Leader of the People, for the People
Arbinger’s research indicates that people operate at any given time from one of two mindsets: an inward mindset or an outward mindset.
With an inward mindset, one is only concerned with their personal goals and priorities, with little regard for the effect we have on others. In this inward-focused approach, the leader sees others as things rather than individuals with their own desires, problems, and goals. They are oblivious to what others require, which can frustrate or cause conflict. One could even damage our organization’s efficiency or performance while thinking we are doing a fine job. This is a description of an authoritarian leader, who for a short term will drive organizational goals and business but cannot sustain a workforce for long.
However, when we have an outward mindset, we view others as humans who matter just as much as we do. We consider their requirements, obstacles, and goals. We also put a premium on group outcomes. We believe we have a responsibility to not just do our jobs effectively, but also to perform them in a way that helps others do theirs—because we recognize that their tasks, like ours, contribute to the organization’s success.
A shift to an outward perspective alters the health and vibrancy of relationships at the most fundamental level. One of the remarkable things we typically find in our work with businesses is that as a result of this transformational influence on relationships, even the people we deal with client relationships improve tremendously.
When you think about outcomes outside yourself, you foster loyalty within your employees and can be ensured that during tough times, they will stay by your side, just like you did. Being a leader, one has the ability to assert influence in various domains. Using this influence to aid your employees with psychological safety can go a long way. For e.g., if an employee is going to be a father soon, let them go home early to take care of his wife, given the urgent tasks are completed. Employees remember these small gestures. You will be a leader of the people, not feared, but respected.
The following trust model shows how keeping an outward mindset and embodying its principles of empathy can help build positive workplace relationships.
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Consultant. Human Dynamic Leadership and Learning Unit