Skip to content Skip to main navigation Report an accessibility issue

Educational Programming

The Office of Ombuds Services provides educational programming both in-person and virtually to graduate students, staff, faculty, and campus leaders.

To schedule a educational session for your unit or group, please contact our
Educational Program Coordinator, Duren Thompson.

30-Minute Workshop

Introduction to Office of Ombuds Services

What IS an ombuds and how can they help? In this quick overview, participants will learn how the Office of Ombuds Services helps to empower graduate students, staff, and faculty to navigate challenges related to their experiences at the University of Tennessee, Knoxville. Presentation will include typical scenarios we help resolve, the standards & ethics we follow, and how to access our consultation, mediation, and educational services. Q&A time included!

90-Minute Workshops

Working Together in Conflict to Restore Psychological Safety

Have you ever been in conflict and had to do something about it? To make it worse, did the conflict become confusing and unclear, leaving you unsure of what you could do about it? You are not alone!

In this session, you will gain an understanding of why conflicts make you feel so uncomfortable and learn how to take advantage of communication strategies designed to address them. Topics include psychological safety, understanding conflict, and communication strategies for addressing conflict. This workshop includes a 90-minute experience with in-depth information as well as participatory group activities.

Understanding your Conflict Dynamics Profile

Have you felt uncomfortable in conflict? Most people would say yes, and that is normal. Did you know that not all conflicts turn into destructive outcomes? Instead, many conflicts—when handled well—can lead you and others to innovation and improvement.

This workshop is designed to enhance your ability to navigate conflict. You will learn about both helpful and unhelpful behaviors in conflict. You will also learn about personal “hot buttons” that tend to draw out unhelpful behaviors. You will receive an invitation to take the Conflict Dynamics Profile (CDP) assessment prior to the workshop, and you will be able to bring your results to the session. This workshop includes a 90-minute experience with in-depth information as well as debriefing of overall results of your CDP assessment. You can learn more about the CDP here. Note, there is a small participant assessment fee.

Navigating Conflict as Dignity Conscious Leaders

Have you ever felt stuck in conversations with others because they said or did something that caused you pain or made you hesitate to speak up? We can help! Increasing your understanding of dignity as an inherent value and vulnerability that we are all born with and then examining it as the core of how we find a sense of belonging in a community will help you overcome these challenging situations.

In this session, you will explore the concept of dignity and what happens to you, as well as others, when experiencing dignity violations. You will learn communication strategies to protect dignity and reduce harm to yourself and others. Topics include: dignity, psychological safety, positionality, and strategies for creating an inclusive organizational culture with dignity-conscious leaders and members.

This workshop provides in-depth information as well as participant engagement and group discussion activities. 


Problem-Solving with Design Thinking in Conflict

Have you assumed that the act of designing is reserved for people who are in creative fields? Understanding design thinking will help you see how you are engaging in design everyday whether you are aware of it or not, and it will help you become an empowered professional who can lead others in design activities while tackling wicked problems.

In this session, you will gain an understanding of how design is everywhere and how you are engaging in design everyday. Then you will learn how to engage in creative problem-solving through design. Topics include design thinking, design cases, wicked problems, and design opportunities that can lead to creative problem-solving in the academic/workplace settings. This workshop involves a 90-minute experience with in-depth information as well as participatory group activities.

Fee-Based Multi-Session Course

Crucial Conversations for Mastering Dialogue

Have you ever felt stuck in conversation and felt like you had to keep your mouth shut or perhaps speak louder? Crucial conversations are discussions with others where you have opposing views, emotions run high, and stakes are high. In these situations, you may find yourself not say what you need to, or you may say things that you later regret.

Crucial conversations for mastering dialogue is a multi-session course with both in-person and/or virtual synchronous meetings. Additionally, participants engage with and complete on-demand interactive modules provided by Crucial Learning. During the live meeting sessions, participants will engage in interactive role-play with others to practice crucial conversations.