Newsletter

Sep 102013
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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 www.enneagraminstitute.com 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.

 

Aug 132013
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Before You Act, Do You Focus On What Can Go Wrong?

This is the sixth in a series of articles based on the nine personalities of the Enneagram. We use the Enneagram Personality Assessment in our Coaching and Ascending Leader’s Program™ to gain self-knowledge and self-awareness. It acts as a mirror to reveal aspects of our personality that are not normally visible to us.

Like Everyone Else, Like No One Else, Like Someone Else.

Personality theorists make two kinds of statements. One describes the things we all have in common, traits that are inherent in all human beings.

The other states that the differences among people are generally learned, rather than generic. In essence, there is only one of each of us.

Somewhere in between what we have in common with everyone else and what we share with no one else are characteristics that overlap with some people but not with others.

This issue focuses on personality Type 6, The Loyalist. Loyalists are motivated by their desire to alleviate risk. They are also tenacious in their loyalty, defenders of their faith, and protectors of their traditions. Sixes are the most loyal to their friends and to their beliefs, as well as to ideas and systems.

Loyalists have insightful minds and are prone to worry, often creating worst-case scenarios. This helps them feel prepared in case something goes wrong. Some Loyalists are overly fearful, while others move toward fear as a way of proving they have no fear.

Sixes are in the Head Triad; they are called the doubting mind. When considering what to do, how to solve a problem, and what decisions to make, they immediately conjecture “What if this happened,” “What if that doesn’t work,” and more. They need to consider what can go wrong before they commit to a course of action.

Famous Loyalists include Julia Roberts, Matt Damon, Howard Cossell, Steve Martin, Michelle Pfeiffer, Tom Hanks, Malcolm X, and Ted Turner. When Sixes give their word about something, they keep it.

How do we identify a Type 6? They appear worried, suspicious, aggressively self-protective, warm and likeable, strong and fearless. They have searching eyes, are sharply attentive and skeptical. They can make you feel distrusted, cross-examined, awkward, trusted, warm, part of the team, misled, and uncertain.

Some proverbs that identify a Type Six include: United we stand, divided we fall. Readiness is all. Two heads are better than one. Better safe than sorry.

The average Loyalist is obedient, a traditionalist, dependent, hesitant, defensive, and rebellious. They begin to fear they will lose their independence but also believe they need more support. They worry they cannot meet the demands placed on them so they try to resist having more pressure put upon them.

Unhealthy Loyalists are insecure, clingingly dependent, overreacting, and can be hysterical and irrational, feeling their actions may have harmed their own security.

Healthy Loyalists are self-affirming, courageous, emotionally engaged, and loyal. They let go of the belief that they must rely on someone or something outside themselves for support. They reinforce their self-image by working to create and sustain mutually beneficial systems.

The Loyalist’s communication style is questioning, cautioning, doubting, and challenging.

When coaching a Loyalist it’s important to remember that they become especially anxious when they are about to receive feedback. They like to discuss their coaching goals, recognizing that doing so provides them and their coach with a common direction. Because they are prone to self-doubt and second-guessing themselves, they may revise and revisit their coaching goals multiple times during the first few coaching sessions.

If you know a Type 6, be direct, clear, and listen to them carefully. Work things through with them, and reassure them that everything is OK. Push them gently toward new experiences and try not to overreact to their overreacting.

Suggestions and exercises for Loyalists are about self-confidence.

  • Try to be around people who are accepting, trustworthy, and encouraging.
  • Notice and accept the positive things people say about you.
  • Remember that there is no one “right” way to live, as long as you are satisfied with what you are doing.
  • Remember it is OK to make mistakes.

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 www.enneagraminstitute.com 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.

Jul 182013
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How Do You Communicate With the Intellectual, Innovative, Quiet Type?

This issue focuses on personality Type 5, The Investigator. Investigators thirst for knowledge and use emotional detachment as a way of keeping involvement with others to a minimum. They tend to be introverted, needing time alone for reading and thinking.

