We Need to Change the Way We Talk About Politics, and Each Other

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By Dustin McKissen, Guest Blogger

I live in St. Charles, Missouri, right in the part of America country music singers always sing about. My family and I moved here in 2013. About a year later my mom passed away, and my wife and I needed to leave town and take care of her funeral. Unfortunately, we couldn’t afford to bring our kids on such short notice.

Despite knowing very few people in our new community, the entire neighborhood stepped up. Our kids spent a week going from house to house, getting consoled with unlimited mac n’ cheese and Netflix. People here in our adopted hometown look out for each other.

I learned that again the following year.

My wife, who was a stay-at-home mom for 12 years, started volunteering at our community’s startup incubator. A short while later she was hired to be the incubator manager. Valuing the transferrable skills of a stay-at-home mom is a progressive, uncommon employment practice, and for our family it happened in a conservative community in one of the reddest states on the map.

The people of Red-State America aren’t Neanderthals.

My wife isn’t chained to a stove.

My Republican neighbor doesn’t have a welcome mat with a swastika on it.

But some of my neighbors can be just as guilty of thinking of their counterparts in other parts of the country in similarly simplistic terms.

This past December I appeared on Patriot Radio, a conservative channel on Sirius XM. During the show the host kept referring to Democrats as “coastal elites.” Hearing the host use the term made me think of my very liberal brother. He lives in Seattle, but he is no one’s idea of a “coastal elite.” He attends Seattle Seahawks games with his giant beard dyed neon green. He manages an auto parts store and builds hot rods on the side. You will never hear my brother use terms like “safe space” or “trigger word.”

My brother didn’t vote for Hillary Clinton because he wanted to see vanilla ice cream, Chevy trucks, and all else that is good and holy about America banned. In fact, my brother likes vanilla ice cream and owns a Chevy truck. My brother voted for Hillary Clinton for the same reason my neighbor voted for Trump: he believed she was the candidate who best spoke to his concerns.

Even if they didn’t know he was my brother, my Republican neighbors have never shown an inclination to take out one of their multiple firearms and start shooting at him, nor has my brother ever shown a desire to make his way to Missouri and force my Catholic, conservative neighbor to liquidate his 401(k) and give all the money to Planned Parenthood.

You wouldn’t know that from listening to our present political rhetoric. On a regular basis politicians, pundits, bloggers, and a whole lot of regular people use political dialogue laden with references to war and violence—including Senator Rand Paul’s tweet from a year ago that suggested the Second Amendment exists specifically to shoot at the government.

This week the violent rhetoric became more than just mere words with the shooting of Republican congressman Steve Scalise. The shooter, James Hodgkinson, was apparently motivated by his political beliefs and, according to sources, carried a list of Republican legislators he hoped to assassinate. Of course, the heated left/right divide is not solely a feature of American politics. Last year Jo Cox, a British Labour Party politician and Member of Parliament, was murdered by Thomas Muir. Cox was killed because of her stance on political issues, including Brexit.

My wife isn’t chained to a stove. My Republican neighbor doesn’t have a welcome mat with a swastika on it. …You wouldn’t know that from listening to our present political rhetoric.

Carl Phillip Gottfried von Clausewitz, a Prussian general and military theorist, famously said “War is politics is by other means.” Politics as war has become an increasingly common metaphor. Former House Speaker and sometime Donald Trump advisor Newt Gingrich has frequently made a similar statement: “Politics is war without blood.”

Except when politics becomes war with blood. When political language becomes filled with references to metaphorical violence and war, the risk of actual violence skyrockets.

If things don’t change the violence we currently see directed at politicians—which is bad enough—may end up being directed at targets far easier to kill than politicians: each other.

If we want to stop that from happening, we need to start seeing our neighbors as more than left/right caricatures. We need to see the people we share our communities and country with as actual human beings, and remember that labels like “liberal” or “conservative” can never capture the totality of a human being.

We need to remember that there are red state conservatives who hire stay-at-home moms for tech jobs, and blue state liberals who build hot rods and listen to George Strait—and that it is possible for those people to coexist in the same country without hating one another.

And we need to remember that before anyone else gets shot.

This article was adapted and updated from an article that originally appeared on CNBC.

Dustin McKissen is the founder of McKissen + Company, and was recently named one of LinkedIn’s “Top Voices on Management and Culture”. He is also a columnist on Inc.com, and a contributor for CNBC

 

Men’s Health Week: We’re All Unique

I could not let Men’s Health Week — celebrated each year as the week leading up to and including Father’s Day — draw to a close without writing a post about this important observance. The idea is to explore “the different ways men and boys are managing to keep healthy, physically and emotionally, in a busy and sometimes challenging world.”

