We all recognise how important first impressions are and how much we are influenced by the environments we find ourselves in. A guidance environment, which is pleasant and welcoming, will create a positive climate in which to build our relationships with clients. Bright and well organised public spaces, comfortable meeting rooms and well-presented facilities will enhance the image of the Service and demonstrate respect for our clients. Being conscious of safety in our working practices will help ensure protection for our clients and ourselves.
Video from Dun Laoghaire AEGS
In this video, the guidance counsellor from Dun Laoghaire Adult Educational Guidance Service talks us through some of the elements which may create an effective guidance environment. The guidance counsellor highlights the importance of collaboration with their managing agents' Dublin and Dun Laoghaire ETB. Issues around health and safety are of great importance. Finally, there is an emphasis on ensuring that the client's first experience of guidance is in a place where they are welcomed, valued and respected.
Where Guidance Happens:
In this video, the guidance counsellor talks about the elements of a good environment for 'one to one' guidance. Issues emerging include: access, health and safety, a self-directed approach from an environmental point of view and the use of ICT in a ‘one to one' meeting. The critical elements of the relationship between environment and guidance are explored.
The importance of a comfortable environment for group work is highlighted. As well as group guidance at the Service, outreach group guidance is included. Special emphasis is put on bringing web based resources to outreach. The use of a computer room for group work is also considered.
All of the key resources for an Information and Resource Centre are discussed. The importance of local information is included. Computer use within an Information and Resource Centre is also highlighted.
Consideration of shared spaces for staff and clients is considered and health and safety issues are raised.
The Guidance Office:
For some Services, the guidance counsellor's office also represents the space in which clients are met. Consideration is given to the role of an office that may also be used as a client meeting room.