2012: marking 10 years of ombudsman services in the Secretariat
Since 2002, when the function of United Nations Ombudsman was established in the Secretariat, many things have changed — the Office now includes a mediation service and seven regional branches that serve colleagues away from Headquarters — but the objective remains the same: to empower staff to resolve workplace conflicts early and constructively.
It’s an objective that cannot be achieved by any single entity alone: you too can play a role in developing a more collaborative workplace in the United Nations.
Some things you can do to empower yourself and contribute to a positive working environment:
- Keep in mind that conflict is a part of life and that it can be an opportunity to clarify opinions and roles.
- When conflicts arise, address them. Avoidance often results in a problem festering or escalating until it is much harder to resolve.
- Remember that there are always at least two versions of a story.
- Listen to others. Attentively.
- Show respect for diversity in all its forms.
- Remember that people have different communication styles.
- Take advantage of conflict resolution training opportunities.
- If you are facing a problem and don’t know what your options are, get in touch with us: contacting an ombudsman is always a safe first step!