Investigators often fear that their skills are insufficient and they need to prepare more before they take their place in the world. Their worry that the needs of others will distract them from their own projects leads them to shut out intrusions. They spend much of their time alone studying, practicing, and acquiring more knowledge, resources, and skills.

Fives are in the Head Triad, which focuses on finding a sense of inner guidance and support. In some spiritual traditions, they are called the quiet mind. However, we seldom have access to this peaceful, spacious quality of the mind. For most of us, the mind is a chatterbox. That’s why some people spend years in monasteries or at retreats trying to quiet their minds. Investigators respond by retreating from life and reducing their personal needs.

Famous Investigators include Albert Einstein, Bill Gates, Thomas Edison, Bobby Fischer, Stephen King, and Robert DeNiro. They are good at analyzing problems, prefer silence in order to concentrate, and are quite satisfied with working by themselves.

How do we identify a Type 5? To them everything is potential knowledge. They intellectualize feelings, are emotionally detached, pursue information and knowledge, and are usually the calm ones in a crisis. However, they can become easily drained.

The average Investigator is overly intellectual, endlessly analytically, detached and preoccupied. They feel unsure of themselves, thus preferring the safety of their minds. They study, practice, and collect knowledge.

Unhealthy Investigators are reclusive, isolated, and cynical. To gain security they cut off all connections with the world, rejecting all but basic needs.

Healthy Investigators are experts, ingenious, perceptive, and knowledgeable. When they become capable and competent to live in the world, they become clear-minded, profound, and compassionate. As thinkers, they can become very original, inventive, and artful.

The Investigator’s communication style is to explain, systematize, and analyze. They are typically employed as scientists, engineers, writers, hi-tech specialists, mathematicians, and inventors.

When coaching an Investigator, it is important to remember that they tend to compartmentalize information they receive. They hear one piece of data, place it in a category in their minds, and then move on to other data without seeing the connection between the pieces of information. They don’t like to be asked questions about their feelings unless they are very familiar with their coach.

If you know a Type 5, speak to them in a straightforward and brief manner. Give them time to process feeling and thoughts. If they seem aloof, distant, or arrogant, it may be because they are feeling uncomfortable. Don’t come at them like a bulldozer. Help them avoid big gatherings, other people’s loud music, and intrusions on their privacy.

Suggestions and exercises for Investigators are about getting out of their head and into doing.

  • Don’t avoid conflict, take risks, and speak up.
  • Become more active by taking up creative or sports activities.
  • Value being in the present.
  • Become a member of a group where it is acceptable to speak or not to speak.

If you’re a Type 5, make sure you say positive things about yourself. You will experience being an individual fully when you empty yourself of preconceived ideas and categories. Finally, you don’t have to be the smartest person.

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 www.enneagraminstitute.com and take the free assessment, or take 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.

Jun 112013
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Are You Seen as Difficult and Contradictory – and You Like that About You?

This is the fourth in a series of articles based on the nine personalities of the Enneagram. We use the Enneagram Personality Assessment in our Coaching and Ascending Leader’s Program(TM). The Enneagram helps us gain self-knowledge and self-awareness. It acts as a mirror to reveal aspects of our personality that are not normally visible to us.

This issue focuses on personality Type 4, The Individualist. Individualists are motivated by the need to experience their feelings, to be understood, to search for the meaning of life, and to avoid being ordinary. They are also driven by the desire to express their individuality.

One of the biggest challenges Individualists face is learning to let go of feelings from the past; they tend to nurse wounds and hold on to negative feelings about those who have hurt them.

Fours are from the Heart Center of the triad of our ego self. They are the most sensitive of all the Enneagram styles, although their sensitivity is generally focused on their own internal reactions and feelings. They are primarily concerned with the development of self-image.

Famous Individualists include John McEnroe, Barbara Streisand, Angelina Jolie, James Dean, Julio Iglesias, Carlos Santana, and Johnny Depp. They are concerned about the feelings of others and dislike doing the same ordinary things repeatedly.

How do we identify a Type 4? They engage in extensive introspection; they want to be unique or special; they can appear moody; they use self-referencing language and want to be understood. Fours typically have problems with negative self-image and low self-esteem.

