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Ombuds-20:1 / Go to the Balcony

Yesterday marked the start of Ombuds-20, a virtual open house sponsored by the NC State Faculty & Staff Ombuds Office. The idea in this time of covid-19 is to offer a space for faculty and staff to take a few moments and consider some conflict resolution tools. The program will run on zoom for the next 10 weeks, every Wednesday from 12:00 noon to 12:20.

Each session will start with a few deep breaths, then a quick overview of ombuds services, followed by a conflict resolution idea, and concluding with questions and some limited discussion. All in 20 minutes!

The idea from yesterday was “Go to the Balcony” from the work of William Ury in Getting Past No: Negotiating in Difficult Situations.

Talley balcony !!

When conflict happens we react and often we don’t “think” about what we do. Instead, don’t react and; instead, go to the balcony to give yourself both some time and a different vantage point. Use the time and perspective to think strategically and then act accordingly. 

While this is certainly easy to say it is not always easy to do, yet the metaphor of actually being on a balcony and looking “down” on the conflict can be very helpful to give you an opportunity to plan and then act. You are calmer, more thoughtful, and more able to engage with the conflict to seek resolution.

Come by next week for Ombuds-20 !!