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...and I teach people how to stand up for themselves without knocking others down™ and ask for what they need to succeed.

I help businesses and organizations manage conflict, recognize differences, address challenges, and create environments where people want to engage and work...

Click on your institution's logo to schedule an ombuds appointment with me and for answers to faq's.

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Conflict is normal, it's  natural and it's part of the ebb and flow of everyday communications. Why then is conflict so hard to manage? Because we aren't hard-wired to do it well (you can blame our fight/flight instincts for that) plus, our brains aren't all wired the same so sometimes a simple  miscommunication can become a conflict.

 

As a conflict and communication professional (for over 20 years) I can help. How? 

Check these out 

“An ombud provides confidential, informal, independent and impartial assistance to individuals through dispute resolution and problem-solving methods such as conflict coaching, mediation, facilitation, and shuttle diplomacy. The ombud responds to concerns and disputes brought forward by visitors to the office and may convey trends, systemic problems, and organizational issues to high-level leaders and executives in a confidential manner.”

-International Ombuds Association Definition

 

I'm an independent ombud and I serve as the Faculty and Staff Ombud at Wesleyan University and Clark University and as the Ombud for The Broad Institute of MIT and Harvard. I also provide contract and conference ombudsing. 

If you're a already Broadie, a member of Wesleyan's Faculty or Staff or a member of Clark's Faculty or Staff, click on your community's logo below.

If not, click to read more. 

When you don't have the skills you need to stand up for yourself without knocking others down™, ask for what you need to succeed, or do conflict better, training can help. Whether it's a group of 5 or 500 (well, 500 would be a lot but I'm willing to give it a try), training in conflict communications, negotiation, recognizing difference and managing bias, creating inclusive workplaces, giving and getting productive feedback. or something else I haven't thought of training folks how to do yet, I can tailor a workshop or a series of workshops to fit your time, team and budget.

 

These are some of the organizations that have trusted me with their trainings for and I can proudly say have come back for more.

Sometimes having a neutral - someone from outside of the organization who has no history with the folks involved, no agenda, and no stake in the outcome - provide a confidential space for structured conversation(s) is the key to getting things back on track, conflicts resolved, and ensuring that organizational and individual needs are met.

 

Mediation is a confidential, self-determined, structured conversation that's guided by a neutral mediator (that'd be me). Facilitation is a process by which stakeholders, departments or groups are brought together for structured conversations to achieve defined goals like managing a transition, identifying shared values and mission, strategic planning, getting consensus on how to address a specific problem, or just rebuilding and strengthening team communications with the help of a neutral facilitator (that'd also be me, sometimes with the help of trained co-facilitator).

Because these processes are confidential, I can't share whose used them but I can tell you that some of my clients in the other two columns also use me for both mediation and facilitation and hopefully that's saying  something.

Conflict Management

Training

Mediation & Facilitation

Ombudsing

My Mission:

In my more than 20 years as a conflict and negotiation professional my goal has always been the same: to help individuals and organizations recognize options, do conflict better, learn and use the tools that help people ask for what they need to succeed, and help everyone stand up for themselves without knocking others down.

Human User Manuals (HUMs)

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What I'm currently working on is helping employers recognize and include neurodiversity in the workplace. To work towards that, I'm suggesting the use of "Human User Manuals" for everyone in the workplace and that the information in those manuals be shared appropriately with team members and supervisors in particular. This will hopefully help create shared meanings and clarity around preferences for communications that often become the source of workplace conflicts and serve to keep some from bringing their full selves to the workplace. You can see an example (mine) and create your own here. If you do decide to use it in your workplace, I'd love to get your feedback!
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