Magazine article Talent Development

Erica Ariel Fox: Founding Partner, Mobius Executive Leadership Boston, Massachusetts

Magazine article Talent Development

Erica Ariel Fox: Founding Partner, Mobius Executive Leadership Boston, Massachusetts

Article excerpt

Erica Ariel Fox is a long-time lecturer at Harvard Law School where she teaches negotiation, and a founding partner of Mobius Executive Leadership. After nearly two decades of experience training and advising senior executives, she developed the Winning From Within method--and subsequently wrote a book by the same name--that teaches people to negotiate effectively with themselves to derive more from their personal and professional endeavors.


When people hear the word negotiation, they often imagine two people on different sides, whether you're buying a car or negotiating for a salary raise. But the most important negotiations, I believe, are actually the negotiations that you have with yourself.

The reason why those negotiations are so hard is because most of us have a relatively low level of self-understanding. Even though a lot of training talks about raising self- awareness, most of us don't really know what self means, and we don't know that much about what awareness means. So when you put them together and talk about raising self-awareness, it's pretty vague.

I wrote Winning From Within to take out the mystery and give businesspeople a map to their inner self and inner life, and a toolkit for raising awareness of what's happening in your inner life so that self-awareness can become accessible and something people can develop.

My belief is that, as people learn about self-understanding and self-discovery, negotiating with yourself becomes easier. And in turn, all the negotiations you have with other people will also be more successful.


We have four key inner negotiators: dreamer, thinker, lover, and warrior. People tend to use only one or two of their inner team, their inner negotiators, when they give feedback. And that's a mistake.

My advice is to use all four. You use your lover to make a connection, to establish contact with the other person. You use your dreamer to encourage them or inspire them with a vision of what will be better in their job or career if they make these changes. Use the warrior to give advice about making changes, but then use the thinker at the end to test, "Did you understand what I'm saying?"

If you use those inner negotiators--what I call "the big four"--the feedback will be much more likely to have the impact you want. …

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