June is also Men’s Health Month, and the intent is very similar: “to heighten the awareness of preventable health problems and encourage early detection and treatment of disease among men and boys.”

Foremost among health concerns, in my estimation, is men’s mental well-being. Men are four times more likely to die by suicide than women, and suicide is the second-leading cause of death among men ages 25-34. Further, Mental Health America reports that male depression goes undiagnosed 50 to 65 percent of the time.

Since men are taught from little on to suppress our feelings, lest we appear weak, should this be surprising? Fortunately, strides are becoming made toward overcoming this long-time stigma to depression screenings and other assistance. Dr. Rich Mahogany, part Dr. Phil and part Ron “the Anchorman” Burgundy, was created to “man up” mental health and help working-age men think about their emotional problems from a different perspective.

The tools offered by Man Therapy provide employee assistance and other professionals with an innovative method to reach men who might not otherwise use mental health services. One such catch-phrase of Man Therapy reads, “You can’t fix your mental health with duct tape.”

Why am I passionate about this subject you might ask? Good question. First, I had a good friend who took his life in 2008, and so I can relate all too well about how mental health all-too-often remains overlooked in our culture. He still jogged each day and was in much better physical condition than the rest of us high school buddies. No middle age paunch for him! But his death went to show that one can appear to be fine on the outside, when that is not the case whatsoever below the surface.

Millions of men are silently struggling on the inside, and they do not have a way of talking about it. Millions of men and women are aware that something may be wrong with the men they know and care about, but they do not know how to talk with men about it. As a result, we’ve all tacitly agreed that “Doing fine. Can’t complain” is one of the few appropriate responses to the question, “How’s it going?” – Michael Addis, PhD

Second, while I fortunately did not fall to the depths my friend did, I too know what it is like to have inner demons to deal with. I have written on this blog before about being diagnosed with depression and Attention Deficit Disorder (ADD) in 2002. I am convinced that this discovery – through divine intervention, and correspondingly an EAP – kept me from a nervous breakdown (or worse).

While it is very unfortunate that my friend did not end up receiving the help that I did, perhaps one of the reasons I am still here is to tell others about the importance of mental health screenings. Some still say this shows a man as being “weak.” Poppycock. I would go to the other extreme; that is, seeking help is actually a sign of strength in showing that you suspect something is wrong and you want to do something about it.  And, I might add, not just for yourself, but to improve the quality of life of your loved ones as well! You might think, “That is just the way I am, there’s nothing wrong with me” but what does it hurt to get “checked out”?

But don’t just take my word for it. Many experts recognize the need for men to overcome the stigma of discussing their feelings and seeking assistance when necessary. “Men’s silence and invisibility have become so common that we treat them as normal, rather than seeing them for what they are: major social problems that can be remedied if we understand where they come from and take the right steps to change them,” writes Michael E. Addis, PhD, author of Invisible Men: Men’s Inner Lives and the Consequences of Silence.

Finally, I can also relate to psychosocial issues because I am not a typical guy in a lot of ways. I am not good with my hands, and I am lucky if I can back my car out of the garage without hitting something, let alone back and maneuver an 18-wheeler. If I was driving a big rig, I would take out tree limbs and power lines! I am also not coordinated enough to “golf” without leaving so many divots it’d make the gopher from Caddyshack look like he didn’t do a single thing to the course in that famous laugh-fest.

While it wasn’t always easy to be “different” I can poke fun at myself now because I finally came to the realization that each of us is a unique male, and this includes our physical and mental attributes.

I’ll conclude on a serious note: Just as workplaces have realized they can make an impact on reducing heart disease by encouraging exercise, they can also make an impact on reducing suicide by promoting mental health and encouraging early identification and intervention.

For more information on this topic, see:

https://mantherapy.org/

http://www.menshealthmonth.org/

http://www.menshealthweek.org.au/En/Default.aspx

http://www.mentalhealthamerica.net/

Workplace Violence: Assessing Individuals for Likelihood is Never Easy

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It’s a scene that has become all too familiar in the workplace: A disgruntled former employee opens fire on a number of workers before killing himself. This unfortunate scenario reared its ugly head again on June 5, when John R. Neumann Jr., 45, who had been fired in April, entered the Fiamma Inc. building in Orlando at roughly 8 a.m. ET and opened fire, according to Orange County Sheriff Jerry Demings and USA Today.

