I just returned from the IOA (International Ombudsman Association) annual conference in Atlanta. Just imagine 400 ombuds from across the country and the world gathering to talk, learn, and network around the work of the ombuds. The program was packed with plenary sessions and smaller seminars with topics to meet a full range of interests.
One plenary session focused on the idea of relationships and how we humans place significant emphasis on value in relationships. In thinking about this concept, if you are having a conflict with a colleague, then figure out what you can do that the other will perceive as valuable. (Note – its not what you are already doing that you think is valuable – its what the other will think is valuable.) Taking such a step has the potential to create, rebuild, or perhaps enhance your relationship. And with a more solid relationship, then you may be more able to resolve the issue or conflict.
In my past mediation practice, I’ve used the phrase “build relationships to build settlements” and its worth thinking about if you find yourself in difficulty. And, of course, contact the NC State Faculty Ombuds if you need help!