are an essential part of the leadership team in his Stake.

I love the fact that he is sitting with them at home, around his dinner table, welcoming them with warmth, love and understanding.

In addition, itโ€™s clear from their smiles, they enjoy meeting with one another!

โ€œWhere two or three are gathered together in my name, there am I in the midst of themโ€ (Matthew 18:20)

Missionary Council

Meeting together as a missionary council, with purpose, in a spirit of warm-hearted cooperation, they listen to one another, discuss concerns, make plans, set goals and search for solutions to the problems of the day.

Working through councils is a very effective way to get positive results.

Having sat in many councils, I know that when free, open and candid conversation is filled with love, patience, kindness and respect for the differing opinions and points of view that are usually on hand, the council is always a success.

Sparks of inspiration come, and decisions are made to plan and coordinate missionary work.


In the Old Testament, the Prophet Isaiah said; โ€œCome now, and let us reason togetherโ€ (Isaiah 1:18).

And in our day, we read in Doctrine & Covenants 50:10; โ€œLet us reason together, that ye may understand.โ€

I know that it is by reasoning together, that we strengthen one another.

โ€œWhere noย counselย is,ย the people fall: but in theย multitudeย ofย counsellorsย there isย safety.โ€ย  (Proverbs 11:14)

It is clear the council system across our mission is alive and well, it is fully functioning and filled with vibrancy and enthusiasm, thus ensuring safety for each and every one of us.

M. Russell Ballard said those who learn to counsel effectively will โ€œalways end up with a better result, always end up with a better answer and, will always end up with a better spirit.โ€

How can counselling together bless you and your family?

Counselling Together

โ€œIn the abundance of council, there is wisdomโ€ โ€“ Dallin H. Oaks.
Yesterday, we met in our mission leadership council. It was a wonderful opportunity to discuss and counsel together.
Not everyone gets the chance to lead in the mission, so it is a privilege for each of the young missionaries assigned, to serve in a leadership role.
We discussed behaviours of a good leader, including self-awareness, collaboration, respect and influence.
Then, we posed the question…”๐–๐จ๐ฎ๐ฅ๐ ๐ฒ๐จ๐ฎ ๐Ÿ๐จ๐ฅ๐ฅ๐จ๐ฐ ๐ฒ๐จ๐ฎ?”
With a leadership role there is a responsibility, to come prepared and be ready to share.
โ€œWhen we can work together cooperativelyโ€ฆ, we can accomplish anything. When we do so, we eliminate the weakness of one person standing alone and substitute the strength of many serving together.โ€ โ€“ Thomas S. Monson
In our counselling together we discussed objectives and concerns of the mission, with mutual understanding and a shared vision being the ultimate goal.
Encouraging everyone to express their feelings was key.
It was clear that counselling together required everyone to listen as much as they spoke.

What is a SWOT Analysis?

We introduced everyone in the council session to a SWOT analysis and we used the model to address some of the challenges we face.
In essence, we are the problem-solving team of the mission.
The active participation of missionary zone leaders and sister trainer leaders, broadens the base of their leadership experience and understanding, which in turn leads to better solutions and improves communication throughout the mission.
As Russell M. Ballard said; โ€œPeople who feel ownership of a problem are more willing to help find a solution, greatly improving the possibility of success.โ€
He also taught that it was important to โ€œLean upon them. Learn from them. Love them. Listen to them.โ€
In the Old Testament, the Prophet Isaiah said; โ€œCome now, and let us reason togetherโ€ (Isaiah 1:18). And in our day, we read in Doctrine & Covenants 50:10; โ€œLet us reason together, that ye may understand.โ€
Ultimately, we came to some conclusions that everyone agreed with, and then noted some appropriate actions that they had to follow through on.
Russell M Ballard said that he has maintained all his adult life, (stemming from his background in business,) that โ€œif you want to improve something, youโ€™ve got to counsel about it.โ€
What do you counsel about?

Handling Failure

Experience has taught me, that to suffer some anxiety, some stress, some low moods or depression, some disappointment, or even some failure is ๐’๐’๐’“๐’Ž๐’‚๐’.
Let me repeat that…. ๐๐Ž๐‘๐Œ๐€๐‹!
Everyone fails.
Everyone has bad things happen to them at some point.
Every now and then, a really good miserable day, or even a few of them may come along all at once, lined up perfectly all in a row, day after day!
Maybe you have felt days like that?
Doomed to failure.
Defeated, lost, discouraged, possibly even feelings of shame and inferiority may ariseโ€ฆ
You may even choose to prolong the agony by engaging in some mental torture, relentless self-criticism, beating yourself up and continually berating yourself.
When we feel like this, we may even want to hide, to shrivel up or even just disappear.
Have you been there?
Itโ€™s easy to be tough on ourselves. Isn’t it!

