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“The Outward Mindset: Seeing Beyond Ourselves” – a Book Review

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As humans, our default focus is one of self; we tend to look at the world and everything in it from that perspective – and it’s not always the most useful perspective to have. The book “The Outward Mindset” by The Arbinger Institute provides meaningful examples and insights into how we can learn to see beyond ourselves – to change our view from “This situation or challenge is going to cost me so much time” or “How am I going to handle this situation/problem?” to “How can we help each other through this?”

Even though I am immersed in these concepts daily – designing and delivering our work at Emergent around Emotional Intelligence, Self- Awareness and Leadership Development – I am continually surprised by how much I still need to learn. While reading this book, I had a family situation to which I was able to apply some of the principles; I found that I approached the challenge very differently than I normally would have, using an outward mindset. I also realized how much more successful and impactful my communication and connection with my family member was during this situation. The knowledge from the book changed my interaction and the tone of my conversation to be inclusive of the other person’s feelings and needs instead of just my own. It was a very powerful, anchoring experience.

The “Outward Mindset” offers a fundamental change in our perspective regarding our connections with and obligations to others. “Leaders who succeed are those who are humble enough to be able to see beyond themselves and perceive the true capacities and capabilities of their people.” The Outward Mindset leader asks, What can we do to help others understand how we value and appreciate them?

I believe this book is a must for everyone. The world would be a different place if we all looked at our interactions, our relationships, our work and even our lives from an “Outward Mindset.”

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