The average Individualist is artistic and imaginative, fantasizing, introverted, self-absorbed, self-conscious, self-indulgent, and self-pitying. They worry that others will not appreciate them for their uniqueness. They feel they are missing out on life and exempt themselves from “the rules,” becoming sensual, pretentious, and unproductive.

Unhealthy Individualists can be self-destructive, alienated, and emotionally self-tormenting. They fear they are wasting their lives. Their repressed rage results in depression, apathy, and constant fatigue.

Healthy Individualists are inspiring, creative, and express the universal human condition. They are also self-aware, intuitive, and individualistic. Their basic desire is to find themselves and discover their significance. They focus on their own feelings and preferences to create a clear sense of personal identity. They are eloquent and subtle, exploring their feelings and finding ways to share them with others.

The Individualist’s communication style is melancholic, idealistic, emotional, and dramatic. They are typically employed as visual or performing artists, entrepreneurs, and interior or fashion designers.

When coaching an Individualist it is important to remember that their reactions to feedback can vary. Negative feedback may cause them to feel defective. They prefer a coach who is sympathetic, understanding, and warm. Being objective and direct will help them the most.

If you know a Type 4, give plenty of compliments and be a supportive friend or partner. Help them love and value themselves. Respect them for their gifts of intuition and vision, and don’t tell them they are overreacting or too sensitive.

Suggestions and exercises for Individualists are about self-esteem.

  • Be proud of your special gifts, talents, and accomplishments.
  • Find ways to make everyday duties and responsibilities creative and playful.
  • Commit yourself to creative work the will bring out your best.
  • If it is not possible to work in a creative career, take the time to germinate your ideas in your off-work hours.

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 www.enneagraminstitute.com and take the free assessment, or take 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.

 

May 142013
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Do You Engage Only in Activities You Are Good at in Order to Avoid Failure?

This is the third in a series of articles based on the nine personalities of the Enneagram. We use the Enneagram Personality Assessment in our Coaching and Ascending Leader’s Program(TM) to gain knowledge about our behaviors and those of our team members. Self-knowledge helps us understand why we do things the way we do. It also helps us understand why others do things the way they do.

In this issue, I will discuss personality Type 3, The Achiever. The Achiever is a motivator, a status seeker and one who is driven and image conscious. Achievers feel the need to succeed, and they are energetic, optimistic, and self-assured. They are primarily motivated by their desire to achieve a successful image, and they feel it’s more important to get something done than to get it right. While poised and diplomatic, Achievers can be overly concerned with image and the opinion of others.

Threes can be challenged by competitiveness and workaholism. They want others to see them as successful. As such, Achievers exemplify the human need for attention, encouragement, and affirmation. They engage in competition because they fear being overshadowed by someone else.

Threes use their Heart Center to focus on how others respond to them in terms of gaining their respect and admiration. These Achievers read their audience quite well and can change their persona in order to elicit the response they desire. Because of this, they are called the “chameleons” of the Enneagram.

Famous Achievers include Michael Jordan, Bill Clinton, Denzel Washington, Sharon Stone, George Clooney, Demi Moore, Halle Berry, and Vince Lombardi. They figure out practical ways to use their resources, communicate by talking about results, work under pressure to achieve the outcomes they want, and pursue their goals until they attain them.

How do we recognize a Type 3? They exemplify a desire to be their best self, to develop all of their potential, and to value others and themselves. They have a generous smile as well as a pleasantly seductive demeanor. They make you feel appreciated, fully heard, and good about yourself. Threes are the “stars” of the personality types – people of tremendous drive, ambition, and belief in themselves.

The average Achiever is well intentioned, an excellent communicator, motivator, and promoter. They can be very effective in building morale and company spirit. They value excellence and accomplishment, and enjoy helping others discover how to shine. This makes them feel real, and they impress others with their sincerity. At their best they are tender, genuine, and affectionate – role models and heroes who inspire others.

