Go Far Together


I recently heard an interview of Cory Booker, Senator from New Jersey.  He was asked about the divisiveness in Washington and about how he worked with Governor Christie when Booker was mayor of Newark. Booker explained that even when you had significant differences, it was still important to make connections and build relationships. He talked about the many projects developed with Governor Christie as well as his visits across the aisle in the Senate including lunch with Senator Cruz.  Booker then recounted an African proverb to explain part of his thinking:

If you want to go fast, go alone.  If you want to go far, go together.

This very much captures the work of the NC State Faculty Ombuds Office where my goal is to “go far together.”  I think of the faculty ombuds’ role as working in partnership with  faculty members that reach out for help.  And, I’m very much a believer in going far as compared to fast.  I also very much support the idea of building and sometimes even rebuilding connections or relationships. In fact, I think relationship building is a key component of resolving conflicts and I often talk with faculty about how to make a connection or repair one that has fallen on hard times.

Let me know if I can help you think though an issue and make connections.  And, I’m happy if we can go fast and far together!!

IOA Conference – build relationships to build resolution

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!