Contract and Conference Ombudsing
As an experienced Ombud, I help organizations offer their employees and members a confidential, independent and neutral place to address work-related conflict without the need to hire someone for that role long-term. Contract ombudsing can be done for a specific period of time (2-3 months, 6 months or more), or as long as it takes to address a particular issue, situation or transition (aka until it's done).
In terms of conference ombudsing I provide a place for attendees and organizers to share conference-related concerns confidentially, either in person or virtually, so that they feel supported and heard in real-time, in a safe environment.
To learn more about Contract and Conference Ombudsing and how they can be tailored to suit your needs, contact me.
Sample Page for Conference Attendees:
Hello and thank you for visiting!
Your organization's leadership has engaged me for your Annual Conference to provide membership with a Conference Ombud to support the organization's culture, policies, and code of conduct.
As your Ombud, I'm available to serve as an informal, independent and neutral resource to discuss conference-related concerns. I provide a confidential, safe place for you to discuss your concerns either in person or virtually, and help you explore options for possible further action. As your Ombud I'm not a mandated reporter. I will not investigate any issues raised nor am I authorized to serve as a place where notice of claims can be given to your organization.
In addition to serving as a resource to you, I will, without breaching confidentiality, provide your organization with feedback on the nature of issues raised and share any insights or observations about systemic issues and possible solutions in order to better serve your organization and its members.
You can learn more about the Ombuds role below. Please feel free to book an appointment with me by using the "Book Now" button.
I look forward to meeting you!
A Conference Ombud Can:
Be a sounding board and offer perspective and advice about work/conference-related concerns
Provide you with information about how to manage challenging conversations and resolve a matter informally
Answer questions and provide information to help you assess your options (not legal advice)
Refer you to the appropriate individual to file a formal complaint or grievance
Mediate conflicts and facilitate conversations if all participants are willing to do so
A Conference Ombud Cannot:
Make or change an Organization's policy, rule or decision
Provide legal advice or representation
Testify in formal proceedings
As a member of the International Ombuds Association (IOA), I subscribe to the IOA’s Code of Ethics and Standards of Practice (both available in multiple languages).
The most important principles of my work as an Ombud are:
1. Confidentiality – the purpose of the Conference Ombud is to create a safe space for members to share their concerns, examine issues and identify and consider potential options. I’ll hold all communications confidential, which means that I won’t share the name of anyone who speaks with me or share what we discuss in an identifying way unless you give me explicit permission to do so. The only exception to this confidentiality is if I feel there is an imminent risk of serious harm in which case I’ll notify an appropriate individual or authority.
2. Independence – the Conference Ombud is independent and outside of the organization's administrative structure. As Conference Ombud, I report directly to the leadership and/or board however because confidentiality is so important, the only “reporting” that I’ll do will be in the form of post-conference feedback to identify ares of concern and issues that the organization should address to better serve its members . Reporting will not include any identifying information about individuals or issues that have been shared with me.
3. Neutrality/Impartiality - the Conference Ombud is an impartial third-party whose role is to offer objective assessments of any concerns raised and provide information about what solutions might be available. I have no authority to take action or advocate on anyone’s behalf and I can’t compel anyone to respond.
4. Informality – a Conference Ombud is an informal resource for members and as such I don’t make decisions on behalf of the organization, I cannot override any decisions already made by the organization and I cannot formally advise any individual or group within the organization. I don’t maintain any permanent records of confidential communications and I can’t participate in any formal adjudicative or administrative process regarding concerns brought to my attention. My role is to listen and offer perspective and information only.