Saturday, March 3, 2012

A Reechoing of the Conflict Resolution Workshop for Mission Baguio

A Reechoing of the Conflict Resolution Workshop for Mission Baguio

By: Athena Masilungan (author and workshop facilitator)

Conflict is natural, neither positive nor negative, it just is. Conflict is just an interference pattern of energies. Nature uses conflict as its primary motivator for change, creating beautiful beaches, canyons, mountains and pearls...”
This is the opening statement of Realizing Community Workshop facilitator Gabriele Niemann in ISIP Makati last October 28-30, 2011 in this 3-day experiential training on managing and resolving conflicts in a group setting.  Gabrielle Niemann is a coach, Waldorf school consultant and an expert in conflict resolution.  She has given numerous leadership and conflict resolution workshops through her consulting group Akademie fur Entwicklungsbegleitung.
By sheer providence, I was given a scholarship by ISIP and as a way of giving back, decided to share and reecho everything I learned from this very useful workshop with my friends and co-volunteers in the Sofia Waldorf-inspired School in Baguio (SWISBI) and Mission Baguio. 

Despite hectic schedules and numerous activities which included saying 182 trees from being cut, we finally had our workshop on January 21-22, 2012 at the Gosioco residence in Wagner Rd. in Baguio City, amidst lush greeneries and tall pine trees.  Faye Nicole Gosioco, a SWISBI parent and Mission Baguio member generously offered their beautiful home for the whole weekend, while the St. Scholastica Convent right across from their home, opened up their organic garden for our children to play in.
Present for the weekend workshop was Baguio Node representative Grace Calleja and 11 of the more active members of the node: Francis Caguioa, Tet Mora-Uy, Kokoy Palma, Yana Gail Castillo, Faye Nicole Gosioco, Sarah Mae Sabado, Fernidand Veridiano, Sharm De Guzman, Jom Penaflor and Karen Cotiw-an, with Bardot Magtibay attending the last day. 

Before the workshop began, participants shared their expectations.  Some were interested in learning to resolve conflict and how it can be applied in all areas of life and for Mission Baguio.  Others wanted to know how to understand conflict and their levels.  A few people shared their interest in knowing how to resolve conflict in a healthy way, and the different techniques in conflict resolution.  Lastly, one member shared a yearning to have a stronger bond as a group. 

The workshop had intervals of lecture/ discussions and experiential activities.

The workshop module was as follows:
Day 1:
I.    Introduction
II.    Glass Top Exercise
III.    Discussion on Kinds of Conflict
IV.    Exercise in Resolving Conflict
V.    Notes on Mediation
VI.    Walking Exercise
VII.    Rod Exercise
VIII.    Discussion on the Thinking, Feeling, Willing Aspects of a Conflict
IX.    A lecture on the steps of the escalation of conflict
X.    Flipping the cloth exercise
XI.    Summary of the Day
Day 2:
I.    Centering exercise
II.    Sharing of reflections
III.    A Short Eurythmy exercise
IV.    Discussion on the 7 Conditions for Inner Schooling
V.    Thinking Exercise and the rest of the 6 subsidiary exercises from Rudolf Steiner
VI.    Lecture on self responsibility
VII.    The Knot exercise
VIII.    More notes on Mediation
IX.    Untangling exercise
X.    Courage Exercise
XI.    Feedback exercise
XII.    Partner drawing exercise
XIII.    Plenary discussion on the conditions for a Healthy Social Life in Mission Baguio.

MISSION Baguio members aced all the exercises and enjoyed each of them.  At times, just for the fun of it, the children of some of the members joined as well.
Each member took something unique and personal after the workshop, but certainly, the members of the node came out of it with a stronger bond and became closer towards one another.  The experience brought more trust, acceptance, and harmony.  It ended with a sharing of each member’s views on how to create better relationships in Mission Baguio with the workshop becoming the impetus for a longer planning session on the node’s major plans for the years to come.
As a final note the facilitator shared these words:

“Welcome conflict.  It is interesting.  Be open to what it will bring.”

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