“All war is a symptom of man’s failure as a thinking animal.”

― John Steinbeck

On October 02-03, 2013, management and key personnel of the Senate Electoral Tribunal (SET) underwent a Conflict Management Training. Facilitated by the Conflict Resolution Group Foundation Incorporated (The CoRe Group), the training was aimed at equipping participants with basic knowledge and skills in the mediation process as a method of resolving conflicts both in the workplace and in the family.

The first day of training focused on understanding conflict and its inevitability stemming from individual uniqueness and differences. With the use of the “Values Circle” to demonstrate the different layers that make up an individual, consisting of values, nurtured reactions, attitudes and behaviors, the participants were led to recognize sources of conflict and how addressing a specific layer could resolve conflict. This process resulted in a shift from a negative to a positive paradigm on conflict as the advent of peace and cooperation.

The participants were also oriented on the PDIOS (Problems, Demands, Interests, Options, Solutions) Framework for resolving conflicts and were given exercises called “Baby Blues” and “Rest in Peace” to reinforce their learnings on diversity, values circle and the PDIOS framework.

Formal introduction to Alternative Dispute Resolution (ADR) was made on the second day of training. Its advantages as opposed to litigation, mediation and arbitration were emphasized ADR methods, processes and practices were shown and discussed. A video showing the CoRe Group’s crucial participation in the Ambuklao-Binga issue was highlighted.

Success of the Conflict Management Training was evident in the participants’ feedback that they emerged from the two-day training with a strong sense of empowerment to handle personal and professional conflicts.

The Conflict Management Group Foundation Inc. is a non-stock non-profit foundation. Its advocacy is to firmly and vigorously grow the seeds of mediation. It was started by its President and Founder, Professor Anabelle T. Abaya. The CoRe Group’s mission is to promote non-adversarial processes in conflict resolution. The goal of the CoRe Group in advocating mediation is to promote empowerment and recognition, responsibility taking and non-violent communication.

For more information on the CoRe Group, visit their website at www. coregroup.org.ph.