Life is a series of negotiations. You may not think of yourself as "a negotiator," but you negotiate all the time. From seemingly insignificant daily decisions to major life choices, you negotiate every time you try to make plans, reach consensus, aim to persuade, or resolve disagreements. If you're like most people, you don't always like the result: You end up wrongly paying for the bathroom tiles; your child is in tears over his cereal bowl; you blow a major contract. Other times, the result is fine, but how you got there doesn't feel fair.
In fifteen years of teaching negotiation at Harvard Law School and training thousands of people around the world how to transform conflict, Fox had a revelation about negotiation and human nature: The most important negotiations we have-the ones that determine the impact of our actions and the quality of our lives-are the negotiations we have with ourselves.
Offering insight into how we get in our own way and what to do about it, Winning from Within features a map and a method for negotiating from the inside out. By better understanding yourself and the common traps you frequently fall into, you'll learn how to turn breakdowns into breakthroughs, whether you're struggling with a difficult client or arguing with your teenaged son. At the end of the day, what makes the difference in successful negotiations lives inside of us. The key to a desirable outcome is to undertake a negotiation within ourselves. Yes, we can learn to say and do helpful things. But ultimately the ability to achieve mastery over how we interact with each other comes from a place deep within-from a place Fox has come to call our "center." When we lead our lives from this center, we are mindfully aware of our reactions and choices. The actions we then take - drawing on the muscles and strengths in our core -- produce better results, stronger relationships, and more of life's deeper rewards.
Embraced by such international organizations as the World Bank, DuPont, and McKinsey and Company, Winning from Within offers a five-step method for overcoming the biggest challenge in every negotiation: closing the gap between what people know they should say and what they actually do in practice. Fox calls this the "Performance Gap." We may have studied the most advanced negotiation practices and read all the leadership books, and still we find ourselves falling into familiar traps when conversations become challenging. Why? Because we need to learn to negotiate with ourselves before sitting down at the table with others. Then we can get what we want and feel good about the result.
"Winning from Within is bound to change forevermore the way leaders are developed. Its ideas and inspiration will take the business world by storm." Peter Guber, CEO, Mandalay Entertainment, and bestselling author of Tell To Win
Erica Ariel Fox teaches negotiation at Harvard Law School. She is a cofounder of the global leadership and change firm Mobius Executive Leadership and a senior advisor to McKinsey Leadership Development (MLD). A highly sought-after expert and speaker, she helps teams in trouble, inspires audiences, and supports businesses seeking transformational change. She also provides leadership training to public-sector organizations and through executive education courses. She earned her undergraduate degree from Princeton University and her law degree from Harvard Law School. She lives with her husband and stepson near Boston and outside Amsterdam.