Sep 102013

Do You Lighten Up Unhappy People and Get Them to See the Bright Side?

This issue focuses on Enneagram personality Type 7, The Enthusiast. Enthusiasts crave the stimulation of new ideas, people, and expectations. They also avoid pain and create elaborate plans for the future that allow them to keep all their options open.

Enthusiasts are adventurers, optimistic, spontaneous, versatile, and fun loving. They need to avoid pain and are energetic and embracing. Enthusiasts are motivated by the desire to see possibilities. They are eternal optimists and enjoy exploring new things beyond the status quo.

Sevens are in the Head Triad; they are called the synthesizing mind, responding instantaneously to stimulation, moving in a nanosecond to a new idea, then triggering another idea, and so forth. They enjoy learning and gathering information, but prefer to learn many different things. As a result, they have a breadth, but not necessarily a depth, of knowledge.

Because they constantly seek new and exciting experiences, they can become distracted and exhausted by staying on the go. They typically have problems with impatience and impulsiveness.

Famous Enthusiasts include Robin Williams, Jerry Seinfeld, Joan Rivers, Bette Midler, George Lopez, Jim Carrey, Catherine Zeta-Jones, and Eddie Murphy. They feel challenged when they have to stay focused on one thing for any length of time, becoming distracted by new thoughts and external stimuli.

How do we identify a Type 7? They have bright and happy eyes, love bright colors, have easy-going body movement, are charming, sharp-minded, mischievous, and aggressive but loveable. They bring craziness, eclectic connections, delight, adventure, impulsiveness, spontaneity, and energy to a group.

Some proverbs that identify a Six include: Where there is no vision, the people perish. Nothing is wonderful when you get used to it. A rolling stone gathers no moss. Moderation is a fatal thing; nothing succeeds like excess.

The average Enthusiast is extroverted, hyperactive, impulsive, materialistic, and excessive. They fear that they are missing out on other, more worthwhile experiences, thus become restless and interested in having more options available to them. They can be demanding, but are seldom satisfied when their demands are met.

Unhealthy Enthusiasts are insensitive towards others. They tend to be scattered, erratic, compulsive, panic-stricken, and hysterical. They are highly impulsive and irresponsible, doing whatever promises temporary relief from their anxiety.

Healthy Enthusiasts are appreciative, blissful, enthusiastic, grateful for blessings, accomplished and practical generalists. They let go of the belief that they require specific objects and experiences to be fulfilled. They fully engage in life.

The Enthusiast’s communication style is talkative, storytelling, speculating, and brainstorming.

When coaching an Enthusiast it’s important to remember that they can be excited about coaching, but will avoid coaching meetings if they anticipate feeling uncomfortable, inadequate, or restricted. Patience is required because Sevens may be late or miss their appointments so often that coaches can feel frustrated and even disrespected. In coaching sessions, they talk more than listen and want to discuss as much information as possible. They also like the idea of generating goals, but resist adhering to them.

If you know a Type 7, give them companionship, affection, and freedom. Appreciate their grand visions, listen to their stories, and engage them in stimulating conversation and laughter. Don’t try to change their style, just accept them the way they are. Don’t tell them what to do.

Suggestions and exercises for Enthusiasts are about health and stress.

  • Cultivate healthy habits of eating, sleeping, and exercise. Some Sevens have the tendency to go to extremes and neglect their health.
  • Take up an exercise program such as swimming or tai chi.
  • • Be careful not to eat, drink, or spend to excess when stressed.
  • Remove your rose-colored glasses and take into account the dark or negative side of life for reality and balance.
  • Accept feelings, trusting they will pass.
  • Be tactful and sensitive, trying to see things from other’s point of view.

Remember, none of the personality types is better or worse than any other. All types have unique assets and liabilities, strengths and weaknesses. While it is common to find a little of ourselves in each of the nine types, one of them typically stands out as being closest to ourselves. This is our basic personality type.

The Enneagram is a valuable tool coaches can use as a catalyst for change. In an organization or business, this can help in employee development, hiring decisions, or forming highly functional teams.

To identify your dominant personality type, visit and take the free assessment or the ten dollar enhanced assessment. Then contact me so we can discover how you can enhance your effectiveness. Coaching can be a valuable resource for developing yourself, your business, and your employees.


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