Personal Mastery of Mindsets for Partnership

Posted by:

Photo by Jessica Ruscello on Unsplash

Photo by Jessica Ruscello on Unsplash

Mastering the 6 personal mindsets will help individuals and their organisations build healthy, enduring partnerships [insert link to blog 1 – emily to do once live]. 

The 6 mindsets for partnerships are complementary and require balance.  For example, an outcome mindset can feel forceful if not balanced with a shared value mindset.  An effectiveness mindset can be superficial when not balanced with a reflective mindset.  A solution mindset can be based on a skewed problem definition if not balanced with an openness mindset.  Think of the mindsets as a prismadapting to change the shape of partnerships.  

This week, we look at tools to develop four of the mindsets for partnerships and balance outcome and effectiveness mindsets with openness and shared values to help deliver healthy, long-term partnerships.   


1. Leaders take responsibility to build the partnership, not just the programme of activities, constantly modelling and managing behaviours. 

2. Take accountability for your role in the partnership and clearly specify the responsibilities of other individuals with sufficient detail to ensure each individual can follow through. 


  • Partnership visualisation:  Developing a vision for the partnership as well as the outcomes. 
  • Commitment setting:  Defining personal, partnership and programme commitments. 


1. Be open and honest about your intentions and goals: This will build trust and guide your partners’ future responses. Be clear and frank.  Leaving people to read between the lines can lead to misconceptions. Your behaviour and consistency is paramount. 

2. Build empathy and seek understanding:  Welcome feedback and differences in values and viewpointsBuild self-awareness of defensive behaviour and plans to mitigate it. ‘Out’ internal barriers and problems as soon as they emerge to protect against ‘rigid’ thinking. 

Openness tools: 

  • Internal communication plan 
  • Conflict management training 


1. Establish shared values: Develop shared ‘superordinate’ goals, which can only be achieved by working together.  You can reduce conflict and challenge by defining goals which aren’t ‘owned’ by individual organisations, but created together.  

2. Establish a shared set of rules or norms that function within the partnership to promote harmonious working and prevent rigidity and oppositional organisational styles. 

Shared value tools: 

  • Shared rules/norms for partnership 
  • Feedback loops:  formalised and regular mechanisms for feedback 

A partnership which is grounded in honesty and transparency may be uncomfortable at times but is more able to function smoothly and withstand disagreement.  Developing personal mastery of such mindsets takes practice, but with an openness to discuss outcomes, values and effectiveness comes truly effective relationship building.  Start talking today. 

Next week, we will explore the solutions mindsets and its relationship with openness and reflection mindsets for partnership innovation. 

Follow the series to get an ‘overview of the mindsets for partnership and innovation’ and delve deep into each mindset for more insights and tools.  Sign up at to receive the series by email. 

By Jane Thurlow and Rachael Clay