How might an Ombudsperson help?

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