How Might an Ombuds Help?
The ombudsperson at Brown, Ruthy Kohorn Rosenberg, has skill and experience in conflict resolution, conflict coaching, facilitation, and university administration. We offer a neutral, confidential, independent and informal place to have a quiet conversation, work out how to navigate a situation or organization, and problem solve. Below are some specific examples of how we can help:
- Assist in developing a structure for a difficult conversation or meeting; prepare for a negotiation
- Think though the best approach to improve communication
- Help to surface information when people are afraid to come forward.
- Talk through thoughts and feelings about a touchy situation
- Help to think through the most appropriate strategies and approaches to an ongoing dispute.
- Consider a situation that could escalate
- Help to develop and evaluate options or courses of action, and think though how to pursue them.
- Prepare to present a topic to a group that might get an adverse reaction; think through an agenda of a meeting to be efficient and constructive
- Identify and refer to appropriate services or resources.
- Look into a problem informally (with permission), and when appropriate, present recommendations to the visitor or others.
- Provide “shuttle diplomacy,” individually talking with the parties involved, going back and forth between them until they are either able to talk together or they have a better understanding of the dispute so that an agreement between them can be reached.
- Mediate disputes by bringing together the parties involved, in a formal way, in order to assist them in reaching their own settlement.
- Recommending systems change to appropriate individuals.
- Help identify constructive processes for addressing thorny issues – on an individual, small group, departmental or institutional level