Sunday, August 23, 2009

The Art of Mobile Counselling - Part 2

Realising that counselling using Mobile Chat is not the same as helpline or face to face counselling due to a number of factors. Some of the key characteristics and skills for mobile counsellors are:

- Firstly all the counselling skills that applies to helplines and face-to-face is also true for mobile counsellors
- Fast Communication Skills, the mobile chat generation is a "Now" generation who requires immediate response. Fast chat skills would therefore be good to ensure the most of the medium.
- Multiple conversations with various people in need would require being able to multitask
- Understand the mobile language and culture (E.g. know the basics such as not typing in Capital Letters, make use of the basic chat characters just to give that feel of belonging etc.)
- Read between the characters, important to make sense of the expressions through the mobile phone medium.
- Brief and to the point, remember less is best. The small mobile phone screen of most users mean that they do not need long paragraphs but short and to the point messages.
- Creativity, the mobile counsellor should be creative to get the message across in as few characters as possible
- Passion, as with all other form of counselling passion for the area and medium is important.
- Minimal Chat Response (MCR), this is one of the important skills that's required making use of characters during the conversation such as "k", "o" etc. This is important to ensure continuous conversation and getting the user to discuss their situation.

Next week we'll share more on the Art of Mobile Counselling and your comments are welcome as we grow the characteristics and skills of a Mobile Counsellor.

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