University Ombuds

Visitor Experience

Here's what visitors say about their experience with the Ombuds Office:

“Our sessions with an Ombuds over the summer were truly life-changing for our relationship. I am beyond grateful to you for your help in that. My changed relationship with [this colleague] is one of the great joys of my work now! Thank you for facilitating a difficult conversation that has added much value to our office and team.”

“Thank you for being so helpful to us earlier this semester. We gained a lot from our conversation and we feel that we successfully navigated the tough scenario within our student group.”

“Thank you for your support and for making me feel comfortable enough to work through my issue and find some confidence.”

“Thank you so much for this service! I'm excited to know there is support in improving my work and professional relationships, as well as those of my team.”

“I'm very grateful that your office is contributing to an awareness and improvement of climate and culture here at Brandeis. My meetings with the ombuds have been an important part of my professional development. The challenges certainly continue, but it's comforting to know that you provide expertise and tools for us to more effectively take them on.”

“The ombuds was fantastic and allowed me to feel like I was being heard and that there are directions to go.”

“The session provided an excellent way to communicate my concerns to the other party in a neutral and less charged setting than a simple one-to-one meeting.”

“Thank you! I finally felt like someone was listening to me and validating my concerns and that is much appreciated.”

“They were wonderful and so easy to talk to. Thank you!”

“I am grateful that there is a place at Brandeis to be able to share problems and have someone there who really can help - someone you can trust and open up to.”

“This session was just what I needed and hoped for.”

“A facilitated conversation can help colleagues find new ways of communicating. First, before the conversation you have the opportunity to meet with a member of the Ombuds Office, to explore what you are bringing to the conversation and consider constructive ways to communicate. Second, having a member of the Ombuds Office present for the conversation can transform even longstanding dynamics, as they will both witness the interaction and offer strategies to keep it safe and productive for all involved. Third, parties can then debrief the conversation with the Ombuds who observed it, which provides yet another opportunity for reflection and learning. Perhaps most of all, it can be very meaningful to know that one has support in finding a way through difficulties in the workplace.”

We also provide training across campus on difficult conversations and conflict management. This is what training attendees say:

“The Ombuds training on difficult conversations was one of the most useful and well constructed workshops I've attended at Brandeis. We not only learned about helpful concepts but put them into practice in the session, engaging in trust with each other through authenticity, logic, and empathy. I would highly recommend the training to individuals, teams, and larger work units.”

“The 1.5 hours went super fast - an indication to me that this was a great workshop! Thank you!”

“A very useful and well facilitated session. Thank you.”

When asked, “What is one action you will take as a result of attending this workshop?” participants responded:

  • Follow up with ombuds and make a plan for a particularly difficult conversation I need to have.
  • Ask more questions before proceeding with a task.
  • I will plan to have a difficult conversation that I have been procrastinating in having.
  • Remember there is a third version of what is happening.
  • Better understand all parties involved.
  • I will think a lot more about how I engage in difficult conversations.