Four of the victims, three men and a woman, were found dead at the scene, the sheriff said. Another man died a short time later at a hospital. The body of Neumann, an Army veteran discharged in 1999, was also found at the scene.

Demings said Neumann had previously been accused of assaulting a co-worker but not charged. The victim in that case was not among the victims, he added.

Psychological Tests are Not Reliable

The problem in such cases is that standardized psychological tests are not reliable or valid tools for predicting which persons will be violent, according to Bruce Blythe, an internationally acclaimed crisis management expert and author of Blindsided: A Manager’s Guide to Catastrophic Incidents in the Workplace. “The capability simply doesn’t exist to pick the ‘needle out of the haystack’ through psychological tests and fitness-for-duty exams,” Blythe stated.

While there are no methods that can completely and accurately predict which specific employees are going to become violent in the workplace, various guidelines offer important and defensible considerations for assessing the likelihood of workplace violence.

Warning Signs

Employers and employees need to recognize the warning signs of workplace violence so that everyone can act as eyes and ears to report unusual behavior, according to Mimi Lanfranchi. (At the time of this writing, she was a Senior Vice President with Allied Barton Security Services.)

Lanfranchini stresses that managers must be alert to these indirect pleas for help (and utilize key resources such as the EAP): 1) excessive tardiness or absences; 2) increased need for supervision; 3) reduced productivity; 4) inconsistency; 5) strained workplace relationships; 6) inability to concentrate; 7) violation of safety procedures; 8) unusual behavior; 9) substance abuse; 10) excuses and/or blaming; and/or 11) depression.

Methods for Determining Who is most Likely to Become Violent

While there are no methods that can completely and accurately predict which specific employees are going to become violent in the workplace, various guidelines offer important and defensible considerations for assessing the likelihood of workplace violence. According to Blythe these methods include, but are not limited to the following:

* Assessment of potential violence needs to consider the psychological makeup and behavioral tendencies of the threatening person. Questions about anger problems, sense of entitlement, depression, and/or suicide are important. Does the person engage in poor judgment, repeatedly mention violent methods to resolve a personal issue, or demonstrate negative coping skills? Substance abuse is also often correlated with violent offenders. A history of violence is the best predictor of future violence.

* Assessment of potential violence should also include “context” and the evolving situation. Typically, a good starting point is to understand that potentially violent and threatening individuals almost always feel unfairly treated. Are there job problems, especially insubordination? Does the individual overly identify with his/her job position?

* Another important consideration pertains to people who know or have had contact with the threatening individual. A key indicator of intended workplace violence is to assess the “gut level feeling” about violent propensities from people familiar with the individual. Do people in the workplace (or others) feel afraid or intimated by this person? Does the EA professional, management or employees have an intuitive sense that the individual is someone who could become violent in the workplace or elsewhere?

It is also worth noting that, according to Blythe, only 36% of workplace assailants commit suicide. This means that 64% aren’t suicidal enough to kill themselves following violent acts.

This article is not all inclusive of Blythe’s or other professionals’ methods for assessing individuals at risk for violence. Neither should it be construed as legal advice, but as an overview of good business practices.

 

We can Learn a Lot from Our Dogs

It is sometimes said that the best therapists are furry and have four legs. I would add that I think our dogs make pretty darn good teachers as well.

Yes, you read that right. It’s true WE teach our dogs a lot – how to sit, shake hands, heel, and so on. With the proper training, some dogs even become guard dogs, service dogs, and seeing-eye dogs. But I think it quite possible, even likely, that they actually teach us even more.

The reason I say this is because our Maltese, Baxter, passed recently, and I have been thinking not only about what he meant to us, but what we learned from him. Consider:

* Dogs teach us how to live life one day at a time. I thought for sure we would have Baxter at least a few more years, but what do I know? Earlier this month, he suddenly became gravely ill, and it was clear he was suffering. I was not ready to say goodbye to our four-legged best friend, and yet my wife convinced me that we had to. His passing reminded me just how fleeting life really is, and how this is true for not only people, but especially our pets, who only live a fraction as long as we do.

Resources for those grieving the loss of a pet:

Love is a Dog             https://www.facebook.com/groups/1782075482106035/

Rainbow Bridge ……..  http://www.rainbowbridge.com/

Besides, ever known a dog that didn’t know how to enjoy each day? On many a stressful day at my computer, I would look down and see Baxter looking at me, probably eager for a treat, and I would think to myself, “With love like that, how bad can it really get?”

