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Consulting Skills for HR Professionals

Overview: Often, managers and other professionals in “staff” roles (i.e. involving the provision of advice and guidance based on functional expertise) get stereotyped and/or locked into certain ways of operating with internal clients. Most of the time, HR professionals and other internal consultants/advisors, can request but rarely enforce compliance based on direct reporting relationships. As a result, they may get frustrated with how to achieve their work objectives while at the same time, help their clients achieve theirs. Equally important, HR struggles with being viewed as a business partner that needs to be consulted early and often.

This workshop builds on the work of Peter Block (Flawless Consulting) and David Ulrich (HR Champions) and is supplemented from our practical consulting experience in HR roles. The course focuses on helping participants make the transition from the functional “expert” to the business partner role. Participants are recommended to bring real life situations they want to work on.

Although this course can be modified into a one-day format, ideally, 2 days should be dedicated to the program. A Consulting Style Inventory (Strength Deployment Inventory / SDI) is optional; however we have found this provides participants with valuable insights into consulting strengths and areas for development.

Methodology for Delivery: Highly interactive and experiential using adult learning techniques. Cases, role plays, group discussions, exercises, dialogue are used. Practice sessions applying learnings to workplace situations.

Learning Goals and Objectives:

  • Define consulting, consulting roles, and how to move from a “pair of hands” or compliance mode to one of collaboration
  • Provide an overview of the consulting process, what happens at each phase: process, risks, tools and techniques, skills
  • Apply the process with case studies and real life situations, with a focus on HR consulting challenges
  • Gain insight into one’s consulting style and how to leverage for better results.
  • Identify and practice the phases of the consulting process
  • Gain confidence in moving into a more consultative role

Content and Expected Results:

On completion of the course, participants will:

  • Clearly understand the challenges and skills needed for internal consulting
  • Gain insight into the unique consulting challenges for HR professionals
  • Be able to apply the 5 phases of the consulting process
  • Know how to overcome resistance to change, new projects and initiatives
  • Have tools for getting buy-in and consensus to important workplace goals
  • Apply the Strategic Influencing model to actual HR workplace challenges and issues