Winning From Within (Book Review)

41PoCXmr73L._AA278_PIkin4,BottomRight,-46,22_AA300_SH20_OU01_We negotiate every day, even when we are not aware of it. For example, when we discuss where we want to go to dinner or what movie we want to see.

If you have teenagers, you negotiate their lives with yours.Erica Ariel Fox takes negotiating into a new light. First, she reminds us that when we think through a problem, it’s a form of negotiating with ourselves. Then she combines ideas from Western philosophies and Eastern philosophies to help reconcile our approach to negotiation.

Fox is a coach who helps her clients look for new sides to themselves that they haven’t discovered yet. She explores possible undiscovered points in her book, including

1. we are more multifaceted than we realize.

2. We pick part parts of ourselves to define who we are.

3. The identities we form have some truth to them.

4. Yet, they don’t tell the full truth. We create profiles of ourselves by elevating certain elements of who we are and leaving others behind. That distorts the full truth.

The identity we show the world, and the Performance Gap, the difference between how we see ourselves at work and how our co-workers see us. Neither of the views is wrong, but the difference in perspective can make a big difference in promotion and working relationships.

Fox highlights “The Big Four” sections of our personalities, the pieces we use to make decisions and react: The Dreamer, Thinker, Lover and Warrior. Fox shows how using one or two of these pieces results in friction with co-workers. Using all four pieces in different situations leads to inner peace (or at least inner understanding) and better relationships.

The book also has sections in Balancing Your Profile and Connect to Your Core.

What made me enjoy it was the easy style, the lack of jargon and smugness and an approachable, usable plan to make the four dynamics work for you at home and in the office.

OK, I will also admit that she talks a lot about archetypes and dealing with the darker sides of ourselves–and I’m delighted that it could be a more formal companion to The Inner Hero Art Journal.

–Quinn McDonald knows that to a hammer, every problem is a nail.