The Gordon Institute of Business Science’s Personal and Applied Learning (PAL) unit hosted Arbinger South Africa’s Dr. Cobus Pienaar recently as a key expert in the art of facilitation during one of a series of masterclasses hosted by GIBS—Africa’s number one rated business school.
As part of the GIBS PAL unit’s vision of promoting the art of facilitation to enhance agile performance in organisations, Dr. Pienaar had the opportunity to introduce the ‘Arbinger Approach’ as a tool to help individuals adopt a new mindset in their role as facilitators and coaches.
Delegates who attended the GIBS PAL Arbinger Approach masterclass came from backgrounds such as training, learning and development and coaching—all fields in which relationships and mindsets are pivotal for optimal results.
“The seminar helped me to understand the book Leadership and Self-Deception better. This will help me to apply the outward mindset in my coaching and strategic facilitation. The section on operationalizing the outward mindset was an ‘aha’ for me,” shared Bongiwe Ntakumba, Director at Reflective Spaces, a South Africa-based consulting firm.
There was a tangible air of anticipation and curiosity about the Arbinger Approach among the attendees as they mingled before the start of the session. Some attendees admitted they had read one or more of the Arbinger books and were eager to learn more about the Arbinger Approach. Several delegates indicated that they did not know anything at all about the Arbinger Approach and expressed a desire to learn more about an approach toward facilitation and relationship-building that could help improve personal and professional efficacy.
Essentially, the Arbinger Approach advocates an approach that suggests that to change behavior, one must change what drives behavior inherently—and that is an individual’s mindset. A synergy exists between the Arbinger Approach and the GIBS PAL view, which is that the facilitator’s role is essentially to ‘harvest and activate wisdom, skills and energy for optimal, generative results’.
Participant Lesa Burger, Owner at Brainworks, shared that the experience was “an eye opener—a powerful afternoon with great impact,” while GIBS’ own Gillian Cross, the Head of Learning Design, remarked that the class was “very well facilitated, high impact and worthwhile.”
There was much earnest introspection (and possibly some cognitive disequilibrium too) amongst the masterclass participants as new concepts were introduced relating to behavioral drivers. People could clearly recognize the manifestations of an inward mindset in their organisations and this was evident in the lively role play that took place about the culture of blame and collusion in organisations. “The personal case study presented was powerful and a lot of learning took place for me through that,” commented Comair Commercial Training Manager Melinda Pansegrouw.
Dr. Pienaar’s humble and insightful facilitation style encouraged delegates to feel safe enough to explore and interrogate their learned behaviors and mindsets.
Each delegate who attended the masterclass left with a complimentary copy of Arbinger’s Leadership and Self-Deception or The Anatomy of Peace. Feedback from delegates indicated that personal and applied learning had indeed been a tangible result of attending the PAL unit’s Arbinger Approach Masterclass.