Unhealthy Achievers can drive themselves too hard, leading to unnecessary stress. This can cause them to go on “autopilot,” or attempt to get thru difficulties without being bothered. As a result, they lose focus and involve themselves in busy work to give the appearance that they are getting things done. Sometimes they become stubborn and refuse help, not wanting to accept that they have a problem.

The Type 3 communicates by enthusiastically motivating themselves and others for success. They are frequently in management or leadership positions in business, law, banking, the computer field, and politics. They also tend to be in the public eye as broadcasters and performers.

Coaching an Achiever may focus on their strengths, which are energetic, entrepreneurial, confident, and results oriented. For development purposes, coaches assist Achievers by helping them understand the extent to which they over identify with their work as well as the personal price they pay for doing so. They expect a clear discussion and a firm decision about their coaching goals early in the coaching process. A key motivator for development is to have them see themselves as successful without feeling the pressure of always having to prove it.

If you are a Type 3, or know one, know that they are in their element when they drive for results. They have the ability to maintain a laser like focus. The core of their Enneagram personality architecture is to achieve outstanding goals and results.
Suggestions and exercises for Achievers are about relaxation and self-nurturing.

  • Schedule time every day to rest and practice meditation or stress-reduction techniques including massages, steam baths, or saunas.
  • Make time for activities you value outside of work.
  • Reduce stress by appreciating and accepting your present level of success.
  • Take a vacation and leave all your work at home.

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 with individual clients and teams, helping them understand why they behave the way they do. 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 www.enneagraminstitute.com and take the free assessment, or take the enhanced assessment for ten dollars, then contact me so we can discover how you can become more effective in your work and personal life. Coaching can be a valuable resource for developing yourself, your business, and your employees.

 

Apr 092013
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Are You Meddling or Just Trying to be Helpful?

This is the second in a series of articles based on the nine personalities of the Enneagram. We use the Enneagram Personality Assessment in our Ascending Leader’s Program(TM) to gain knowledge about our behaviors and those of our team members. Self-knowledge helps us understand why we do things the way we do. It also helps us understand why others do things the way they do.

In this issue, I will discuss personality Type 2, The Helper. The Helper is the Caring, Interpersonal Type: Demonstrative, Generous, People-Pleasing, and Possessive. Helpers are primarily motivated by the desire to meet the needs of others. They take pride in being needed by the team, and in helping make others successful. They are the most people-oriented of the Enneagram types, focusing on relationships and feeling best about themselves when they are meaningfully engaging with others.

Of the three Centers of Intelligence (heart, head, and body), Helpers are in the Emotional Center. This is the home of feeling based types that emphasize the heart for positive and negative feelings, empathy, and concern for others.

Famous Helpers include Gloria Estefan, Bill Cosby, and Sally Field. They rarely ask for assistance directly but appreciate when help is spontaneously offered. At the same time, they are not usually aware of the degree to which they give to others in order to gain appreciation, approval, and a feeling of being valued in return.

How can we recognize a Type 2? They focus more on the feelings and needs of others than on themselves. They become sad when feeling unappreciated, unwanted, or unvalued. They focus on relationships, want to share the good in their lives, and enjoy supporting others with attention and care.

The average Helper can begin to fear that whatever they have been doing is not enough. They try to win people over and cultivate friendships by pleasing, flattering, and supporting them. Essentially, they are people pleasing. Many times they will say things like, “Let me do that for you,” “Come get a hug,” or “I won’t take no for an answer.”

An unhealthy Type 2 can be self-deceptive, with the tendency to become overly involved in the lives of others. They tend to manipulate others to get their own emotional needs met. Helpers find it hard to say no. They tend to feel drained and burned out because they overdo for others. In the workplace, they can be surprisingly angry and aggressive, acting as if they have no needs.

The Type 2 communicates by complimenting, being nice, sympathetic, giving advice, and sometimes being militant for a cause. They excel in roles that involve helping people, such as counselors, teachers, and health workers. They can also be found as actresses, actors, and motivational speakers. They work in areas that help others, such as receptionists, secretaries, assistants, and clothing consultants.

Coaching a Helper may focus on their strengths, which are being empathic, supportive, motivating, and warm. For development purposes, coaches assist Helpers with understanding how they accommodate others, their indirectness, feeling unappreciated, and tendency to overextend themselves.

