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Uncovering type thru lucid probing | mistaken identity for Eights

Those of us who want to identify our Enneagram types correctly, as well as those of us who guide others, have a common intention: accuracy! But too often, one phrase or statement reminds us of one of the types in particular. As a result, we end up thinking This is it! A closer examination or inquiry into such statements often reveals a type other than what we first imagined.

In this series of 9 blogs, I take one statement we might easily associate with a particular type, but then use a lucid probing technique, which involves two specific questions that uncover the true meaning of the statement. It works like this. First, ask a question to explore the meaning of the statement, rather than making an inference from the statement. Second, explore the underlying drive or motivation beneath the statement.

Lucid Probing
1st Explore the meaning of the statement
What does ____ mean to you?

2nd Explore the underlying motivation for the statement
What causes you to _____?

The Statement | “I have no tolerance for lying.”

This statement sounds like a type 8, but is it? Yes, Eights can’t stand lying, but who likes it? And lying – really, the perception of what is and is not a lie – comes in nine different forms.

Type 8
1st Explore the meaning of the statement
What does “I have no tolerance for lying” mean to you?
What an Eight might say
“Not telling the truth, being deceptive, saying what you don’t mean.”

2nd Explore the underlying motivation for the statement
What causes you to “have no tolerance for lying”?
What an Eight might say
“I don’t trust people who lie, and why should I? I don’t actually trust that many people anyway, but lying is a big reason. I can immediately tell if someone is lying.”

Yes, the answers appear to suggest this person might be an Enneagram Eight. However, without the inquiry of Lucid Probing – that is, if the initial statement “I have no tolerance for lying” was taken at face value and it was assumed to be an Eight statement – an unintentional wrong typing identification is possible. Here are some other types that might easily have made the statement “I have no tolerance for lying.”

The Statement | “I have no tolerance for lying.”

Type 5
1st Explore the meaning of the statement
What does “I have no tolerance for lying” mean to you?
What a Five might say
“Lying is saying you will do something and then you don’t. Someone is supposed to get you a particular piece of work at a certain time and place and they don’t. That is lying.”

2nd Explore the underlying motivation for the statement
What causes you to “have no tolerance for lying”?
What a Five might say
“I count on very few people; mostly I keep to myself and rely on myself. But if I am counting on someone to do something they have committed to do and they don’t, that entirely erodes my trust in them.”

The Statement | “I have no tolerance for lying.”

Type 2
1st Explore the meaning of the statement
What does “I have no tolerance for lying” mean to you?
What a Two might say
“Lying is consciously not telling the truth. There’s unconscious lying as well. If someone is unconsciously lying, I am not as bothered by it, but I think these people should become more conscious and more responsible for what they say.”

2nd Explore the underlying motivation for the statement
What causes you to “have no tolerance for lying”?
What a Two might say
“I want to take people at face value and believe them. When people lie, and I find out about this, it feels like a betrayal of the relationship. Whether I know the person or not, chronic lying feels like a character flaw. This is someone I do not want to be around.”

The Statement | “I have no tolerance for lying.”

Type 3
1st Explore the meaning of the statement
What does “I have no tolerance for lying” mean to you?
What a Three might say
“Stating something other than reality or facts. Making something out to be different from what it is.”

2nd Explore the underlying motivation for the statement
What causes you to “have no tolerance for lying”?
What a Three might say
“Lying gives me a headache, and it complicates things. It is also very stressful. I totally dislike feeling any of these things. Lying is also something else to have to remember. Either I have to remember that the other person lied or that I did. My head is busy enough without having to sort through all this.”

The above three examples are simply samples. Many Enneagram types might say they “I have no tolerance for lying,” but their reasons would be different!

Ginger Lapid-Bogda PhD, the author of seven best-selling Enneagram-business books, is a speaker, consultant, trainer, and coach. She provides certification programs for professionals around the world who want to bring the Enneagram into organizations with high-impact business applications, and is past-president of the International Enneagram Association. Visit her website: TheEnneagramInBusiness.com. ginger@theenneagraminbusiness.c

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