If this is you, choose to ๐’๐“๐Ž๐!

It is time to change your relationship with failure.
Take a momentโ€ฆ
Let me assure you, ๐ญ๐ก๐ž๐ซ๐ž ๐ข๐ฌ ๐š ๐›๐ž๐ญ๐ญ๐ž๐ซ ๐ฐ๐š๐ฒ…
What would you do to support a friend through a similar difficult period?
By showing ourselves some kindness, respect and encouragement, we can practice self-compassion.
With self-compassion, we give ourselves the same kindness and care weโ€™d give to a good friend.
โ€œSelf-compassion has been defined as a self-attitude that involves treating oneself with warmth and understanding in difficult times and recognizing that making mistakes is part of being human (Neff, 2003)
Realising that things donโ€™t always go the way you want them to, is a reality shared by each and every one of us.
My experience is to see failure as a step closer to success, not a step backwards.
How can you be kinder to yourself?
Think of a time when you failed at something and someone responded with kindness and reassurance…
How did that make you feel?


“Do you understand what I mean?” he asked.
In many relationships, one of the big barriers to understanding is a lack of communication, a lack of talking things out, a lack of keeping things in the open. Oftentimes whilst counselling, one half of a relationship will sit in brooding silence, hugging any grievances close to their heart, rather than being open and honest.
Pressures can mount, small things are magnified and frequently much more than is true can be imagined in their minds by either party. Fragmentary listening, misinterpretation of ideas, and mistaken meanings of words can cause misunderstandings. And so there is much not knowing, much mistrust, much heartache, much unhappiness and sitting hurting, in silence. Happiness will not survive in pent up places.
So how do we strengthen these relationships?
We need to engage in meaningful conversations.
It all starts with the greatest of all the communication skills, and that is being an effective listener. That means slowing down. Being listened to is one of the highest forms of respect and recognition. Really listening is not about gaining information, rather it is to gain understanding.
Some years ago Marvin J. Ashton said โ€œCommunication is more than a sharing of words. It is the wise sharing of emotions, feelings, and concerns. It is the sharing of oneself totally.โ€
Regularly setting aside time to talk where there are no distractions can help to solve problems.
Why not start today and resolve to listen a little more.
When will you set aside time to communicate and really listen?

“How did you get into coaching then…?”

Recently I have been asked several times…”So Daryl, just how did you get into coaching and mentoring”?
Here’s my story.
In 2001, I was busy with a young family, an active sales career and a challenging, but enjoyable church assignment as a Bishop in The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints. All three combined gave me an incredible insight into working with people of all ages in a wide range of circumstances.
My sales career was progressing well and I very much enjoyed talking to people and building trusting relationships. That said, I also enjoyed the many counselling sessions I’d have with church members. In both situations, I was being called upon regularly to give presentations and lead many training sessions on a range of leadership topics. Subsequently, I determined to enrol at night school at my local college embarking upon a CIPD – Certificate in Training Practice. It was one evening per week for several months. I loved it! Below is my graduation photo – wow I was young!
As the years have rolled by, my focus shifted towards coaching, facilitation and training, gaining further Diploma’s and qualifications along the way. I then set up my own consultancy back in 2014. I am so grateful too for my wife Monic’s constant words of encouragement and support throughout – that has always made a huge difference.
My advice, get all the education you can! Get at it, work at it, study hard and go for it!

One by One

Over the last 30 + years, I have had many opportunities, with 1000’s of individuals to provide coaching, counselling or to share in a mentoring session together.

There are numerous articles, suggestions, models and books outlining what makes a great coaching conversation. In addition, I have also contributed to many discussions in lots of forums on the topic too.

I was however recently reminded again of a blindingly obvious point, it is this – simply stated, these conversations happen ๐™ค๐™ฃ๐™š ๐™—๐™ฎ ๐™ค๐™ฃ๐™š.

Intimate one by one conversations enable the most effective and powerful opportunities for change to occur. Giving someone your undivided attention for 30, 60 or even 90 minutes creates a powerful, meaningful, candid and insightful crucible for change. It is distraction free time.

Frequently, during these one by one moments a “reality check” occurs for the coachee. Indeed, a coaching conversation is perhaps the most personal and powerful form of communication and change that there is.

If you want change to happen, then you need to slow down, make time, listen to understand and consider the power of a coaching conversation, ๐™ค๐™ฃ๐™š ๐™—๐™ฎ ๐™ค๐™ฃ๐™š.

Who will you hold a coaching conversation with today?