If you are a Type 2, or know one, know that they like to be appreciated. Be specific and take an interest in their problems, though they will probably try to focus on yours. Let them know that they are important and special to you, and be gentle if you decide to criticize them.

Suggestions and exercises for Helpers are about building self-esteem.

  • Engage in activities that give pleasure and satisfaction but do not involve being with others.
  • Reparent your inner child by talking to yourself in nurturing and loving ways, as you would a child, but stay in parent stance.
  • Give yourself some of the attention and pampering you usually give others.
  • Value the love that is in your life instead of focusing on what is missing.

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 with individual clients and teams, helping them understand why they behave the way they do. 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 enneagraminstitute.com and take the free assessment, or take the enhanced assessment for ten dollars. If you are a Helper, do you intuitively know what someone else needs, but have a hard time articulating your own needs, even to yourself?

Contact me so we can discover how you can become more effective in your work and personal life. Coaching can be a valuable resource for developing yourself, your business, and your employees.

 

Mar 122013
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Do You think The World Is Imperfect And Needs Improvement?

Our Ascending Leader’s Program(TM) uses the Enneagram as a tool to discuss personality types and ways to use this knowledge to enhance our behaviors and those of our team members. Self-knowledge helps us understand why we do things the way we do. It also helps us understand why others do things the way they do.

In this and subsequent newsletters I will discuss a particular personality type, how to recognize it, how we behave if it is our dominant type, and how to interact with others who fit this particular type.

To identify your dominant personality type, visit www.enneagraminstitute.comand take the free assessment. You may also take the enhanced assessment for a small fee.

In this issue, I will discuss personality Type 1, The Reformer. The Reformer is the Rational, Idealistic Type: Principled, Purposeful, Self-Controlled, and Perfectionistic. Reformers have a strong sense of right and wrong and are ethical and conscientious. They are well organized and have high standards, which can make them critical perfectionists.

It is easy to recognize a Reformer. They are neat and proper, sometimes meticulous, with a rigid posture and stiff upper lip. They may also present an overly pleasant demeanor. Reformers tend to think the world is imperfect, so they must work towards its improvement. They can be very critical of themselves, and when they get frustrated, they usually maintain a pleasant demeanor.

The average Reformer feels that others are indifferent to his or her principles and tries to convince them of the rightness of their viewpoint. A healthy Type 1 can approach life emotionally and possesses a strong sense of purpose and conviction. An unhealthy Type 1 can be close-minded and become uncompromising, bitter, or highly self-righteous.

The communication style of a Reformer is moralizing, teaching, preaching, judging, lecturing, and correcting. They excel in roles that require special attention to detail and can have an impact in an area where improvement is needed.

To get along with a Type 1, it is best to acknowledge their achievements, reassure them, and tell them you value their advice. It can also be a good idea to encourage them to lighten up and laugh at themselves. You may want to appeal to their sense of duty and ethics, be neat, well prepared, and organized, be on time, and stay on schedule. Instead of disagreeing with them, speak respectfully and ask “what if…” questions.

Of the three Centers of Intelligence (heart, head, and body), Reformers are in the body center, meaning they filter the world through an intelligence of kinesthetic and physical sensations along with gut instinct.

If you are a Type 1, or know one, understand that they normally hold their angry feelings in check. They hold their anger in their bodies and can become extremely tense and rigid with the effort to control themselves.

Suggestions and exercises for Type 1 team members are those that are self-nurturing.

  • Spend time each day doing recreational activities
  • Accentuate the importance of humor in your life
  • Practice stress reduction, meditation, or yoga
  • Take vacations to get away from work and compulsive actions

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 with individual clients and teams, helping them understand why they behave the way they do. In an organization or business, this can help in employee development, hiring decisions, or forming highly functional teams.

Let me know the results of your assessment, and if I can help you to use this discovery to become more effective in your work and personal life.

 

Feb 122013
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Why Do You Behave the Way You Do?