* Dogs teach us loyalty. Ever known an animal more loyal than a dog? Baxter would follow me from room to room to room throughout the day. Whatever I was doing, wherever I was, that was where he wanted to be. Sometimes, I would swear he was too “zonked out” (sleeping) to notice I was out of the room. Nope! I’d be in the bathroom…next thing I knew… there would be Baxter lurking into the room to see where I was!

* Dogs teach us unconditional love. We humans certainly know how to love pretty well on our own, but it is easier said than done to love as unconditionally as our four-legged friends. Dictionary.com defines unconditional as, “absolute, complete, and unqualified.” Consider prenuptial agreements as but one example. “I will love you if….” Love, but with strings attached. But there is no such thing for dogs…They don’t care what we do, or how much money we make. They love us. Period.

Here are some of the other things that dogs teach us:

1) Let someone scratch behind your ear or rub your belly once in a while – it feels good!

2) Stick your head out a window and let the wind rush past your face – that feels good, too!

3) There’s no such thing as too much of a good thing! See #1 and #2.

4) “To the world, we might be one person, but to one person – or a pet – we might be the world.” – Anon.

5) “Dogs are not our whole life, but they make our lives whole.” – Anon.

It is said that God brings pets into our lives to show us how to love, and they leave to teach us about loss.

RIP Baxter – you taught us a lot.

CAPTIONS: Dogs certainly don’t teach us anything about computers! (photo above left), but they sure teach us a lot of other things. One thing dogs are good at (and even people) is napping – Baxter and I nodding off (above right). Baxter and I getting ready for Halloween (above left).

Ghost Writer / Blogger for Hire!

Boy, I’d sure like to write a blog, but I don’t have the time!

Are you a busy employee assistance or other workplace professional who has ever said something like that to yourself?

Did you know that a blog is one of the best ways to enhance awareness of your services? Did you also know that someone can write them for you anonymously? (Known in journalism circles as “ghost writers.”)

If you would like to start a blog to enhance awareness of your services but can’t find the time, email me at

madjac@tds.net.

 

B-eing a Type B is A-OK

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Travis Bradberry, an award-winning author, and co-founder of TalentSmart, had a very interesting post on LinkedIn recently about how people with Type B personalities can be overlooked in the working world. As someone who used to work with a LOT of Type As in the workplace, I wanted to present a few thoughts about some of the differences in our qualities.

Let me start by clarifying that I don’t think there is anything wrong with being a Type A. I think every organization needs a few Type As – they are outspoken in many cases, true; but they are also the go-getters that know how to do what needs to be done. Give them a job, they will get it done. They are clear about how to go about a given task, where others would likely be more indecisive. That’s the good part.

But I have also learned that if you put TOO MANY Type As in a particular work setting, the result is often managers and supervisors involved in heated battles because one of them wants to be IN CHARGE. Put another way, you may need a hard-driving Type A personality to take command in important situations… but MORE than one? Probably not a good idea – they will inevitably lock horns.

So long as we have the same destination plugged into our GPS, what difference does it make if you’re going 80 on the freeway, and I’m going 60 on an off-road (like the one in the picture above)?

Where does Type B fit in? People with Type B personalities like myself are often content in the background. But just because we tend to shun the spotlight doesn’t mean we don’t care – we’re just more laid back about it. Dr. Bradberry correctly points out that being laid-back is not the same thing as being disengaged or indifferent!

Reading Dr. Bradberry’s post was very enlightening. It made me feel much better about who I am, because for years, surrounded by Type As – who seemed to dominate the newsrooms I was employed in for years — I felt like a second-class citizen compared to these powerful personalities. It was as if I lacked ambition.

Bradberry has this to say about Type As: “We’re awed by your drive and by your breathtaking pace. we recognize the rewards that come your way, and we’re impressed. But we’re wise enough to know that we’re not wired that way.”

Indeed. It takes all types to make a workplace effective. We Type Bs are happy to stay in the slow lane and let you pass. So long as we have the same destination plugged into our GPS, what difference does it make if you’re going 80 on the freeway, and I’m going 60 on an off-road (like the one in this picture)?

 

 

Mark Your Calendar! Free Webinar on Workplace Bullying

Workplace bullying is systematic psychological abuse aimed at degrading and humiliating others. Research from around the world indicates up to 50% of working adults report that they have been bullied.

