Frequently Asked Questions
What is the UUMN “Good Offices”?
“Good Offices” is part of the Member Services Program offered to all UUMN Members! Through it, the UUMN Board identifies, endorses, and trains people (the Good Officers) who are willing to be contacted by fellow musicians when they are experiencing difficulty in their congregations with relationships, role issues, or professional identity. The Good Officer listens objectively, brainstorms possibilities, and helps the musician to problem solve a situation in a healthy and professional way. A member of UUMN can contact a good officer any time they think they need assistance or a good listener. Good Officers for UUMN members are available across the country. You can select a particular Good Officer because of proximity, acquaintance, or personal experience. The role of the Good Officer is to help the UUMN member with any professional problem or concern.
When is the best time to contact a “Good Officer”?
As with any concern or conflict, the best time to seek assistance is before the issue gets out of hand. Early contacts enable the musician to share his or her perceptions of a situation with the Good Officer, consider options, look at the possible implications of actions or decisions, and discuss a plan. Good officers are also available to interact with UUMN members at any point of a disagreement or a conflict to provide support and assistance.
What Do Good Officers Do?
He or she will listen to the UUMN member’s issue objectively, provide support for the fellow musician, explore alternatives, review the UUMN Code of Professional Practice and the Professional Rights Procedure, and suggest methods for mutual communication with the appropriate persons involved. She or he might be able to recommend resources through the UUA, the district, or UUMN to the musician. In the event of a personal crisis, the Good Officer may recommend personal counseling or suggest a skilled or trusted professional who can offer assistance. Information that is shared with the Good Officer is treated confidentially.
Most Good Officers are not trained mediators and do not solve the problem for the musician. Their primary obligation is to provide support to the musician who made the contact. Good Officers generally do not contact others involved in the issue. If practical and requested by the musician, a Good Officer may attend a meeting with the musician and provide perspective in working toward a suitable solution or resolution with others who are involved.
How Do I Contact A UUMN Good Officer?
Currently there are several UUMN members who serve as Good Officers. They are located around the country and fill a variety of different roles within our congregations. You are invited to contact any Good Officer by phone or by email if you want to explore an issue or concern. All Good Officers stand ready to assist you.