Enneagram: three good descriptors

We offer an Enneagram-focused Training and Coaching program for organizations of all kinds: to build unity, emphasize positive organizational citizenship, improve relationships, increase understanding and improve communications. In addition, our Leadership Development program includes a customized personal development component. See here for the services page.Enneagram Drawing

Here are are three good descriptions of the Enneagram:

1. You have a Pre-installed “Operating System”.  The Enneagram provides an operating manual for how you and others “work.”

With a good operating manual and the right tools you can optimize your psychological health! Psychological health can be defined as the ability to respond to a given situation in the moment with openness and flexibility. Feeling reactive means feeling like you have no choice in how you respond in a situation. It’s like a knee jerk reaction.  The Enneagram provides a map to help you navigate toward greater psychological health by describing the habitual patterns that can keep you inflexible and closed.  In its brilliance, it also illuminates the pathway to what a more expanded and evolved YOU may look like.

The first step in changing your reactions is to become AWARE of the dominant pattern of those reactions. Awareness is the primary tool for transforming your life. Your habitual reactions are part of how you’ve learned to survive, to protect yourself and to navigate the world. You found a system that makes sense to you. But it also causes frustration. The Enneagram can help because it gives you the codes to your operating system.

2.  The Enneagram Is a Map for Understanding the Self and is a way to look at our Lens, through which we view the world…

The ENNEAGRAM (nine points) is a personality system that presents a useful template or map for understanding ourselves, the important people in our life, and the groups we work with. It describes nine ways of processing and responding to the world– a full spectrum of personality styles. We view the world through lenses which either bring great clarity or various degrees of distortion to our vision. The Enneagram enables us to look at our lenses instead of just looking through them.

__Jerome Wagner

3.  Our personality Type is our Filter, sometimes obscuring all of reality. Enneagram work explores those filters and how they work for and against us.

While our restless yearnings may be universal, how they are expressed is much more particular and is, in fact, a function of the “filter” with which we approach all of life. The main filter that we use to understand ourselves and the world all around us, to express ourselves, to defend ourselves, to deal with our past and anticipate our future, to learn with, to rejoice with and to fall in love with, is our personality type.

__D Riso and R Hudson

Enneagram Theory and practice is fascinating and there are a variety of ways to describe it and its benefits. For me, I believe it is about awareness and being tuned in to ourselves and others.  The benefit of this awareness is manifested in different ways for each of us.

Essential Conversation

There is a very popular book that is widely utilized in organizations: “Crucial Conversations: Tools for Talking when Stakes are High” by Kerry Patterson,  Joseph Grenny, Ron McMillan and Al Switzler. This is a great book; we should all be reading it regularly.  In some organizations, this valuable text is required reading, and every staff person is provided a personal copy.

There are other, deeper aspects to conversation that I think also require a bit of attention. One aspect is that of  the proactive conversation, or what I call the Essential Conversations (EC). These are the conversations that establish our baselines and the shared understanding of how we are going to be in relationship. This model and term was established, in fact, in the clinical family counseling arena, and the version I use is adapted from Bob Dunham’s framework in his Generative Leadership programs (with permission).
Continue reading “Essential Conversation”

Ethics: Theory vs Practice

Some interesting articles on Ethics (per my recent interest) were sent my way. Here are a few tidbits to share about ethics in general.

In 1984 the Journal of Business Ethics published a paper “Concerns of College Students Regarding Business Ethics” the authors found that in what was then considered “an increasingly complex and competitive business environment, with new pressures being brought to bear on…traditional values and ethics of decision makers and managers”, the issue of business ethics was gaining significant attention, particularly among college students. They found that traditionally, the developing of ethical decision makers and managers had been the task of educators.

In the same journal, 23 years later, in 2007, Continue reading “Ethics: Theory vs Practice”

Ethics in Nonprofit Practice

If you’ve worked in the professional accounting field, you know that through the lens of “the books”, you can see just about everything, including the dark underbelly of the business and its systems. Situations I encountered seem to point to some ethical breakdowns, so I thought it might be time for a reminder of why ethical practices matter, and what the societal costs can be when ethical standards are lowered. This serves as a great launch pad for related discussions of justice, equity and where ethics fitshutterstock_378312253 in a diverse society. In light of the current political discourse, the timing is perfect!

I hope to engage readers in dialogue on related matters as this series of articles unfolds. I figure that if I have noticed these concerns, others are struggling as well. I also assume that the best organizations see themselves as learning organizations and embrace self-reflection and regular examination of practices. It is in the spirit of inquiry and learning that this examples and situations are presented. I encourage you to dissect them for your understanding.

Installment 1:

Read more Here.



Door to the new world.
“Come Through”, definition: Succeed in achieving desired goal after adversity; Reach; Arrive; Succeed; also, Brit speak for “come on in” (ala Doc Martin as patient’s enter with caution or trepidation into his office).

Any stint as a nonprofit staffer is going to provide new grist-for-the-wheel, new learnings to process and a fair amount of fatigue to be reversed. Sometimes it is just time to open some new doors and maybe a few windows, too.

With significant learnings and accomplishments added to the toolkit (or is it a doctor’s bag?), I  am putting together some new programs and strategies to help organizations effectively evolve, grow and deliver results. Continue reading “Momentum”