Two Perspectives on Learning the Organizational Ombudsman Role



This article explores the challenges in learning the role of the organizational ombudsman from the perspectives of two practitioners—one an experienced workplace mediator, the other a student of conflict resolution. The discussion of the shift in thinking, as well as skills needed to transition into the various facets of organizational ombudsman work, combines concepts from ombudsman theory with insights on enhancing ombudsman practice. The authors provide observations and recommendations based on their own experiences assuming the roles of a new ombudsman, including reflective practice and partnering, coaching with employees, and expanding systemic engagements with and cultural knowledge of organizations.