Utah Air National Guard participates in Arbinger training

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  • By Tech. Sgt. Nicholas Perez

In a classroom at the Utah Air National Guard Base, a group of Servicemembers were asked: What would be possible if you and your organization were more outward?

The Servicemembers, with varying levels of rank and professional experience, were learning about developing an “outward mindset,” a concept coined by the Arbinger Institute that helps leaders create the high-performance culture that drives exceptional organizational results.

Master Sgt. Jason Dandurand, the State Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion Specialist, helped spearhead this training for the Guard.

“Arbinger Institute Trainings teach us all to be better leaders, supervisors, spouses, siblings, friends, and neighbors, “said Dandurand. “It helps us to focus our efforts on the right places and provides tools to help us to be more efficient in those efforts. This leads to people giving their best efforts and to a higher achieving organization.”

The Arbinger’s two-day outward mindset workshop offers a profound shift in mindset, a way of thinking, and a way of working that is transformative and immediately practical. Utilizing experiential learning, self-reflection, and peer-to-peer collaboration; this workshop challenges participants to evaluate their impact on others and provides them with tools that dramatically improve accountability and collaboration.

Deputy Wing Chaplain Spencer Cooper, an Arbinger trainer, was first introduced with the principles of the Arbinger Institute in 2008 while taking philosophy courses as a student of Marriage, Family and Human Development at Brigham Young University.

“Those principles really spoke to me as making a lot of sense, but the power of the philosophy didn't truly hit me until I started to regularly apply them to my marriage, my relationships with my colleagues in my university program and at the workplace,” said Cooper.

“The goal for our Airmen with this is to fundamentally affect and contribute to a healthy cultural change within our organization, wherein everyone is seen, heard, understood and feels like they have a place and play an important role,” he said.

During the training, students learned to create organizational change, you have to lead by example with the right mindset. When you’re in a position of authority, it’s your job to exemplify the way others should take ownership of their work and their impact on their teammates.

“I was able to take some of what I learned during the two-day course and apply it that same week when conducting my employee performance reviews,” said Maj. Ryan Sutherland, public affairs officer with the 151st Air Refueling Wing.

“Asking questions like, ‘how could a person in my role be more helpful to you’ and ‘how does someone in my position affect, or potentially affect your ability to do your work’ opened a whole new line of dialogue with my employees that has proved to be mutually beneficial.”

The Utah Air National Guard initially instituted the Outward Mindset to all Wing senior leaders, then began to offer two classes per quarter. The training conducted here at the Utah Air National Guard is starting to get national attention.

“National Guard Bureau Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion personnel are coming to Utah to see what we are doing with these classes and how they are very different but sustaining in changing our culture for the better,” Dandurand added. “Utah is leading the way with the Arbinger training.”

Quarterly, the Wing is offering a two-day Arbinger leadership program designed to help individuals, and organizations, shift their mindsets, transform their cultures, and drive changes that lead to exceptional results. The Arbinger Outward Mindset class is at no cost to the attendees. Communicate with your leadership if you are interested in attending, and sign-up on TEAMs in the Arbinger Folder under UTANG team, Commander Corner, files, Arbinger.

“People can expect to gain deep and meaningful inspiration for change in their lives and presentations that motivate and uplift,” added Cooper. “These classes are truly engaging, fun and thought provoking; a far cry from most days spent at work.  You can't go wrong by attending.”