The Outward Mindset: Seeing Beyond Ourselves

The Outward Mindset: Seeing Beyond Ourselves

by The Arbinger Institute


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The new edition of an international bestseller helps individuals and organizations shift to a new mindset that will improve performance, spark collaboration, accelerate innovation, and make your life and the lives of everyone around you better.

Without even being aware of it, many of us operate from an inward mindset, a single-minded focus on our own goals and objectives. This book points out the many ways, some quite subtle and deceptive, that this mindset invites tension and conflict. But incredible things happen when people switch to an outward mindset. They intuitively understand what coworkers, colleagues, family, and friends need to be successful and happy. Their organizations thrive, and astonishingly, by focusing on others they become happier and more successful themselves! This new mindset brings about deep and far-reaching changes. 

The Outward Mindset presents compelling true stories to illustrate the gaps that individuals and organizations typically experience between their actual inward mindsets and their needed outward mindsets. And it provides simple yet profound guidance and tools to help bridge this mindset gap. This new edition includes a new preface, updated case studies, and new material covering Arbinger’s latest research on mindsets. In the long run, changing negative behavior without changing one’s mindset doesn’t last—the old behaviors always reassert themselves. But changing the mindset that causes the behavior changes everything.

Product Details

ISBN-13: 9781523087303
Publisher: Berrett-Koehler Publishers
Publication date: 09/10/2019
Edition description: Expanded
Pages: 208
Sales rank: 80,854
Product dimensions: 5.50(w) x 8.40(h) x 0.60(d)

About the Author

The Arbinger Institute is a worldwide training, consulting, and coaching organization whose programs and methodologies are based on forty-five years of research in the psychology of human behavior and motivation and more than thirty-five years of experience working with organizations worldwide. Headquartered in the United States, Arbinger has operations around the world, including throughout the Americas, Europe, Africa, the Middle East, India, Oceania, and Asia. To learn more about how Arbinger’s work can help you or your organization, please visit

Read an Excerpt

1 • A Different Approach

Two black cargo vans snake down Wabash Avenue in Kansas City, Missouri. The passengers are members of the Kansas City Police Department (KCPD) SWAT team. They are about to serve a high-risk drug warrant—the fifth warrant service of that day. The targets of this warrant are sufficiently dangerous that the squad has obtained a “no-knock” warrant, meaning that they will storm through the door unannounced. The men are dressed in black from head to toe, their faces covered by masks that leave only their eyes exposed. Bullet-resistant helmets and body armor make them an intimidating sight.

Senior Sergeant Charles “Chip” Huth, leader of the 1910 SWAT Squad for eight years, is driving the lead van. He slows as the target residence comes into view, and his men stream from both vehicles as quietly and quickly as they can.

Three officers sprint around to the back of the house and take cover, supplying containment should the targets attempt to flee. Seven others, including Chip, run to the front door, six of them with their guns drawn. The seventh runs a well-used battering ram up to the door and slams it through.

“Police,” they yell. “Everybody down!” Inside is bedlam. Men attempt to scramble out of the room, some to the stairs and others down hallways. Young children stand as if paralyzed, screaming. A number of women cower in terror on the floor, some of them shielding infants who are screaming at the top of their lungs.

Two of the men—the two suspects, it turns out—go for their weapons but are taken down by officers. “Don’t even think about it!” the officers shout. Then they pull the men’s arms behind them and put them in cuffs.

With all the young children, the scene in this home is more hectic than most, but within five minutes, the two suspects lie facedown on the living-room floor, and the rest of the inhabitants have been gathered into the dining room.

With everyone’s safety secured, the officers begin their search. They move with purpose and precision. Chip notices his point man, Bob Evans, leaving the room, and he assumes Bob is simply joining the search.

A couple of minutes later, Chip passes the kitchen as he walks down the hall. Bob is standing at the kitchen sink. A moment earlier, Bob had been rifling through the kitchen cabinets looking for white powder—not for contraband to be used as evidence against those they are arresting but for a white powder that was of much greater immediate importance. He was looking for Similac. With babies crying and their mothers understandably in hysterics, this most alpha male of all the alpha males on Chip’s squad was looking for a way to help them. When Chip sees him, Bob is mixing baby bottles.

Bob looks at Chip with a faint smile and shrugs. He then picks up the bottles and begins distributing them to the mothers of the crying infants. Chip is delighted by this. He hadn’t thought of baby bottles himself, but he completely understands what Bob is up to and why.

This one act of responsiveness changed the en tire scene. Every one calmed down, and Chip and his men were able to explain the situation thoroughly and then smoothly turn the two suspects over to the detectives. Nevertheless, mixing baby bottles was such an unusual and unpredictable act that many people in police work—including the members of this SWAT team just a few years earlier—would have considered it irrational. But in Chip’s squad, this kind of responsiveness is routine.

It wasn’t always this way. To appreciate the remarkable transformation that had come to the 1910 SWAT Squad, we need to learn a little of Chip’s challenging background and his history in the Kansas City Police Department.

Table of Contents

Part I: Something New
1. A Different Approach
2. What Shapes Behavior
3. Two Mindsets
4. Seeing Truthfully
Part II: Exploring the Outward Mindset
5. Getting Our of Our Own Way
6. The Lure of Inwardness
7. The Outward Mindset Solution
Part III: Becoming More Outward
8. The Outward Mindset Patters
9. Applying the Outward Mindset Patters
10. Don’t Wait On Others
Part IV: Multiplying Mindset Change
11. Start With Mindset
12. Mobilize Around a Collective Goal
13. Allow People Full Responsibility
14. Shrink Distraction
15. Turn Systems Outward
16. The Road Ahead
List of Stories
About The Arbinger Institute

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