Winning from Within: A book review by Bob Morris

Winning fromWinning from Within: A Breakthough Method for Leading, Living, and Lasting Change
Erica Ariel Fox
HarperBusiness/Imprint of HarperCollins (2013)

Here is “a practical and accessible set of tools that explains how…to broker deals with others [and] make peace with ourselves”

The title of this review was excerpted from William Ury’s remarkably helpful Foreword as he frames the abundance of valuable information, insights, and counsel that Erica Ariel Fox provides. Ury adds, and I agree, “Until we can understand and engage with ourselves, our deepest aspirations will elude us – from meeting our potential for professional performance to creating a secure and sustainable peace in the world.” That is to say, gaining self-knowledge and understanding of others are interdependent as are gaining serenity about one’s self while developing a rapport with others.

There are dozens of excellence resources for knowledge about what Ury characterizes as the “outer game of negotiation” with negotiation broadly defined. What Fox offers is a rigorous and comprehensive exploration of the “inner game of negotiation.” Hence her use of the metaphor of a personal journey of discovery, one that correctly suggests the need for a “map” and a crystal clear sense of destination.

These are among the dozens of business subjects and issues of special interest and value to me, also listed to indicate the scope of Fox’s coverage. I should add that Fox devotes much of her attention to seven resources that as human functions, domains, capabilities, etc.

o How to uncover your performance gap
o The functions of your “inner negotiators” (i.e. Dreamer, Thinker, Lover, and Warrior)
o How to work effectively with them (“The Big Four”)
o How to become anchored in your psychological center of gravity
o How to see your Dreamer’s vision
o How to understand your Thinker’s insights
o How to feel your Lover’s heart
o How to carry and (when necessary) use your Warrior’s sword and shield

“Transformers” to engage during the journey:

o How to awaken your Lookout
o When to engage your Captain to steer
o How to gain new knowledge and understanding with your Voyager

Overall strategic objectives

o Recognizing strengthens to develop further
o Managing weaknesses during initiatives
o Making better decisions
o Increasing emotional intelligence
o Nourishing mutually beneficial relationships with others

At least implicit throughout Fox’s lively and eloquent narrative is her conviction that the more we help others to achieve personal growth and professional development, the more others will help us to achieve ours. It is important to keep in mind, also, the etymology of the word “negotiation”: from Latin, it literally means to collaborate on reaching an agreement to resolve issues, usually business issues. The aforementioned “inner game of negotiation” to which Ury refers involves negotiation with one’s self. That must precede engagement in “the outer game of negotiation,” reaching an agreement with others to resolve issues.

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