An Update on Recent Activities
If you have checked in to look for blog updates since mid-summer, you will have undoubtedly noticed that there was silence. For those waiting for the next posting on relating to the “Twelve Tips for Effective Communication,” it will be posted very soon! The truth about the delay in recent blog posting is that there has been such a flurry of activity since mid-summer, that it was impossible to support the project initiatives and also tend to the blog – something had give until there was breathing room to catch up!
Here is a summary of the activities that caused the delay in posting more articles on the blog:
Launching a new ombudsman program for a professional association:
Over the course of last spring and this summer I had the pleasure of working with a large professional organization in Albuquerque to help them design a new Ombudsman program that will serve as a resource to help both members of the public and members of the professional organization find information and support and resolve conflicts and issues of concern. Among other things the support I provided for the new program included:
- Designing the charter statement for the program and meeting with the Board of directors to review the statement, answer questions, and help make final revisions;
- Serving as a Q & A resource in a variety of meetings with the professional membership, and a number of the committees and working groups of this association;
- Developing the program implementation plan, including all the steps for implementation;
- Drafting the ombudsman position description and providing templates for a job advertisement;
- Developing a 20-hour training program that included an overview of the core skills necessary for effectively practicing as an ombudsman in the context of the new program and providing training in an array of advanced communication and rapport-building skills. Part of the support role for the training program included securing other professionals to provide additional depth and breath to the training, so that the resulting program included five expert faculty.
- Designing a case/issue tracking “dashboard,” which will allow the Board and others an instant snapshot of themes and trends as they emerge through the ombudsman program.
The new ombudsman program will become operational within the month and the association is currently interviewing applicants from the pools of individuals who completed the training.
Developing and delivering an Advanced Communications and Settlement Error Avoidance Workshop for the Solicitor’s Office of a large federal agency:
This summer I worked in collaboration with the staff of a large federal agency to design and deliver advanced training to Rocky Mountain regional solicitor’s office for the agency. The training was attended by 35 attorneys and professional legal support staff and received exceptional evaluations. The training program was designed to be highly interactive and involved developing a detailed Program Workbook with scenarios, exercises, assessment instruments, settlement error data, and background materials on communication and conflict resolution. We are currently refining the training program so that it can be delivered now nationally.
Providing community facilitation services on controversial national nuclear policy and land-use issues:
Over the summer, I facilitated a series of important public meetings around northern New Mexico involving discussion and review of pending environmental permits at Los Alamos National Laboratory for open detonation, storm water management, individual permit status, status of the Chemistry and Metallurgy Research Replacement (CMRR) laboratory, and the Public hearings for the Environmental Impact Statement public hearings for a possible new plutonium facility at Los Alamos National Laboratory. These important hearings were often controversial and challenging to facilitate, but it is critical that the public have the opportunity to review the status of information and to provide comment.
Conducting a record number of mediations for private clients, the New Mexico Court system and for federal agencies:
This summer and fall have been extremely busy times for providing mediation services to the courts on cases involving torts and personal injury, home foreclosures, and a wide variety of workplace issues. It seems that the stresses of the economy and the overall collective attitude of the nation influence our abilities to effectively interact with one another. I am committed to helping people work through their issues during these tough times.
BJM November 2, 2011