This course provides basic information and training for the organizational ombuds by emphasizing the principles of confidentiality, neutrality, independence, and informality. The course will enable the organizational ombuds, persons interested in becoming an ombuds, or anyone desiring to establish an organizational ombuds function to act with purpose, understanding, and effectiveness when working with the individual and the organization.
The course focuses on how the ombuds works with the visitor to the office as well as how they act as a change agent within their organization. The course will allow you to practice key ombuds skills of listening, asking questions, clarifying, generating options, and negotiation throughout the ombuds process. In addition, an experienced and highly committed faculty of ombuds will share best practices around setting up an office and evaluating and communicating the effectiveness of the office.
This course will concentrate on how to communicate the value and benefits of an Ombudsman function internally to management who are considering starting an Ombudsman Office, and from the outside if you are an entrepreneur.
Wendy Friede currently heads Friede Coaching and Consulting, where she helps organizations establish and grow their ombuds functions, evaluates internal issue-resolution systems, and works with teams and individuals dealing with change/conflict. Friede was the corporate ombudsperson for American Express from 1995 to 2007. She currently works with 7-Eleven, NASA, the State of Minnesota, and other ombuds programs. Friede served on the IOA board of directors and chaired the curriculum development committee between 1999 and 2007. She has been an instructor in the Ombuds 101 and 101 Plus courses, and she facilitates specialized courses. She holds a master’s degree from Boston University and is a certified mediator and executive coach. In addition to being a member of IOA, Wendy is a member of Association of Conflict Resolution (ACR) and International Coach Federation (ICF).
Donna Louden is the associate director of the ombuds office at the University of Colorado at Boulder. Prior to joining CU-Boulder, she was an ombudsperson on the University of California, Irvine campus and later went on to establish the Ombudsman Office at the UCI Medical Center. Louden is an accomplished instructor and has conducted numerous trainings on a range of subjects including communication skills, conflict management, and cross-cultural conflict/mediation. She has a bachelor’s degree from Loyola Marymount University and a master’s degree in Intercultural Communication.
Tom Sebok worked as a counselor in three different community colleges between 1976 and 1990. He became an ombudsperson at the University of Colorado at Boulder in 1990 and in 1992 became the director of that office. He served as secretary for the boards of the University and College Ombuds Association and the International Ombudsman Association and is associate editor for the Journal of the International Ombudsman Association. Sebok has published numerous articles and made many presentations at professional conferences related to ombudsfunctions, restorative justice, and conflict management. He holds a master’s degree in education from the University of Delaware.
David Talbot has been an ombudsperson for Coca-Cola Enterprises, Inc. (CCE), since March of 2003. The CCE ombuds office addresses workplace conflict for approximately 65,000 employees across North America. He has has worked as a conflict resolution professional and trainer for the past 13 years. Prior to his current role as ombudsperson for CCE, Talbot was manager for Community Mediation Services in Vancouver, Washington, and director of the California Academy of Mediation Professionals in Los Angeles, California. Talbot holds a J.D. from the University of Idaho and a master’s degree in dispute resolution from the Pepperdine University, Straus Institute for Dispute Resolution.