EAP Management Consulting Knowledgebase
A living archive of resources for the development and advancement of
management consulting skills for Employee Assistance Professionals

EAP Philosophy of Consulting

Having a philosophy or belief-system of consulting leads to a framework or roadmap for each consultation

Table of Contents

  1. EAPC provides role clarification
  2. EAPC coaches on effective communication
  3. EAPC assesses the manager
  4. EAPC assesses the request for consultation
  5. EAPC works from a strengths-based framework
  6. EAPC provides a framework through which the manager approaches solutions
  7. EAPC tailors interventions and resources to the style of the manager
  8. EAPC builds internal networks

EAPC role clarification

The manager is the client

  • Avoids the temptation to "treat the phantom employee"
  • Pushes back when manager starts to initiate the "client dump"
  • Helps the manager with resources beyond EAP
    • Coaching
    • Mentoring
    • Organizational development
  • Support the manager in his job, so that he gets the kudos

The manager is the manager

  • Quickly establishes that solutions belong to the manager, not the EAP
  • Meanwhile the EAPC confidently frames his/her expertise in human behavior and communication
  • The EAPC doesn't possess the authority to invoke the change, but also doesn't have the direct consequences for the delivery of the change

EAPC coaches on effective communication

  • Scripting, especially with an emphasis on compassion and business message
  • Hones the language of the manager
  • EAPC expands manager's vocabulary, promoting terms that may be more constructive, neutral

EAPC assesses the manager

Strengths-based questions

  • What powers does the manager possess?
  • What can the manager accomplish or act upon?
  • What has the manager attempted so far?
  • How does the manager assess problems and progress?

Sources for manager skill sets

Relationship skills

  • EAPC introduces to the manager a sophisticated way of looking at people without diagnosing
  • "The medium through which the best work gets done is relationship (between the manager and employee)"
  • Helps manager develop a coaching style
  • People skills
  • Emotional intelligence
  • Civility
  • Insight into the employee's motivation, skills and reason for his behavior
  • The 3 "B"s
    • Benign—harmless, having a kind disposition
    • Beneficial—helpful, advantageous
    • Benevolent—generous in providing aid to others; doing good
  • EAPC assesses the manager's empathy & understanding of behavioral health issues

Manager's commitment to developing, and delivering, a solution

  • Managers experience a stigma or pressure to know everything
  • "How are you willing to be different?"
  • Helps the manager develop a focus on the desired outcome
  • Assesses manager's level of assertiveness vs. conflict avoidance

Manager's openness to feedback

  • From the EAPC
  • From employees

Manager's support system

  • Does manager have a mentor who is effective and available?
  • Does the manager have the support and backing of his own manager?
  • Is the manager properly incentivized [by reward or accountability] to address and solve people-problems?

EAPC assesses the request for consultation

Manager problems are contextual

  • What is the manager seeking from the EAP?
  • What precipitated this request (why now?)
  • What was it that the manager could not handle that lead to a call for consultation? Identify the gap
  • How does this problem apply to the job?
  • Has the employee been placed on corrective action currently or in the past?
  • What is the impact of the problem upon the manager?
  • Are there safety issues?
    • Legal
    • Emotional
    • Physical harm
  • Acts as a reductionist… what are the essentials?

EAPC assesses the problem through the system

  • What is the impact of the problem upon the workplace?

EAPC works from a strengths-based framework

  • Forward-looking and positive
  • Solution-focused
    • Assists manager in integrating the solutions into the real environment
  • Collaborative
    • What are your thoughts about where to go next?
  • Appreciative Inquiry
  • Empowerment—leave the manager with one thing, one small intervention that s/he can add to what they're already attempting

EAPC provides a framework through which the manager approaches solutions

  • What are the people issues?
  • What are the skill issues?
  • What is the workplace impact?

EAPC tailors interventions and resources to the style of the manager

EAPC builds internal networks

  • Human resources
  • Employee relations
  • Organizational development / Organizational effectiveness
  • Legal
  • Security
  • Medical




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Defining management consulting in EA settings

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