Office of the Ombudsman

Confidential - Neutral - Independent - Informal

Interpersonal

When members of the community experience interpersonal problems, ombudsmen are able to help those involved engage their issues in a collaborative and constructive manner. Using skills such as active listening and reframing, ombudsmen employ different methods to help visitors arrive at a shared understanding of the issues.


Facilitated Discussion

A facilitated discussion/mediation is a process of assisted negotiation where individuals work to understand each other and resolve their differences with the assistance of a neutral third party, i.e, an ombudsman.  In a facilitated discussion individuals are encouraged to listen to and consider others' perspectives.


Shuttle Diplomacy

Ombudsmen usually encourage those with interpersonal concerns to engage one another directly (sometimes with the help of an ombudsman) to find collaborative resolutions to their problems. In some instances, however, concerns are better resolved by shuttling information between visitors who are not able to engage each other directly.


Interpersonal Scientific Conflicts and Collaborations

Ombudsmen are available to assist investigators, fellows, clinicians, scientific directors, and all scientific personnel with interpersonal concerns that affect their work environment, research, and/or professional relationships. We work proactively with visitors to collaboratively identify potential issues before they become a problem, helping visitors create joint understanding on how to address concerns proactively.  We also help scientists and clinicians address current concerns about authorship; partnering agreements; and fellow, investigator, and/or peer conflicts.