How might mindset be relevant on how agile your project is?

by Gillian Campbell in Uncategorized


13 Nov, 2019 at 1:51 pm

In the latest State of Agile report, the survey responses indicate that organisational cultural issues remain the leading impediments to adopting and scaling agile. General resistance to change, and organizational culture that is at odds with agile values rank as two of the top challenges.

So, which of the key AGILE values might mindset be relevant to? Well our mindset can be resistant and inward or responsive and outward, so mindset can impact on how we respond to change over following the plan.

If change happens our default setting may be to turn inward, we may worry about the impact on us, the consequences for us. Will we know what to do? Will we have the skills required? Will we be ok?

I remember when a new team member joined us, they were coming in to perform a lot of the tasks that I had previously done. I had moved into a new role that I knew could bring a lot of value with but still as the new team member started, my focus turned to me;

What if they are instantly better than me?

What if everyone likes them more than me?

What if they are ambitious and better than me, and more popular…what could happen to me?

In that mindset, what might my behaviours have been to the new team member that was freeing me to undertake my new role?

What could the costs and consequences of my mindset have been?

All this focus is on self…this limits our ability to think outward and respond in the moment to what needs to be done.

If we are outward in the face of change, we can clearly ask ourselves how we might be a problem for the change. Focus on the needs of others and the organisation we work for and the customers or stakeholders we work with.

In that mindset we can stay agile and responsive to whatever the right thing to do.


Coaching is to fix, mend or improve, and I am not broken and I’m doing ok…I don’t need a mindset coach

by Gillian Campbell in Uncategorized


13 Nov, 2019 at 12:41 pm

I don’t believe I, my clients or any person has a broken mindset, or even a damaged way of seeing. I do believe however, we can put blinkers on at times, often to feel safe in the moment, and we forget to take them off and this alters our view. We just don’t realise that we are seeing in this filtered way. Outward mindset coaching is time to share a space where there is a chance of seeing every situation through a different lens, to see a new view and take off the blinkers we may have picked up on the way.

Why?  Well because we are in relationship all the time, be it with our family, colleagues, friends, and how we see them, how we see the world reflects how we see ourselves.  Everything we do is influenced by how we see this connectivity and these relationships.  

I am in relationship with these words as I type, I could share these words worrying about how you may see or view me.  Write driven by my fear that someone may use these words to judge me, measure me, dislike me.  Should I write to make me seem ‘nice’, kind, a good person?  Maybe I could write to impress you, to choose eloquent words from a thesaurus of my own pomposity to show you how much more I know than you and therefore how I am better than you and you need my help, my coaching services for you to be better too…Or, alternatively I share with you how hard my life has been and how I have earnt your understanding, pity even and admiration. None of these views are true, but they may feel real to me on some level.

I believe that if I wrote to meet my need for you to like me, be impressed by me, admire me or buy my coaching services, you would feel that as you read.  You will form a relationship with me, you will see me, through my words and feel the disconnect.

But most importantly on some level I know I would feel the disconnect too, I would know I was self-serving and this would sit with me and it would draw me to see myself and my relationship with all of you in a blinkered light. In addition, I could then believe I need to live up to the image I had created…

So, for me, Outward Mindset coaching sits in the space of philosophy, a way of seeing, choosing how we live, not about looking at what is broken and fixing it.  We are all whole, but at times we stop seeing all our connectivity.  The blinkers don’t break us or destroy us; they just separate us from being wholly at peace with how we sit in relationship, with ourselves, others and the world.

So, outward mindset coaching is not to mend, it is to see.

What do you think?


Why would anyone undertake outward mindset coaching?

by Gillian Campbell in Category1


17 Aug, 2019 at 11:15 am

Some of my client’s equate mindset coaching to endurance training, not always entirely pleasant but they come out the other side, more at peace with themselves, more agile and ultimately more resilient. They can recognise their self-deception and start to see choices and decisions more clearly.

For most of my clients the recognition is that as their influence increases, they are required to grow systemically with the level of relational complexity that the organization operates within. The changes required of them are no longer just ‘motivate, task, result,’ based, they are being asked to manage their own internal reality; their cognitive, psychological and conscious development, their mindset.

One way of thinking of this is that each human being has an operating system, their life has lead them to a default ‘way of being’, and seeing the world, challenges opportunities and so on. However business complexity and human dynamics today need an upgraded operating system, one equipped for the complex ask of partnering  and sharing collaborative relationships with a talented diverse range of peers. This shift in operating system at times can sit at odds to the way these leaders achieved the level of success they have achieved so far. The inner development of how any of us see self and ‘choose’ to change comes from two things;

  1. A recognition that they we in fact operating from an outdated operating system, in turn often seeing that we are unconsciously impacting on others in a way that contravenes our own core values.
  2. The recognition that the behaviours that got us to where we are now, are not necessarily the way we can maintain our role as a more senior member of the team.

