Pulling together to survive and thrive

Pulling together to survive and thrive

Embrace the outward mindset to collaborate on shared goals more effectively

The situation we face today may seem hopeless sometimes. With newer and stronger variants of Covid-19 popping up, we often wonder how our businesses will be able to survive, let alone thrive. While it is a cliché to say that we must dig deep, it rings true in these difficult times, and to do so we need to begin with our mindset.

However, today I want to discuss a different angle. While mindset is indeed important, the key to business success lies in our people. We need their full participation to ensure collaboration and teamwork, but most of all, to harmoniously drive overall business results. How can we achieve this? We can do so if we apply the concept of the outward mindset.

The outward mindset is a concept developed by Dr C Terry Warner, the founder of the Arbinger Institute. In every situation we face, he says, we apply one of two different mindsets — outward and inward.

The outward mindset refers to viewing others as people, understanding what motivates them, and seeing them as allies in the achievement of your goals and objectives as well as theirs. With an outward mindset, collaboration and teamwork flourish because the focus is on collective results (our goals rather than just my goals).

The inward mindset refers to viewing people as obstacles in the path toward achieving your personal goals. You don’t see their goals and your goals equally. As the name implies, the inward mindset  involves looking internally to your own needs only. 

We’re all humans and we all shift between different mindsets based on the situation. There is no right or wrong in this, up to a certain point. But if we are results-oriented, the ideal way forward is for us to practise becoming more outward in our mindset.

We often misunderstand mindset development as something that affects only the individual; however; it goes beyond ourselves. While we’re prioritising change within ourselves, it also helps us shift our views and behaviours toward the people and circumstances around us. When this happens, the environment around us becomes more conducive to success. If we want results tomorrow, we need to create the conditions for that to happen.

If we want to survive the ordeal we are facing today and thrive in the face of challenges that might arise tomorrow, we cannot do it on our own. The outward mindset doesn’t mindlessly encourage positive thinking, but focuses more on realistic goals and opening up to other people to achieve those goals.

In today’s situation, we cannot do things on our own; we need the support of one another. How can we truly achieve this if we view people inwardly, that is, as obstacles?

The key to surviving today and thriving tomorrow is through collaboration and teamwork. Here are some ways the outward mindset can support this.

First, the outward mindset can help in opening your mind to change. Often, we get stuck in our old ways only because we fear change. However, if we can be at least a little open to it, it can help us grow with it. 

When we’re more open to change, we’re also more open to trying new ideas proposed by others. This leads to new ways of working together, and can help us learn early on whether something is working or not. We can then apply the lessons learned to improvements or new initiatives.

Second, the outward mindset builds our self-awareness and our awareness of our environment and other people. This helps us understand ourselves, other people, and the situation before we act. Often, we find ourselves in a panic and reacting immediately to certain situations before we’ve even digested what has happened. This can damage our chances of survival.

Additionally, with awareness, we understand not just our own strengths and weaknesses but those of others. This helps us in the following way:

Because the outward mindset is about seeing others as people rather than obstacles, it helps us achieve goals together, faster and better than if we were to proceed on our own. With better understanding of our own strengths and weaknesses and those of others, we can help one another in areas where we may be lacking.

To survive today and thrive in the future, there is no one-man show anymore. If we have become too comfortable doing things on our own, it’s time we realised that we can only achieve much greater things if we pull our strengths together. It is not always easy, but it is possible if we think about applying the outward mindset in our daily lives.

Arinya Talerngsri is Chief Capability Officer and Managing Director at SEAC - Southeast Asia’s Lifelong Learning Center. She can be reached by email at arinya_t@seasiacenter.com or https://www.linkedin.com/in/arinya-talerngsri-53b81aa. Explore and experience our lifelong learning ecosystem today at https://www.yournextu.com

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