As a prelude to its eleventh annual conference, the International Ombudsman Association will offer several training programs in Seattle, April 8-10. The trainings are open to anyone and are not limited to Ombuds or conference attendees.
The programs include:
Foundations of Organizational Ombudsman Practice, Instructors: Donna Louden, Director, Ombuds Office, National Renewable Energy Laboratory; Melissa Brodrick, Ombudsman, Harvard Medical School; Ralph Johnson, Americas Ombud, McKinsey & Company, Inc.; Tom A. Kosakowski, Associate Director of the Office of Ombuds Services and Ombudsperson for the Health System, UCLA; Lauren Bloom, CO-OP, Associate Ombudsperson, University of California-Berkeley
This course covers the fundamentals of the organizational ombudsman role. It provides basic information and training for the organizational ombudsman by emphasizing the principles of confidentiality, neutrality, independence and informality. The three-day course focuses on how the ombudsman works with the visitor to the office as well as how they act as a change agent within their organization. The course will allow you to practice key ombudsman skills of listening, asking questions, clarifying, generating options, and moving to actions throughout the ombudsman process. In addition, an experienced and highly committed faculty of ombuds will share best practices around setting up an office and evaluating and communicating the effectiveness of the office.
Mental Health First Aid, Presented by Mary Beth Stevens, Ombudsman, Los Alamos National Laboratory
Just as CPR helps you assist an individual having a heart attack — even if you have no clinical training — Mental Health First Aid helps you assist someone experiencing a mental health related crisis. In this course, will you learn risk factors and warning signs for mental health and addiction concerns, strategies for how to help someone in both crisis and non-crisis situations, and where to turn for help.
Ombudsman Master Class, Presented by Howard Gadlin, Former Ombudsman, National Institutes of Health; Tom Sebok, Fomer Director, Ombuds Office, University of Colorado, Boulder; Samantha Levine-Finley, Deputy Ombudsman, American Red Cross; Kevin Jessar, Corporate Ombudsman and Director of the Corporate Ombudsman Office, American Red Cross;Nicholas Diehl, Ombudsman, Asian Development Bank
The goal of this full-day course is to create an environment in which instructors can demonstrate their techniques and styles as they role play cases. For each case there will be time to discuss the ombudsman’s approach and to explore how instructors and participants analyze the individual and systemic elements at play. Instructors work in the government, academic, corporate and international sectors and will provide scenarios relevant to their respective sectors and organizations.
Success Signals: Using Your Communication Style More Effectively, Presented by Julie Showers, Director, Office for Conflict Resolution, University of Minnesota
The Success Signals training program provides practical tools that help participants identify and use their unique communication styles to enhance relationships, decrease conflicts and increase productivity. This highly interactive training is both engaging and enjoyable, while providing profound insight into one of the most common challenges in our workplaces: humans who just don’t get along.
Tuning In: Building Listening Skills Through Improvisation, Presented by Adam Barak Kleinberger, Associate Ombuds, Boston University
Learn how to really, truly listen. Listening is one of the fundamental skills used by ombuds and conflict resolution professionals. All levels of ombuds will find it useful to attend this nontraditional, participatory training session that uses improvisation to build the listening skills of each attendee. Improvising, or “improv,” is creating something without prior preparation. Hear your visitors with accuracy and heart. Process two speakers at once. Learn how to listen to environmental factors to better serve your clients.
A Research Primer for Ombuds, Presented by Shannon Lynn Burton, Assistant Ombudsperson, Michigan State University
Many ombuds have “big questions” about their practice, but have not had the opportunity to explore them in a meaningful space. In this session, practicing ombuds will have a chance to explore an initial research question and consider methods for answering that question. Through utilizing the critical friends process, ombuds will work together to create a community of scholars to begin expanding their research knowledge base and design a strategy for answering their question.
OM-budsing: Tools for Mindful Ombuds Practice, Presented by Caitlan Hendrickson, Ombuds Program Director, University of Arizona; Cornelia Zelter, Senior Conflict Resolution Officer, United Nations Ombudsman & Mediation Services
“When we are mindful, deeply in touch with the present moment, our understanding of what is going on deepens.” ~ Thich Nhat Hanh. As ombuds practitioners, the deeper we understand a visitor’s situation, the more effective we can be in assisting them. In this engaging workshop blending theory and philosophy with practical tools, we will explore how mindfulness teachings and practices can inspire and enrich our work.
Related Ombuds Blog post: IOA Posts Agenda, Opens Registration for 2016 Annual Conference.