Friday, May 05, 2006

Who Makes a Good Mediator or Ombuds?

Recently I had the pleasure of presenting a program at the very first conference of the newly formed International Ombudsman Association.

My talk on being a Private Provider Ombuds was very well received by about 50 attendees (you can find the handouts on under the IOA button). That was gratifying, however, I was even more pleased to be part of such a welcoming, friendly community.

That got me thinking. Clearly, we aren't all friendly, warm and open. Thinking that way could lead to gross generalizations about what types of people can do peace work successfully. So, I thought I'd ask you:

What qualities should a good Ombuds (or mediator) possess to be effective in his or her role?

Things like patience, open-mindedness, flexibility, discretion and integrity come immediately to mind for me, and I could easily list more. What comes to mind for you?

I'm hoping my buddies in the ADR blogging community will share this question with their readers, too. Let's get a robust discussion going, shall we??

Try. Fail. Learn. Grow.



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