Author: Leo

Leo Barrera Writer & Photographer with expertise in negotiation, conflict resolution, social capital, and leadership. I do child support enforcement for a living, but it is not fun.

Articulate and Protect Your Interests

When asked what I do I often respond that I help people articulate and protect their interests. Most of the time the response I get is a puzzled look. I suppose it might be easier to say that I help people deal with conflict. However, that is not always true.

Introducing the Dual Concern Model

The dual concern model is a model, one of many that exist, that is used to analyze reactions to conflict. I have mentioned this model in passing before. The dual concern model allows a person to gauge their own behaviors as well as the reactions of their counterparts on the

Three Miles

A couple of years ago I ran into a gentleman in the business section of Vroman’s.  He was looking for a copy of Adam Smith’s An Inquiry into the Nature and Causes of the Wealth of Nations. We started a discussion about economics and inequality. A few minutes into the

My First Lessons in Conflict Resolution

I first learned about conflict resolution in the United States Army. They didn’t call it conflict resolution in the army, they called it combat. The idea was that you win or you die. Confrontational? Yes. It has proven effective enough to make people think that their nation is doing something

The Problem with Problem Solving

As a scholar in the field of conflict I spend a lot of time analyzing the dual concern model. One of the basic ideas of this model is that the actors in a conflict determine how important their goals are in relation to the other party’s concern for or against the

Why Disagreement is Not Conflict

The best definition of conflict that I have ever heard was provided by Dr. Ariane David. I attended a training she gave on the topic of Non-Positional Thinking. She said, “You know you are involved in destructive conflict when you start feeling defensive.” It is the feeling that you are

Introduction to Conflict Resolution

What is Conflict Resolution?

Conflict resolution is relatively easy to define. A conflict is a serious disagreement powered by the idea that one has something to lose. The threat of loss is sometimes real. In many cases the threat of loss is a perception of  the parties and is powered by the emotional content

Information Asymmetries and Pragmatic Nonviolence

Background I first learned about information asymmetries in the 2001 when I read a newspaper article about George Akerlof, Michael Spence, and Joseph Stiglitz winning a Nobel prize for their work on the subject. At the time the idea angered me, that one party might use another party’s lack of

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