February 11, 2015

Texas Association of Mediators Annual Conference Will Feature Ombuds

The organization of ADR professionals in Texas will hold its annual conference in San Antonio on February 20-21, 2015.  The conference will include two sessions about Ombuds.

A panel discussion on February 20, will include Belinda Newman, the University Ombuds for the University of North Texas:
Outside the Mediation Realm: Expanding YOUR Possibilities 
How can we expand our possibilities to assist those in conflict using our mediator skills? The field of dispute resolution comprises of mediators who are getting creative in how they utilize their skills and take advantage of opportunities to meet their client demands...whomever they may be. This four-person panel will briefly introduce their conflict management intervention including restorative justice mediation, conflict management coaching, organizational ombudsman, and group intervention and facilitation. They will each go into more depth in their breakout sessions the following day. Other panelists include Eileen Dowse, Roberto Montoya, and Cinnie Noble.
The panel will be moderated by Pattie Porter and Walter Wright will assist as interpreter. 
Newman returns to lead a breakout session on February 21:
Organizational Ombuds as “Dilemma Coach”
Employees encounter difficult situations in the workplace where all the perceived options are equally undesirable. Organizations are increasingly implementing Ombuds programs to assist in addressing workplace conflict and concerns. The purpose of an Ombuds Office is to insure that every voice in an organization is afforded the opportunity to be heard, without fear of loss of privacy, retribution, retaliation, and that problems can receive impartial attention. This session will describe the role and practice concepts organizational ombuds engage in to provide a confidential, impartial, informal, and independent resource to organizations and its members. Topics will include an actual step process used when working with “Visitors”, ethical considerations specific to organizational ombuds practice, transferable conflict management strategies used by ombuds and mediators, and pathways and challenges to becoming an organizational ombuds.
(TAM 2015 Conf.)

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