The Bureau of Corrections invited the Conflict Resolution Group Foundation, Inc. to conduct a Values-based Mediation course for their employees. In a work environment that requires one to deal with prison inmates, their families, a large team of co-workers and a community living within the Muntinlupa compound, dealing with a diverse group of people is a difficult task, but when issues and conflicts arise, things get even more difficult and complicated. The goal of this seminar was to equip these participants with the skills, tools and lessons that will help them to do their jobs more effectively through enhanced relationships.
At first, some of the participants were skeptical about the training. Since many of the participants were investigators and prison guards, they confessed that they found it difficult to see the relevance and applicability of mediation in their jobs. Because in their line of work, they were always trained to be alert, suspicious and to interrogate, which is a huge contrast from being a mediator. One participant shared “I really thought mediation was results-based. I always tried to win over them so it was really a wake-up call for me… I always thought ADR was a subject in law. But now that I learned this process, it will help me not just in work but in everyday life.”
However, as the days progressed, they began to share their reflections on the lessons and how it can impact their lives. They shared how the lessons were not only useful to their work, but more importantly, in their personal and everyday lives. Admittedly, they know that changing their mindset is still difficult and that old habits die hard but they know that they still have a lot to learn in applying all these lessons. “When it comes to dealing with people everywhere I go, I need to make sure to listen to them… You need to empower that person, that that person is capable of change.”