NC State Faculty & Staff Ombuds Obtains Certification – Certified Organizational Ombudsman Practitioner – CO-OP® 

 

The International Ombudsman Association (IOA – uses the Swedish term “ombudsman” that includes all genders) supports the certification of organizational ombuds through its division – The Board of Certification for Certified Organizational Ombudsman Practitioners – CO-OP®. The requirements for certification include completion of a written exam that tests knowledge of conflict management and effective communication skills along with IOA Code of Ethics and Standards of Practice among other topics. There is also an education requirement and work experience including office practices that follow IOA Ethics and Standards.

With this background, we are pleased to announce that Roy Baroff, the NC State Faculty & Staff Ombuds obtained Certification on June 8, 2017. Roy is now a Certified Organizational Ombudsman Practitioner – CO-OP®. Roy scored a 499/500 on the exam (pretty good result!), met the educational and work experience requirements, participated in a one-on-one interview with a member of the Board of Certification to discuss ombuds practices, and was then approved by the full Board of Certification.

To maintain the CO-OP® certification, Roy must complete 60 hours of continuing education credits over the next four years. Obtaining certification now and with these future recertification requirements, Roy demonstrates his commitment to the field and best practices in his service as the NC State Faculty & Staff Ombuds.

Do you have an issue, concern, or conflict on your mind and you’re not sure where to turn?  The NC State Faculty & Staff Ombuds is confidential, independent, informal and impartial. Get a head start this summer on resolving your situation – don’t wait!  For all NC State Faculty and Staff, find out what Roy can do for you – call 919-935-0922.

Working with Differences – Getting to Yes

 

How do we address differences in the workplace?  What can we do as managers/supervisors/leaders?  One answer can be found in a post from Yvonne Wichtner-Zoia, Michigan State University Extension and Ombudsperson, with some great tips for dealing with differences. Yvonne shared insights based on the book Getting to Yes: Negotiating Agreement Without Giving In (Roger Fisher and William Ury).  This is a great negotiation primer that can help you with your daily interactions both in the workplace and at home!  Here’s Yvonne’s post from 2016 reposted with her permission.

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It was 4:30 am and once Sam started thinking about tomorrow’s meeting, he couldn’t fall back asleep.  He really didn’t want to experience another uncomfortable episode with this assigned work group.

His heart began pounding as he thought about how to protect himself and not feel threatened. Every time he participated with this particular group he felt critiqued or that he didn’t understand some unnamed group norms.

Now he was wide awake!

Sam is a leader in his company and enjoys being part of a project-based work team. He participates in a number of different groups that have and continue to produce many successful projects. But, the group he is meeting with tomorrow has never seemed to click like the other teams.

Just then a thought popped into his head! He jumped out of bed, ran down the hallway and began searching the bookshelf for that book! The one he still attributes to helping him negotiate a good starting salary in a job he loves, almost 20 years ago.

The book Sam pulled off his shelf, Getting to Yes: Negotiating Agreement without Giving In, was written in 1981. He wondered if the advice offered by Fisher and Ury would still be applicable today. The more he read, the more he realized just how applicable it was. What a great resource!

Sam began to take notes that might be useful for his upcoming meeting:

• There may be more than one valid explanation or concept.
• Put yourself in their shoes.
• Speak about yourself, not them…use “I” not “you.”
• Face the problem, not the people and separate the people from the problem.
• When an option arises, ask yourself why…..and then ask ‘why not’?
• Be both firm and open.
• Talk about where you’d like to go, not where you’ve been – expect the same from others.
• Recast an attack on you as an attack on the problem.

The book provides this example, “When you said that a strike shows we don’t care about the children, I hear your concern about the children’s education. I want you to know that we share this concern. They are our children and our students. We want this strike to end so we can go back to educating them. What can we both do now to reach an agreement as quickly as possible?”

Although Sam’s work group meeting was not perfect and a few times he could feel his heart rate begin to increase, progress was made. Whenever the conversation began to focus on what people had done or not done, he remembered to bring their attention back to the problem or situation. He noticed the rest of the group started to do the same. He was both firm and open with his contributions. All voices were heard, collective interests identified and everyone’s dignity was maintained.

As a result of this experience, Sam decided to keep the book on his desk, where it would be more easily accessible in the future. Sam is a fictional character, but there are many people who experience the situation that Sam was in. They can benefit from this same resource. The next time you are feeling like Sam remember to implement the tips from this book.