For counselors: set the agenda up front

Few counselors have the luxury of unlimited time to meet with students. So it’s important to make every meeting count.  One way to make sure you address the most important issues for a student is to just ask:

“Before we start, what are the three most important things you’d like to discuss today?”

Now, the counselor can decide the order of operations.  Which issue needs to be addressed first?  Which needs the most time?  Is one issue solved by addressing a different one first?

A teenager may not order the agenda in the way that allots the right time to each topic.  But a counselor has the ability and the training to do it.

Rather than allowing the student to dive into the first item, set the agenda first.  It takes less than one minute to do it, but just might help make the rest of the meeting that much more valuable for both parties.