The first Osgoode/Forum of Canadian Ombudsman Certificate Essentials for Ombuds program was an incredible experience. Over five days, from the 27th floor of the North Eaton Centre Tower, my colleague Michelle Phaneuf and I had the pleasure of hearing from a wide range of Canadian influencers and thinkers on the subject of the role of the ombudsman.
Day 5 concluded with a panel discussion on Speaking Truth to Power. Facilitated by Johanne Savard, Ombudsman, City of Montreal, panelists shared thoughts on the ethics, the timing, and the foundational concepts of Speaking Truth to Power.
I gained a few takeaways that apply to anyone who finds themselves in a situation of telling what may be an uncomfortable truth to a leader.
1. Understand, define, and respect and never overstep the limits of your mandate and authority.
2. Be timely and relevant.
3. Provide reasons, and not opinions.
4. Speak through their ethical language.