Transformational Leadership

The Enneagram Advantage in Business Consulting and Organizational Development

Transform, Inc. asked:

Study and use of the Enneagram in organizations and business consulting significantly impacts and speeds up both personal and organizational results. This cutting-edge technology describes nine distinct personality styles that have a distinctive way of thinking, acting and being. Each style has its own natural gifts, limitations, blind spots, and approaches to communication, decision making, team work, leadership, and learning. Understanding the style of co-workers and leaders in the organization dramatically increases communication, productivity, employee morale and bottom-line results for the organization. (See below to discover your Enneagram Style.)

One of the values of this tool lies in its ability to give insight into the why behind behavior. While many of us might have difficulty with time management (the behavior), the reasons why (motivation) each of us has difficulty are most probably different. Many personality systems on the market today, i.e., Myers-Briggs, DISC, The Big Five, etc., while insightful and useful in their own rights, describe or predict behavior that an individual will exhibit. Only the Enneagram goes underneath behavior and reveals motivation. Once an individual understands why he/she does what he does, then, change is possible.

Another value of the Enneagram is that it shatters individual perceptions of other individual’s intentions and reasons for acting. The Enneagram teaches that there are nine different lens or ways of interpreting the world in which we live. Through this lens or style, each of us interprets situations, events, encounters and experiences through only one-ninth of the truth. There are 8 other ways to view the same situation and yet, I seem to believe that my interpretation is the right interpretation.

The Enneagram helps us understand that in any dialogue there may be distinctly different points of view. Likewise, how one interprets a situation may not truly reflect the intentions of others and one may make assumptions and take action based on incomplete information. The end result is that miscommunication, misunderstandings, and inaccurate assumptions get in the way of communicating and working effectively with others.

A third value of the Enneagram lies in its ability to reveal individual barriers to success and to offer a prescriptive path for continuous learning, development and growth. In learning my style, each of us gains insight into our lens of the world, understands what may be missing as we interpret situations, uncovers individual motivations for the way each of us acts and reacts to situations and reveals the habitual, automatic and often, unconscious responses we resort to on a fairly frequent basis.

How does knowing all this help the employee? Well, the habitual responses we learned and know so well don’t always get us the results we want or need. Likewise, our reactions, if unhealthy, may significantly impact how we relate to others and how others relate to us. Knowing our style helps us increase our level of awareness, through self observation, to these habitual patterns of thinking, acting, reacting, and interacting and with this awareness, we now have a choice as to how we want to act or be in any given situation or moment. Imagine not having to feel bad, apologetic or guilty about how you reacted to a person or situation but actually having the awareness and making the choice for how you act in the moment. This is the power of the Enneagram!

How does knowing all this help the organization? When leaders and employees take responsibility for their reactions, understand their impact on others and are open for feedback, ask rather than assume the intentions of others, and engage in dialogue that is free from judgment and hidden agendas, imagine the level of productivity that can occur amongst individuals and teams! Improving how employees interact and work together increase bottom-line performance results, and creates a positive work environment that attracts and retains productive and highly motivated employees.

How does knowing all this help in business consulting? Consultants who are well versed in the Enneagram are positioned to get results faster for their clients. By identifying personality style of key leaders, a certified Enneagram teacher can quickly understand the barriers and blind spots that are impacting the business success. Likewise, when working with these individuals, once style is identified and understood; leaders are positioned to fully explore what supports and hinders personal growth and development. Once identified, breakthroughs to greater levels of success follow: leaders become more intentional and conscious of their behavior and their impact on the organization and their employees.

Discover Your Enneagram Style and then contact Transform, Inc. for your next steps.

Directions: Read the 9 paragraphs. Select the paragraph that most describes you. Then go back and read them again and select the next paragraph that is most like you.

_____ I like things to be perfect. I have gotten feedback from others that I am pretty critical of others. It’s easy for me to find other people’s errors and when I’m pointing them out, I doing it because I think it is important to do things right. I hate making errors and a lot of my attention goes to not making errors. I would describe myself as a person with high standards, ethical, and very disciplined. I thrive in a work environment that has clearly defined rules and regulations that are enforced. I hate it when people don’t follow the rules; I do so why can’t they.

_____ I thrive on helping people. I get a great sense of satisfaction when I can anticipate what my boss needs and give it to him before he asks for it. Often, I’m the one that others come to when they need something. Relationships are important to me especially those with people who are in positions that I view as important to my success. I give a lot in my relationships and sometimes get upset when others don’t reciprocate the giving. If rarely take time for myself; usually I’m focused on others and just don’t have time for me.

_____ I like to win, get things done and be recognized for my achievements. I run at a fast pace and usually have a very full task list. I would describe myself as competitive and I hate to fail at something. I like to think of myself as very productive yet sometimes I overbook myself and feel as if I’m always running behind schedule. I am concerned about what others think of me and have the ability to shift my image to fit any situation. Relationships are important but not as important as getting things done.

_____ I like to do unique or distinctive work. I view myself as creative and one-of-a- kind. Relationships are very important to me and I prefer to talk about real things rather than superficial stuff. I have strong emotions and feel very comfortable with expressing my emotions. Sometimes, my emotions keep me from getting things done. People like confiding in me and talking about things that upset them. I feel I am able to listen and help them explore their feelings about things.

_____ I like to work independently and be left alone. I am very happy doing my own thing and try to avoid having to interact with others as much as possible. I believe there is little need for emotions in the workplace. I like structure, predictability and order. I like to gather lots of information before making a decision. I like the fact that I am a seeker of knowledge yet I may not always share the knowledge I have with others unless asked. If people need me to give them an answer, I prefer that they let me think about it (alone) before giving them an answer.

_____ I am a great troubleshooter. I tend to ask a lot of questions to rea
lly understand what others are thinking and why they arrived at the decisions they did. I tend
to focus on worst-case scenarios and may appear doubtful of others. I am very loyal to people or a cause and have a history of fighting for causes. Sometimes my own doubts get in the way of taking action. People give me feedback that I’m negative and that I view the world from the “cup is half empty” point of view.

_____ I like having lots of options and don’t like to be limited in my options. I am a strategic thinker and get bored with details easily. I’m best at creating ideas and plans and then handing it off to someone else. It’s hard for me to commit to something and often I won’t until the last minute. I like to keep things positive and always see the positives or opportunities in situations; I view the world from the “cup is half full” point of view.

_____ I am forceful, assertive and like to have things my way. I have no problem being confrontational. I hate it when people hide something from me, try to manipulate me or try to cover something up. I’ve been told I get angry and argue a lot yet to me I’m just standing up for what I believe in. I can’t help but take the lead in things – I don’t have to be the leader but if people aren’t going to take the lead, I will. I get really impatient when people can’t make up their minds or when they whine and complain.

_____ I like things to be calm and harmonious. I hate conflict and try to avoid it at all costs. I just wish people could get along and work together. I can really understand other people’s points of view even to the point that when there are different points of view I have difficulty finding my own position because everyone else’s point of view makes sense to me. I typically know what I don’t want before I know what I want. I rarely get angry but when I do, I then to blow up. I work best under pressure or deadlines.

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