When we are born, we possess the essence of who we are, and as life happens, we find a way to relate to it. Early in life, we learned to feel safe and to cope with family situations and personal circumstances. We did this by developing a strategy based on natural talents and abilities.

We are born with a dominant type, and this orientation largely determines the ways in which we adapt to our early childhood development. By the time we are four or five years old, our consciousness has developed sufficiently to produce a separate sense of self. While still very fluid at this age, we begin to establish ourselves and find ways of fitting into our world.

One tool we can use to discover personality type is the Enneagram (pronounced ANY-a-gram). Its name comes from the Greek words for “nine” – enna – and “figure” – grammos, thus the nine-pointed figure. The Enneagram has been around for more than 2500 years. It is a geometric figure that defines the nine fundamental types of human nature and their complex interrelationships. It helps us recognize and understand an overall pattern in human behavior and underlying attitudes – including what attracts our attention. This tool explains why we behave the way we do, and points to specific directions for individual types and patterns of thinking, feeling, and acting.

Each point in the Enneagram can be seen as a set of personality types, with each number denoting one type. All personality types are equal, and studies have found that we possess some of each. However, one type is dominant in us and forms our personality and our social persona, which is how we meet the challenges of love and work. While each has different capacities, each also has different limitations.

Enneagram_Graph

  1. Perfectionist, Reformer
  2. Giver, Helper
  3. Achiever, Performer, Producer
  4. Romantic, Individualist, Connoisseur
  5. Observer, Instigator, Sage
  6. Doubter, Devil’s advocate,  Loyalist,Guardian, Troubleshooter
  7. Dreamer, Enthusiast, Visionary, Generalist
  8. Leader, Boss, Top Dog, Challenger, Confronter
  9. Diplomat, Mediator, Peacemaker, Preservationist

When you think of your personality type, which of the nine roles fits you best most of the time? Or, which of the word clusters comes closest?

None of the personality types is better or worse than any other. All types have unique assets and liabilities, strengths and weaknesses. You have all nine types in you. 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.

So how can the Enneagram be of value? Being aware of the different types will give you a better understanding of others. It can give you a sense of compassion because you will recognize aspects of their particular habits and reaction in yourself. When we know our type, we can “catch ourselves in the act” as we move through the day. Once we have this self-awareness we can avoid reacting in negative ways.

As a source of self-knowledge, the Enneagram acts as a kind of “mirror,” revealing features of our personality that are normally invisible to us. Most of the time, we function “out of habit” as if on automatic pilot, acting according to our basic personality type. When we can clearly see our habitual patterns, understanding what we do and why, we hold the key to getting out of the box – to freeing ourselves.

The Enneagram is a valuable tool coaches can use with individual clients and teams, helping them understand why they behave the way they do. In an organization or business, this can help in employee development, hiring decisions, or forming highly functional teams. If your team members are all type Nine the mediator, they may become stuck in neutral while they all try to mediate and negotiate. On the other hand, if they are all type Five the observer, there may be very little participation – making it difficult to extract knowledge or new ideas. Having a team or group of employees who are all the same type can be detrimental to your organization”s effectiveness.

Some workplace applications of the Enneagram include:

 

  •   Personal development
  •   Executive coaching
  •   Leadership skill development
  •   Stress reduction and mediation
  •   Team building
  •   Project management
  •   Supervision
  •   Building workplace culture
  •   Motivation

To learn your dominant personality type, visit www.enneagraminstitute.comand take the free assessment. I plan to ask all of my future clients to take this assessment prior to starting a coaching assignment. It is a valuable tool for development.

Pay attention to your personality and take care.

Jan 082013
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Are you flexible in the method you use to handle conflict?

Conflict is inevitable, that’s the bad news. The good news is that no meaningful change can take place without it, making it a powerful motivator for change. Therefore, it is important for us to learn the basics of conflict so when we face it, we can make it constructive instead of destructive.

We all have goals and expectations that define our personal agendas. When our agenda is the most important, we can tend to become very assertive. Other times, when it is not as important, we have no problem backing off or not pursuing it, or pursuing it less aggressively.

