The Ombuds Journey: Tips as You Embark Upon Your Journey

By Kazmere Duffey,
Ombuds Specialist - Los Alamos National Laboratory

My name is Kazmere Duffey. I am from Long Beach, California, which is known not only for its beautiful beaches but also as one of the most diverse cities a person may live in or visit. I currently reside and work in Los Alamos, New Mexico. I am an Ombuds Specialist at Los Alamos National Laboratory.

I have an AA in communications, a BS in human services, and an MA in negotiation, conflict resolution, and peacebuilding.

Working for an organization that has a global purpose and following my passion have always been top values of mine. Los Alamos National Laboratory has a vital purpose! My passion is ensuring that others feel heard instead of silenced, and this purpose is served through the work of the Ombuds Office.

Active listening, empathizing with others, and learning how to establish trust within an organization have prepared me for this ombuds role. Holding space for vulnerability is vital in the ombuds role.

It can be challenging when working with visitors. There are times when I have found myself being too vested in visitors and their stories. It can be overwhelming because I want visitors to get their needs met. To keep me sustainable in this role, I remind myself that I have no stake in the outcome, but I am responsible for providing a safe space and an impartial listening ear. From my experience, that alone makes visitors more confident and willing to be receptive to all outcomes.

Here are three tips I would give others interested in starting their journey as an Ombuds:

  1. Be patient with yourself while learning the role of an ombuds.
  2. Be patient with visitors. When conflict is high and someone is experiencing stress, their communication is not always nice or professional.
  3. Be respectful and cognizant of the energy you are exuding. Have a pleasant tone, be aware of facial expressions, and most of all give hope. Fruitful interactions are what drive the nature of Ombuds works.

How to Submit

This post continues our Ombuds Journey Project series, representing the various pathways one may take in their journey as an ombuds. If you would like to share your journey, please email your narrative to [email protected]. We will be collecting stories throughout the month of June and we encourage both members and non-members to submit and share their experiences here on IOA's Blog. 

Requested Details

  • Name
  • Job Title
  • Organization
  • Years Active
  • Narrative
  • Please include a photo of your self for the post.

Need help getting started?

Here are some prompts to help you frame your narrative:

  • What first inspired you to fulfill the role of an ombuds?
  • How has your educational background helped you succeed in this role?
  • What professional experiences helped shape your path?
  • What allows you to stay prepared for success in your role?
  • How do you care for yourself to ensure your sustainability in this role?
  • What guidance would you give others that are interested in starting their journey?
 Learn More
Share this post:

Comments on "The Ombuds Journey: Tips as You Embark Upon Your Journey"

Comments 0-15 of 0

Please login to comment