December 16, 2020

Projecting success begins with empowering people

Empowering people means cultivating an outward mindset to understand your colleagues and support collaboration


The meaning of success can change depending on our situation and at what stage of life we’re in. Despite the individual differences, we all can agree on one thing – we all want to project our success through our business or careers.


One of the many principles of success that we’re all familiar with is that we cannot do it all on our own. We connect with people to drive that success, be it the business we run or in our careers. Either way, harnessing the power of people is important to reach any goal more effectively and with greater impact.


But the reality is that each individual also has their own sets of objectives and goals and their own styles of motivation. In an ideal situation, we can ask our colleagues or boss to help with tasks and they will immediately come to our aid. However, that is not always the case and this can cause frustration and resentment.


Let’s take a step back


In everything we do, whether it’s in work or life, we are mostly fixed in our views because of our past experiences and understanding. While we may feel frustrated, there may be underlying reasons as to why our colleagues and boss couldn’t help us to begin with.


We know people are integral to our careers and businesses. But to succeed in those endeavors, we must work together to achieve those goals effectively and with greater impact. To successfully work together with others, we must be able to empower them. With such a notion, the idea of the outward mindset comes to mind. 


The concept of the outward mindset was coined by Dr. C Terry Warner and simply means seeing beyond yourself and seeing the perspective of others; better collaboration and success will follow. While we may apply an outward mindset to different degrees in different situations, using it effectively is a key to empowering others and attaining success.


To begin, here are some things to keep in mind when empowering people with concepts from the outward mindset.


Keep in mind the concept of collective goals


To motivate others and reach a new level of success together, you must also consider the goals of others. Having common goals isn’t just great for motivating each other, it creates a greater impact with collective efforts.


Additionally, each individual has strengths and weaknesses. Having support from one another can ensure that our strengths complement each other and help offset weaknesses found in the group. This helps us become more effective in our tasks and reach our goals faster.


Practice seeing beyond yourself so that you open up to new perspectives


While the concept of collective goals is great, not all of us will buy into it. This is why we need to be able to see beyond our own perspectives and understand others. It helps us sustainably work through our own goals. But also to support others with theirs as it can make clear of how we can motivate one another.


Do not avoid difficult conversations


The reality of dealing with people is that there will always be occasions when we need to have difficult conversations. Whether it’s confronting others about performance or opening up to ask for help when under pressure, these conversations can be difficult for each of us.


Often, we see things in our own way, but our view may not be the same as that of others. We must learn to state things directly, give space for the other person to speak, and open up a discussion on how to move forward.


Keep your mind open


This may sound simple but it is tough for many of us. This is especially if we have strong views on certain topics. Keeping our minds open doesn’t necessarily mean we accept those views. However, it gives others a safe space to speak and allows us to understand and build trust.


Reduce the mindset of fixed functional silos


Whether you’re an employee or a business leader, every organization must function hand in hand. However, in many organizations, there are always functional silos that hinder effective collaboration. Realistically, we cannot eradicate all silos. However, we can reduce their negative impacts is possible and this can ultimately open up effective cross-functional collaborations.


We can define success in business and career success in different ways. We all want to achieve some level of success. But we can achieve it faster and with greater impact when we have the right people and support around us. While an outward mindset helps open up ways in empowering people, we need to begin with ourselves.


Arinya Talerngsri is Chief Capability Officer and Managing Director at SEAC – Southeast Asia’s Lifelong Learning Center. She can be reached by email at or Explore and experience our lifelong learning ecosystem today at