Although OSHA and various state and federal regulations require that employers provide a safe and harassment-free work environment, it is an epidemic many employers are ill-equipped to deal with.

Employee Assistance Report and Civility Partners will present the free webinar, “How to Spot, Understand, and Solve Workplace Bullying” on Wednesday, July 20.

The presentation will be led by Catherine Mattice, MA, SPHR, SHRM-SCP, internationally recognized expert on workplace bullying, and head of Civility Partners, and Mike Jacquart, BA, editor of the Employee Assistance Report monthly newsletter.

Join Catherine and Mike as they define workplace bullying and offer tips for helping targets and organizations solve the problem. All information is based on their own experiences and academic research.

For more info and to register visit

https://civilitypartners.lpages.co/eap-webinar-registration-page/

 

Stroll More Than Scroll: Pros & Cons of Technology

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This is the first in a series of posts about the pros and cons of today’s technologically driven age.

Technology can be a great thing in many ways. We can “google” something in the blink of an eye, and have access to information that would have taken minutes, even hours, to research in a library decades ago. I remember looking up books for college term papers, and it was not uncommon to scour through and check out multiple books just to piece together enough information for a single topic. Time consuming!

Technology also drives communication like never before. We can talk to, listen to, and even see people anytime, anywhere on our smart phones. It still blows my mind that someone could be in Boise and receive a text from a business colleague in Shanghai.

It’s ironic that in a day and age with more ‘communication’ than ever before, there is conversely less ‘interaction’ than ever.

Or what’s much more typical for me, you are multi-tasking at your desk when up pops a note from “Bob” reminding you about tomorrow’s 1 p.m. meeting about the new website. Better yet, the reminder could have come up on your smart phone while you were en route to a 30-minute meeting with a client – away from your desk, you might have easily forgotten about it!

These are among the significant advances to life in the 21st century and THEY ARE great developments in many ways!

But I think it’s also necessary to examine some of the drawbacks – first and foremost among them pertains to communication. It’s ironic that in a day and age with more “communication” than ever before, there is conversely less “interaction” than ever.

Consider: When you “press the flesh,” you get to meet a peer in your field, even get to actually “know” this person … especially over time when you see some of the same people at some of the same meetings and other events. You are able to build relationships by engaging in important face-to-face networking … as well as the professional development you’re able to gain by attending conferences and other trainings. But you can only do this in person, not online.

It’s disturbing to me that you can go to a conference in today’s day and age and find scores of people more interested in keeping their head down, scrolling through their screens, than they are in getting up, strolling around the premises, looking for potential opportunities for people to meet. What kind of interpersonal skills will tomorrow’s business leaders have? Or maybe NOT have.

I would rather stroll than scroll … but that’s me. What about you?

And what about that time-consuming research at the library? I am still trying to figure out how that was better than Google! Maybe in some cases, there really isn’t any drawback to a technological advancement. But my guess is, that is rare.

More on pros and cons of technology another time.

The Invisible Barrier

“Mental illness is nothing to be ashamed of, but stigma and bias shame us all.” – Bill Clinton

May is Mental Health Awareness Month

Many disabilities are readily apparent. There’s no question that an individual who is blind requires the use of a cane or service animal to get around or that a person unable to walk will need a wheelchair or motor scooter. However, other disabilities aren’t as obvious. Mental health impairments are among the most “invisible” and least understood disabilities, even though they are also among the most common.

People wouldn’t leave a broken arm or a sprained ankle unattended, so why do some folks feel (men especially) that mental health is something they can just ‘tough out’?!

According to the National Alliance on Mental Illness (NAMI), approximately 58 million Americans, or one in four adults, experience a mental health impairment in a given year. NAMI defines a mental health impairment as, “a medical condition that disrupts a person’s thinking, feeling, mood, ability to relate to others, and daily functioning.”

I can count myself among these Americans. During a rough period in my life in which I was out of work for nearly a year, I was finally diagnosed with depression and Attention Deficit Disorder (ADD) in spring 2002. I wish I had done so earlier, but then again who knew? For years I just thought that’s who I was and had to live with it… even though I grew increasingly envious of people who laughed and enjoyed life while I struggled to even smile. I knew being out of work was “part of it”, I mean, how many people are happy and bubbly when they’re unemployed? Still, who doesn’t have some peaks and valleys in their lives? And yet, most people seem to “bounce back” from problems quite well. Not me.

