The ABC’s of OGIS Training

Lady Bird Johnson practices her active listening skills while visiting school children. (NARA Identifier 2803425)
Lady Bird Johnson practices her active listening skills while visiting school children. (NARA Identifier 2803425)

As summer winds down and pictures of kids on their first day of school fill up our social media feeds, we thought it might be a good time for a pop quiz on OGIS’s training program. Test your knowledge with the true/false statements below.

Statement 1: OGIS recently launched its training program.

Answer 1: False. OGIS has provided training in Dispute Resolution for FOIA Professionals since March 2010. Since its launch, more than 700 Freedom of Information Act (FOIA) professionals have attended this training.

Statement 2: You should sign up for OGIS’s dispute resolution skills training session only if you are a FOIA Public Liaison.

Answer 2: False. Training on dispute resolution skills is helpful for all FOIA professionals who wish to improve customer service and communicate with FOIA requesters or colleagues more effectively.

Statement 3: OGIS can provide agency-specific training.

Answer 3: True. OGIS has provided training on dispute resolution skills to several agencies—sometimes as a part of a FOIA training conference or as an agency specific training. If you would like to talk to us more about how we can provide training for your staff, please email us.

Statement 4: I can reserve a seat for OGIS’s next training session.

Answer 4: False. Reservations for our training sessions are on a first-come, first-served basis. We publish an activities calendar including our training sessions at the beginning of each Fiscal Year. The best way to know when reservations are open for our next session is to follow this blog (we add new posts each Wednesday), or follow us on Twitter (@FOIA_Ombuds). Please be advised that training sessions generally fill up within a few hours of our announcement.

Statement 5: OGIS’s goal is to make participants into certified mediators.

Answer 5: False. Participants will not be certified mediators by the end of the program. However, participants will be exposed to many of the skills that are an important part of dispute resolution, including active listening. Participants will also have an opportunity to put their new skills to the test during role playing exercises (which is more fun than it sounds, honest)!