Organizational Ombuds as Smoke Jumpers

My friend and colleague David Miller once sat in a meeting with me and took on the question from a client; What is the big picture of what you all do? David answered something like this; Envision your organization as a single dense forest sitting on a vast landscape of rolling grassy hills and mountains. The ombudsman’s job is to walk through the forest, and step back from the forest, and watch the forest from a very high perspective almost like a hawk does, curious, vigilant, and skilled. The Ombudsman walks and circles and looks from all angles and what we look for is smoke coming from inside your forest. When we spot smoke coming from your forest we take action and move in and stop the smoke before it spreads and turns into a raging fire. Then the Ombudsman helps those who manage the forest see why there was smoke in the first place and also helps them to understand what they can do to stop it from happening again. That’s the big picture of what we do.


Mark Batson Baril

Mark is a conflict advisor and ombudsman for organizational teams. If you would like to contact Mark please e-mail him at

Resologics provides conflict advising services to organizations to help them avoid disputes, optimize team dynamics for better outcomes, and reduce costs. The resologics team can be reached at 800.465.4141 | |

The Psychology of Conflict in the Workplace

The Psychology of Conflict in the Workplace

Many of us spend at least 8 hours a day, 5 days a week in the company of this group of people known as our workplace. To understand how conflict shows up in the workplace, consider this: Each of us is shaped by experiences as far back as our early childhood, and (often subconsciously) we bring those experiences into our daily lives, and in the workplace, every day.

One can only imagine what each of us is bringing to the collective table that we can’t possibly know or understand in the other, let alone in ourselves! Is it any wonder conflict happens?

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