Frequently Asked Questions




What does “Arbinger” mean?

“Arbinger” is a derivative of the word “harbinger.” It means “one that indicates or foreshadows what is to come; a forerunner.”

The Arbinger Institute is a forerunner, or “harbinger,” of change.


Are Arbinger’s theories based on a particular philosophical or psychological school of thought?

Arbinger’s theories have grown out of a rigorous and decades-long study of human interaction. For an explanation of the scholarly foundations of our work, you can read our whitepaper, “Intellectual Foundations of Arbinger.”

Arbinger is composed of people who have been trained in business, law, economics, philosophy, education, coaching, and psychology. They bring a range of perspectives and diversity of thought to our work.

What they share is a deep understanding and passion for the ideas underlying Arbinger’s work: a compelling model of human understanding that transforms organizations and enables individuals to resolve conflict.


Why doesn’t Arbinger list author names on its publications?

We publish everything in the name of the company for three main reasons.

1. We want to keep the focus on Arbinger’s ideas and not on personalities.

2. Writing is but one of many important tasks performed at Arbinger, and we feel that those who write are no more important than those who contribute in other ways. Additionally, the writing Arbinger produces is always deeply collaborative and never the result of individual effort.

3. And finally, writing anonymously helps us—individually and as an organization—to avoid the traps and pitfalls of ego. We don’t want to undermine the power of the ideas in any way, so we won’t allow ourselves to get in their way.


How can I introduce Arbinger to my organization?

1. Share with your manager and others in the organization the videos or case studies on this site. They provide a glimpse into Arbinger’s work and results.

2. Give your manager or others in the organization a copy of Leadership & Self-Deception.

3. Attend and invite others to attend a public introduction to Arbinger’s work, such as a speech or our two-day public training.

4. If you wish to become an internal Arbinger Facilitator within your organization, attend Arbinger’s Train-the-Trainer course.


How can I explain Arbinger’s work to others?

One way to introduce Arbinger to others is to send them a link to this website, or links to specific videos or case studies that give a glimpse into Arbinger’s work and results.

You might invite them to read either Leadership & Self Deception or The Outward Mindset. Both books are compelling introductions to Arbinger’s work.

Alternatively, you could describe the connection Arbinger makes between behavior, mindset, and results. Then you could explain that Arbinger’s work equips people to understand and effect change at the level of mindset to change an organization’s culture, resolve conflict, and facilitate dramatically better organizational results.