In November I added a short video explaining the role of ombuds (check out the home page link Video Explanation) that discussed the idea of developing “options” as an important role of the ombuds. This concept also fits well with noted dispute resolution author Bernie Mayer (and others like William Ury) who explain that conflict intervention roles can be thought of as the “third side” of an issue. Don’t limit your thinking to one way or the other; instead, what’s the third side? At the same time, Mayer also cautions those in such roles to not focus on the “dualistic” thinking of resolution or impasse. This can surface in the ombuds role if one is singularly focused on resolving issues.
As ombuds, while part of my thinking is absolutely to help you resolve a situation, I must also keep this goal at bay because you may come to the office with a different route in mind. Thus, instead of a singular focus on resolution or even a dualistic approach – resolve it or impasse – the focus is on options. What are the full range of choices/options available? Perhaps a situation is not yet ready for resolution and instead more information is needed or a referral or purposely avoiding the situation might make sense. With consideration and a focus on option generation there are generally multiple possibilities.
Thus, my primary goal will be to help you generate multiple options based on your goals and then you determine how to proceed.
Hope you have a Happy New Year and Happy New Options to resolve any issues you face!