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Uncovering type thru lucid probing | mistaken identity for Fives

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 don’t like demands being placed on me.”
This statement sounds like a type 5, but is it? Yes, Fives intensely dislike demands being placed on them but so do several other types.
Here’s what Fives might say, as well as a sampling of a few other types.
Type 5
1st Explore the meaning of the statement
What does “I don’t like demands being placed on me” mean to you?
What a Five might say
“It can be just about anything, such as a request for lunch, someone suggesting I should volunteer for a committee that is not part of my actual job description, my partner saying I should go to a certain party.”

2nd Explore the underlying motivation for the statement
What causes you to not “like demands being placed on me”?
What a Five might say
“I have to be careful about how much time and energy I give to others. When someone makes a demand of me, my guard goes up immediately. If I say yes to this, what else will they expect later. One thing leads to another easily, so I am very watchful about these things.”

Yes, the answers appear to suggest this person might be an Enneagram Five. However, without the inquiry of Lucid Probing – that is, if the initial statement “I don’t like demands being placed on me” was taken at face value and it was assumed to be a Five statement – an unintentional wrong typing identification is possible. Here are some other types that might easily have made the statement “I don’t like demands being placed on me.”

The Statement | “I don’t like demands being placed on me.”
Type 9
1st Explore the meaning of the statement
What does “I don’t like demands being placed on me” mean to you?
What a Nine might say
“I don’t like it when people have a lot of demands, expectations. I don’t think people should be that way. Demands feel pushy and I don’t do that to others. If I want something from someone, I ask nicely and respectfully.”

2nd Explore the underlying motivation for the statement
What causes you to not “like demands being placed on me”?
What a Nine might say
“Really, it feels like pressure to me and I do not like pressure. It makes me feel tense. And if the demands are too much, I can start to get angry. Demands feel like control.”

The Statement | “I don’t like demands being placed on me.”
Type 8
1st Explore the meaning of the statement
What does “I don’t like demands being placed on me” mean to you?
What an Eight might say
“No one really makes demands on me, but if they try, I get angry. I place a lot of demands on myself, and some say I can be demanding of others, but people don’t place demands on me very often.”

2nd Explore the underlying motivation for the statement
What causes you to not “like demands being placed on me”?
What an Eight might say
“I honestly don’t think people are entitled to place demands on me except in very specific situations. Generally, I am in control of what I do, when I do and even how I do it. And I like it that way. If someone did try, I’d get angry and let them know it. Maybe it’s that I like to be in control of everything, especially me and my time.”

The Statement | “I don’t like demands being placed on me.”
Type 2
1st Explore the meaning of the statement
What does “I don’t like demands being placed on me” mean to you?
What a Two might say
“I really don’t like demands at all. In fact, I bristle when that’s what I think someone is doing. What I’m thinking is ’How dare they!’ I can also start feeling guilty if the demand is something I should have seen coming and done something about, and I somehow missed it. Then I feel bad about it.”

2nd Explore the underlying motivation for the statement
What causes you to not “like demands being placed on me”?
What a Two might say
“For me it’s pretty clear. I do so much for others and usually I want to. So why would someone place demands on me? Why not ask me instead? Why not just let me see what’s needed and see how I can support the effort.”

The above three examples are simply samples. Many Enneagram types might say they “I don’t like demands being places on me,” 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.com

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alice
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alice

Wow! I think this technique is very useful. I so identify with the Type 2 reasons/explanations. Thanks Ginger.

Robbin
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Robbin

I am able to relate this to my type which is 5. An insightful learning.

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