So how is mindset coaching different?

Arbinger is based on a unique IP and approach that helps people to see in a different way – to see problems differently, conflicts differently, challenges differently, opportunities differently, each other differently. Until someone begins to see differently old problems remain and opportunities are missed.

Traditional Coaching

I need to discover the gap between where I am and where I want me to be and then fill the gap.

Arbinger coaching

Arbinger coaching also discovers and fills the gap.  Where it differs is; the client is coached to see where they may be self-deceived about their behaviours and therefore their reality gap. It also allows them to discover why they have not bridged their gap already or why they self-sabotage attempts to do so. It allows insight into the self-deceptions we are all unable to see.

Traditional coaching

The objective is; what do I want to achieve for me from my coaching time?

 Arbinger coaching

The objective is; what would those around me; my organisation, a new organisation, my customers, my direct reports, my peers and other people in my key relationships want me to achieve from my coaching time and how does relate to the way I currently work?

The results, well let me let one of my clients tell you;

 “I would consider myself a fairly self-aware person but even from the first session Gill helped uncover some habitual ways of thinking which were not helping me. She has a knack of getting under the skin of things in a way that makes you feel supported, listened to and excited about how change is possible. I’ve left every session feeling more empowered and more aware of how the things I do can impact other peoples’ reactions and ways of working with me. I would thoroughly recommend Gill to anyone and everyone lucky enough to have discovered her!”
Commercial Director, Retail Organisation


Turn the World Outward

by Gillian Campbell in Category1


3 Jul, 2019 at 2:10 pm

What an inspirational Arbinger 2019 Summit!  A week of ideas and discussion, learning and passion, a collective of people from so many different walks of life coming together in their hope for a more outward mindset in the world.  We witnessed moments of pure brilliance and heart soaring awe. There were speakers from a Cyberspace operations squadron, a Professor of surgery, Chief of staff at Washington State alongside the passion and commitment of the winners of the Turn the World Outward awards,  senior leaders, facilitators, people, all who aim to see people as people in even the most challenging of circumstances.

I had the honour to open a discussion of Outward coaching in the face of complexity and agility, looking at perceived fear and its impact on mindset and culture.  There were questions, and thoughts and discussions that created so much new thought and passion and a new agenda for change through mindset coaching.

And, do you know what?  The week has given me hope!  A sense of excitement and optimism, courage and faith.  At a time in humanity’s journey when so much seems to be out of focus and complex, there is a force of change, of peace, of love that is not driven by a need for self or personal gain, it is about seeing life through seeing others. Right now, the force of # Turn the world outward feels like a new start. Watch this space !


How blind leaders create problem teams

by admin in Category1,Category2


19 Feb, 2017 at 9:40 am

How often do we feel disappointed in others’ performance or behaviour? As leaders, it’s our responsibility to take action to mend unproductive results and relationships.

With Arbinger I’ve learned to ask myself two questions when I find myself thinking like this.

  • “Am I curiously looking for and hearing the other person’s opinion with the intention of understanding?”
  • “How am I making this situation worse for them?”

When I led my first team on a project, I had big expectations. Inmy mid my team was the evidence of my success, and I wanted to be a winner. If they would perform to my standards, I would make them winners too. I set for them stringent, but (in my opinion) achievable goals and committed to support them to achieve those goals. I was not asking them to do anything I would not have done myself.

Six months in, disappointment had set in, and not one of them was meeting my expected standard. They were dissatisfied, lacking commitment, and under-performing. I concluded that since I had motivated and incentivized them, I must have inherited a lame team.

Looking back, I can now see that I had not in any way examined how I was contributing to my team’s lack of achievement. Some of them had successfully been doing their jobs for fifteen years; I had done their job for three. I had offered my view of what their success should look like, never asking them how best they could work. I did not consider our customers, I did not consider anyone’s view or needs except mine.

I thought the title “Manager” gave me the knowledge to see all the answers and how the outcomes should look for everyone. By imposing my views on my team, and dishing out consequences when they couldn’t perform to my standards meant I had created my problem team.

But why didn’t I see that then?

A client recently lamented, “I’ve been in a leadership position for 32 years and I could not see that I was asking an employee to be what I thought he should be, not asking him how our objectives could be met. I never saw how I made his job here difficult. I fired him, when I was part of the original problem. Recruiting his replacement will be costly and time-consuming. Why couldn’t I see it?”

Self-deception is not just two empty words, it is the astounding realization that we are seeing the world only from our point of view, through our own movie script where we have pre-written everyone’s role. Only when we stop and curiously see those around us as people with views as valid as our own can we start to ask and then see how we are the problem.

Only then, together, can we start to see a solution that we could not have seen before.


About the Author

Gillian Campbell is a qualified and chartered member of the UK’s Chartered Institute of Personnel and Development, is a certified member of the Arbinger Coaches Network, and is a member of The Association of British Psychologists and a trained community mediator.