Consultation: Visitors may come to the Ombud for consultation on matters that are important to them. Typical areas of consultation include any work-related difficulty including interpersonal conflict or misunderstandings, as well as academic or administrative concerns. The office provides a safe place for faculty and others to discuss their concerns and think through the potential courses of action to the situations affecting them. The Ombud helps individuals identify options for fair and equitable outcomes and fosters civility and mutual respect. The office supplements but does not replace existing grievance mechaisms or modes of redress. The Ombud may also suggest going to other offices on campus that may be of service for the individual visitor and their concerns. *If you are aware of bullying or have been bullied, please visit this office or another service office on campus. I can help you.
Coaching describes a supportive capacity-building relationship. The Ombuds Office offers a variety of coaching experiences based upon the principles of empowerment and recognition. This means that the focus of the coaching process is on helping people increase their own capacities for expressing themselves, listening to others, building interpersonal understanding, reflecting on choices, making decisions, and carrying out decisions. Coaching is offered to individuals primarily and provides an opportunity for a person to work one-on-one. Conflict coaching is confidential and provides support as a client works through difficulty and conflict. Some examples of topics include:
- Managing interpersonal conflict
- Skills for managing conflict between colleagues or students
- Expressing oneself clearly in speech and in writing
- Communicating self-confidence and leadership
- Listening to others
- Building interpersonal understanding
- Building teams
- Deliberation and reflecting on choices
- Making decisions
- Carrying out decisions
- Facilitating meetings and groups
- Using effective processes for visioning, planning, or gathering information
Mediation is offered by the Ombud as a process of alternative dispute resolution (ADR) in which the Ombud serves as a qualified, impartial mediator to assist 2 or more parties in having a conversation about their issues/conflicts. Mediators help parties discuss their differences, increase their clarity and understanding of the situation, hear new information, listen to each other, identify choices and resources, and make decisions about their dispute. A Mediator does not make decisions for the parties, does not give advice, and has no stake in the outcome or agreements between the parties. The role is not to judge or evaluate, nor to "referee", but to serve as facilitator of a difficult conversation. Mediation is a party-directed process; a way to move through conflict with some assistance while you consider new perspectives, information, and possibilities. At the end of the mediation, the mediator can assist the parties in preparing a summary of their decisions, or other informal agreement or documents that the parties may find helpful. All documents are created by and in the ownership of the parties and the mediator will not keep notes or documents. Mediation is voluntary and either party may choose to discontinue the process at any time. Any decisions made during a mediation are up to each party. All mediation is confidential by agreement of the parties; mediators are bound by professional and legally binding confidentiality standards. Threats of violence icluding sexual assault, Title IX violations, child abuse, and similar situations are exempt from confientiality protections and will be reported to appropriate authorities. *All mediations require an intake session where each participant meets individually and privately with the mediator to help prepare for mediation, discuss the appropriatenes of mediation, and to identify necessry parties to the mediation.
Group Facilitation is a process where a facilitator assists a group in solving problems and making decisions to improve productivity and efficiency. As a group facilitator, the Ombud will take great care to be sure that all voices are heard, all issues are identified, and the logistics and structure of the facilitation meets the needs of the group. The facilitator is a neutral participant and has no authority to make decisions or has any stake in the outcome of the process. Some area where facilitation is used includes:
Strategic Planning – helping organizations identify long- and short-term goals and then developing the best approach to achieving those goals
Visioning – assisting with future projections of how an organization will be seen and experienced by their customers and clients, while exploring barriers and challenges to achieving that vision
Mission Statement Creation – through myriad processes, assisting business owners in the process of determining who they are and how they want to share that message with their customers and clients
Effective Meeting Facilitation – through in-the-moment teaching and coaching, assisting managers, supervisors and other meeting-leaders through the experience of planning for and executing an effective meeting
Large Group Communication Facilitation – helping large groups of people communicate on a shared topic, including conflicts/disputes, while ensuring that voices are heard, issues are captured and addressed
Team Development: Team develop is a process designed to help team members respond to conflict, build group understanding and confidence in accepting multiple points of view, and work together to set goals and build on individual strengths to create a strong team. This process can assist teams in changing patterns of interaction which in turn affect the culture of the team environment. At the start, individual team members are interviewed or surveyed to uncover the root causes of team dysfunction and to develop a plan and process to reach team goals. Team development can enlist different processes including coaching, mediation,group facilitation, and training in order to reach group objectives.
Workshops & Training: The Ombuds Office offers workshops and training customized to meet the learning goals of the department, office, or committee. Areas of expertise offered include conflict management, mediation skills, emotional and social intelligence, civility, bullying, change management, communication, listening, negotiation, diversity, dealing with difficult people, effective meetings, stress management, leadership, effective supervision, performance management, nonviolent communication, difficult conversations, and more. Contact the Ombud to talk about your training objectives/outcomes and to design a workshop that fits your needs.
*Contact the office to schedule a first meeting to talk about your needs: 701-231-5114, or email Kristine.Paranica@ndsu.edu