January 12, 2009

Traits of an Ombuds

As Organizational Ombuds continue to define themselves, the following character traits seem an apt description:
  • Alertness -- An Ombuds must evaluate information and simultaneously be alert to how it is presented.
  • Patience and Tact -- An Ombuds must create and maintain rapport with the visitor to enhance the success of the process.
  • Credibility -- An Ombuds must present himself in a believable and consistent manner, and be able to clearly articulate complex situations and concepts.
  • Objectivity and Self-control -- An Ombuds must be totally objective and dispassionate in responding to information presented.
  • Adaptability -- An Ombuds must adapt to the many and varied personalities which he will encounter.
  • Perseverance -- Tenacity of purpose can be the difference between an Ombuds who is merely good and one who is superior.
  • Appearance and Demeanor -- An Ombuds' organized and professional appearance will favorably influence individuals.
  • Initiative -- Consistent and appropriate initiative is essential to a successful session.
Actually, this list was suggested by Sam Imperati as invaluable "Traits of a Mediator." Most surprisingly, he cribbed the list from an US Army manual for interrogators questioning suspected terrorists. (Mediate.com; Army Field Manual 2-22.3, Human Intelligence Collector Operations.)

Is the comparison disturbing or are the traits simply common to anyone who must deal with individuals successfully?

Related posts: Rules to Understand People and Avoid Conflict; Improve Listening Skills by Mirroring Gestures; How Important Are Appearances for Ombuds; Top Conversation Hacks; Ombuds Occupy Place on Bridge Between Psychology and Conflict Resolution; Thoughts on Impartiality.

1 comment: