An approach that gets you and your team moving forward together

How you THINK is how you LEAD

Does your leadership team get stuck more often than you’d like?

Do you experience ineffective problem solving, entrenched positions, inability to resolve conflicts, strained relationships or a lack of trust? These slow you down and get in the way of what you need to achieve.

Almost all leadership teams fall into these traps, and it is usually a result of mindset: leaders’ beliefs about how they are supposed to act. Our approach helps you and your team shift your beliefs and change the ways you work so that you get unstuck, get more done and achieve your goals.

What mindset do you and your team operate from?


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When you operate from a unilateral control mindset, you attempt to make others do what you want them to do, believing that you are acting in the best interests of your organization. Yet you and your team often get stuck without understanding why or knowing how to resolve the situation. When the stakes are high – you’re in the middle of a merger, you might lose an important client, your product introduction is late – you can easily see the individual and team behaviors that aren’t working. These behavior patterns may be so deeply ingrained that you aren’t able to see that what’s at the heart of the problem is a unilateral control mindset.

In contrast, when you operate from a Mutual Learning mindset, you achieve your goals by learning from and with your team. You are open to being influenced by them. At the same time you seek to influence them. You see each member of your team as having a piece of the puzzle. Your job, along with your team members, is to jointly put the puzzle together. Your team works together to build on the strengths, talents and knowledge of the entire team.

Mindset. Behavior. Results.®

Mutual Learning allows leaders and their teams to work more effectively. Our clients say that the values, assumptions, and behaviors of the Mutual Learning approach are common sense but not common practice. That’s why the results that leadership teams need are often so elusive.

Are Mutual Learning values, assumptions and behaviors common practice in your team? Are you getting the results you need?

Mutual Learning mindset:

The Mutual Learning values

  • Transparency
  • Curiosity
  • Informed Choice
  • Accountability
  • Compassion

The Mutual Learning assumptions

  • I have information and so do other people
  • People may disagree with me and still have pure motives
  • I may be contributing to the problem
  • Each of us sees things others don’t
  • Differences are opportunities for learning
Mutual Learning behaviors:

  • State views and ask genuine questions
  • Share all relevant information
  • Use specific examples and agree on what important words mean
  • Explain reasoning and intent
  • Focus on interests, not positions
  • Test assumptions and inferences
  • Jointly design next steps
  • Discuss undiscussable issues
Mutual Learning results:

  • Shorter implementation times
  • Increased commitment
  • Higher quality decisions
  • Increased learning
  • Improved working relationships
  • Greater personal satisfaction and well-being

The Mutual Learning approach draws from Chris Argyris and Don Schön’s Model II work, as well as the work of Bob Putnam, Diana Smith and Phil MacArthur at Action Design, who originally used the term Mutual Learning Model.