There are also different ways to deal with conflict. Knowing when to use each one is important. The Thomas-Kilmann Conflict Mode Instrument (TKI), defines five ways we handle conflict. It measures the relative frequency with which we use the five modes, which are:

  • Competing – (My way or the highway)
  • Collaborating – (The uniter)
  • Compromising – (Let’s make a deal)
  • Avoiding – (I’ll think about it tomorrow)
  • Accommodating – (I’ll go along to get along)

Each has its strengths and weaknesses. When we manage each one well, we can effectively manage conflict. We can;t always say, “We’re doing it my way,” which is the competing mode. Sometimes we have to back off and use a different behavior. Flexibility should be our goal, so we can learn when and how to use each style appropriately.

The challenge is that most of us get good at or favor one or two styles, and tend to use them or rely on them in all circumstances. Much of this is learned when we are children. Therefore, it is important that we develop skills in all of the styles, to be able to use the one that is appropriate and most effective in a given situation.

Making good choices begins with understanding each style’s strength, and being aware of its limits. We should display and respect each style, in order to maintain healthy and successful human relationships.

The key is not only to learn our own method of handling conflict, but to improve on how to read the key attributes of a conflict situation; how to choose and enact different conflict modes, and to learn how to engender more trust and supportive communication in both our personal and work life.

The TKI instrument is the assessment used in the Conflict Module of the Ascending Leader’s ProgramTM. Participants learn which conflict mode they might be using too much, usually out of habit, and which ones they might be using too little.

Contact me to learn more about the Ascending Leader’s ProgramTM, and how it can help develop leaders in your organization.

Dec 102012
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What is the greatest gift you can give yourself?

I tell my friends and clients that it’s not bad being self-employed, if you have a good boss. That has to be one of the best advantages of being self-employed, along with being able to resolve staff conflicts quickly, never disappointing your co-workers when arriving late or leaving early, and being able to put an end to office gossip.

Of course, there are some drawbacks. When you arrive at work in a foul mood, the entire work force is affected, and car pool or calling in sick are definitely out of the question.

One of the highlights of being self-employed is fast approaching, the Christmas gift exchange between employees. I always seem to know what type of gift I would like and always seem to receive it. Our employee has great insight.

Having received some great gifts during my self-employed lifetime, I started wondering about what was the best one I have ever received. It didn’t take long to reach a conclusion. Easily, the best gift I have received is also, the wisest business . It is the gift of personal development.

Investing in my own self-improvement, my own personal growth, the betterment of me is the best gift I have ever received. It is, without a doubt, the most critical step in accomplishing my goals, and the one in which all success strategies are built.

Abraham Lincoln said, “Give me six hours to chop down a tree, and I will spend the first four hours sharpening the axe.” In other words, he would spend twice as much time working on himself as on the task itself.

Most people would grab the ax, dull or not, and start chopping the tree. If they don’t make any progress, they quit and probably blame the axe. Their best strategies and actions, how hard they hit the tree, their rhythm, etc. can all be measure and improved…but it starts with the axe itself. That axe is us.

If we accept that professional development is important for us, then we should also agree that professional development is important for our employees. Why not give your employees the gift that keeps on giving, the gift of personal development.

If personal development can make you a better leader, it will make your employees better leaders, better managers, better supervisors, better co-workers, and better members of the community. Everybody wins when that happens.

Sir Ernest Shackleton, the great Antarctic explorer believed that a good boss can make the workload seem lighter, that not providing our workforce the best tools available unduly burdens them, and that one person can affect the entire workforce. Providing opportunities for personal development creates a workforce that can help your organization grow.

The holiday season is a time for giving; why not give your employees the gift of personal development? You will be giving them something that will last a lifetime. Investing in their personal development will improve awareness and identity, develop talents and potential, build human capital, enhance quality of life at home and at work, and contribute to the realization of their dreams and aspirations. You will be helping them reach their potential and that will help you reach yours.

The leadership gift comes nicely wrapped in the Ascending Leader’s ProgramTM. Contact me to discuss how I can gift wrap it and deliver it for you.

Take care and have a safe and prosperous holiday season.

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