A Mediator’s Journey of Empowering Others

Mediation is a tough job. Ask anyone who has brought together parties in conflict with each other and who are neither amicable nor cooperative. One person who has made it seem easy is Tristan Besa, an almost 20-year veteran at this craft.

“I was first a personal coach in California… It was the coaching skills that was congruent to the mediation field.” Having these skills in life coaching made the transition to the conflict resolution field seamless. Such coaching skills included, among others, listening without judgment, asking the proper questions that help not only the coach but more importantly the coachee and being able to bring the coachee to accept the present in order for him/her to move forward into the future. These are the same key skills that have made the training programs of the CoRe Group very unique and highly sought after.

Tristan further explains that “the objective of coaching is to empower people to take over their lives and be able to do what they want to do. It is very similar in conflict resolution. We empower people to negotiate for themselves.” The central role of a mediator is to help parties gain clarity over the issues and what is most important to them, a process that we all know too well that may seem easier that it sounds. Particularly in an environment where the world has an opinion on everything that is expressed on social media and other similar platforms, clarity may be difficult to find.

Today, Tristan leads the group experts of The CoRe Group who design and deliver highly rated mediation programs to the public and private sectors. Tristan shares his belief that “nobody has to lose for somebody to win” in order to achieve what one wants. Communication is key to bridging people. This is apparent in his role as a one of the mediators for the Ambuklao and Binga Hydroelectric Power Plant with 10 stakeholders. The team applied the CoRe Group process and used the skills in achieving resolution of a 50-year old conflict. “The case was resolved which gave us the fulfillment that the (CoRe Group) process really works” he adds.

This CoRe Group process he is referring to is the Values-based Approach where mediators go deeper than positions and interests of parties by using basic human values to open doors for them to talk and negotiate.

Tristan wants people to have a positive outlook on conflict situations they are involved in by empowering them. He derives fulfillment from sharing his skills and empowering others so they, too, may share the skills with others. Such generosity is a key aspect of being a successful mediator. Mediation is not about the third party enjoying the power but being able to give this power to the people. This same principle is applied even at the office where employees are able to share their opinions and remind them that they can do something to prevent conflict and violence. “Here, at CoRe we have different advocacies yet we treasure the same value which is empowerment.”

Tristan’s vision for The CoRe Group is to grow their services beyond conflict resolution. The CoRe Group is now building programs to address various social and emotional needs of people that hope to create a “mindset that there is no limit to what I can do and there are things we can always talk about that will make us unite.” Such unity builds communities with strengthened relationships.

To cope up with this era where social media is much preferred, Tristan believes that continuous improvement was the key to capture the interest of their clients. The CoRe Group continues to look for ways to provide a platform where everyone can express themselves and their advocacies.When asked about the values that are most important to him, he shares empowerment.That’s generosity at its best!