Online Conflict Tip Toolbox

An online resource to aid individuals in assessing whether they wish to visit the office for a consultation, or whether there are strategies they are already empowered to use to address their problem or conflict. This toolkit includes a flow chart to help potential visitors, and people referring visitors, understand what to expect when working with the Office of the Ombudsperson (and the YB Center for Dialogue).

Explore the Toolbox:


A process where by a visitor may get feedback about policies and procedures, potential next steps and services that are available.

Option Generation

A process used to explore a spectrum of possible alternatives to problem solve or deal with conflict, including informal and formal measures.

Referral Services

Identifying and providing contact information about services available to assist the visitor with the resolution of their concerns. Regarding referrals internal to the college, upon a visitor’s request or with the visitor’s permission the ombuds may facilitate the connection of the visitor with a service provider. The ombuds shall not assist in making external connections.

Information Gathering

A process whereby the ombuds gathers information to help a visitor understand policies or processes in a way that provides factual non-evaluative information to support the visitor in making informed decisions about potential options.

Conflict Coaching

A process of supporting individuals as they engage in, manage, and productively resolve or transform conflict. This approach is ideal for individuals who cannot or do not wish to involve a third party directly communication with the other party to a conflict or dispute. (At present, CINERGY Conflict Management Coaching strategies are used.)

Shuttle Diplomacy

A process initiated by a visitor asking the ombuds to serve as an intermediary between parties to a dispute. In such a process, the parties do not have direct contact with each other.

Mediated Conversations

A process by which the ombuds works with parties individually and then together using mediation skills to address a conflict, dispute, or misunderstanding that may help the parties identify solutions or next steps that are mutually satisfactory.

Facilitated Group Dialogues or Workshops

A customized process by which the ombuds works with representatives of an organization, team, department, program, or work unit to develop a group experience that will facilitate members of the group in communicating and hearing what matters as they seek to plan, problem solve, and even manage or transform conflict collaboratively.

Referral for Services of the Yeworkwha Belachew Center for Dialogue (YBCD)

YBCD is a program coordinated by the Office of the Ombudsperson. YBCD is supported by four to six trained student interns and 25 or more student, faculty, and staff volunteer mediators who have participated in over 40 hours of Social Justice Mediation and Facilitation training. The program is multipartial in its orientation and falls under the umbrella of the Office of the Ombudsperson. The center for dialogue extends the capacity for the office to provide independent, confidential, multipartial (impartial/neutral), and informal services to the campus community.

Resources to Promote Intentional Communication Beyond Conflict

Oberlin Friendship Circle seeks to promote the idea of employing friendship as a guide to any and all relationships. With the basic goal for peace and ethics, OFC strongly believes in the foundations of friendship, generosity, equality, and the embracing and appreciation of difference and diversity and political and everyday relations. OFC hosts the International Friendship Day at Oberlin College and weekly Persian tea and date sessions in the Lewis House to practice friendship among a warm community. For more information, please visit the Oberlin Friendship Initiative Facebook page.