I began to realize there was more to what was going on than just being “out of work.” They say that most of us going through a major life issue grow “sick and tired, of being sick and tired,” and so I sought the assistance of my wife’s EAP, which eventually resulted in my diagnosis. What a revelation! It went a LONG way toward explaining why I was having so many work-related problems; issues that crossed over into my personal life as well. I’ll never forget how I felt when I started my medication…it was as if a veil had been lifted from my eyes. “So this is how I’m SUPPOSED to feel!” I thought. “No wonder other people are happier and enjoy life more!”

I encourage ANYONE who even suspects something might be amiss with themselves mentally (or someone they know for that matter)  to get checked out! It is a tremendous shame that bias and stigma remain barriers to mental health that need to be overcome – barriers that are at the heart of what Mental Health Month is all about. (This important observance is noted in the month of May.)

People wouldn’t leave a broken arm or a sprained ankle unattended, so why do some folks feel (men especially) that mental health is something they can just “tough out”?!  You can no more resolve depression or other disorders than you could that untreated arm or ankle! Mental health IS health!  And in this day and age, help is just a mouse click away.

Mental Health America (www.mentalhealthamerica.net) offers a tool-kit that includes fact sheets, a poster, calendar of mental health tips, materials to use with the media and on social media, and more.

Other resources include:

National Alliance on Mental Illnesshttp://www.nami.org

Carson J Spencer Foundationhttp://www.carsonjspencer.org

MentalHealth.gov –  http://www.mentalhealth.gov

Note: This article was originally posted in 2015 and is being re-posted due to it being Mental Health Awareness Month.

 

Great Things Come in Small Packages: 2017 Wisconsin EAPA Conference

MILWAUKEE, Wis. – It’s said that great things come in small packages, and that was definitely the case at the Greater Wisconsin EAPA Chapter’s 28th Annual Conference on Employee Assistance, held April 27-28 at the Best Western Airport Hotel & Convention Center in Milwaukee. There were more than 100 attendees (up from last year), but the keynotes and breakout sessions, in my opinion, were as good as larger conferences in the EA field.

Below are a few of the highlights:

DAY ONE – Sex, Drugs and Rock N’ Roll: The Biology of Addiction was the topic of the opening keynote, presented by David Mays, MD, PhD, University of Wisconsin-Madison. Mays explained how human biology mediates our addictions and why addictive behavior is so puzzling and difficult to manage.

It All Starts with Food was led by Retired Col. Frank Alvarez, CEO of Frankly Nutritious. “If components are missing and/or of inferior quality, think the Three Little Pigs here, you will not reach your potential in all areas of your life,” said Alvarez. “The fix is simple and easy; nutrition.”

Stephanie Bellin, a wellness trainer with ThedaCare at Work, presented Reasonable Suspicion. “The training [also] gives you skills and tools needed to handle a situation in which an employee might be under the influence of drugs or alcohol,” she said.

Raising Awareness of Your EAP was presented by Michael Jacquart, editor, writer, and communications strategist. “What is an EAP? What does an EAP do? These questions are asked much too often, at least partly due to EAPs not doing enough to market themselves and their services,” he stated.

Legal Considerations for Employee Assistance Professionals was led by Carrie Joshi and Robin Sheridan, attorneys with the law firm Hall, Render, Kilian, Heath & Lyman, P.C. Areas they discussed included leaves of absence, accommodation obligations for disabled employees, acting as an employer consultant, confidentiality (including exceptions) and telehealth. “Second opinions are allowed under the FMLA, but employers should not be asking you for it,” Sheridan said.

DAY TWO – Leading an Intentional Culture was the topic of the keynote, presented by Lee Bouche, CEAP and president of Bouche Consulting, LLC. Workplace culture is more than a written statement of mission and values hung on the wall for employees to see, according to Bouche. “It is living and evolving within the organization and needs to be intentionally led to achieve desired organizational results.”

Michael Goldman, CEAP, Goldman Training and Consultation, led Helping EAPs Advocate for Employees who are on the Autism Spectrum Disorder. Among other areas, Goldman presented case studies, suggestions for supporting individuals with ASD, the EAP’s role to employers, and examples of organizations that embrace inclusion.

Many thanks for the great job by the conference committee: Chuck Austin, We Energies; Kelly Nies, ThedaCare at Work; Nancy Lynn Smith, Magellan Healthcare; and Lori Wessel, Holy Family Memorial EAP. ….. NOTE: The pictures in this post are NOT from this conference.