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Coaching with the enneagram | faster, sustainable coaching

This 3rd and final coaching blog, originally written for the ICF (International Coach Federation), focuses on the Enneagram and client development with a “spiritual” twist, but stated in terms easily understood. It also shows how the same development area needs a different development path depending on a client’s type.

Coaching with the Enneagram helps coaching go faster because once clients have accurately identified their types, the Enneagram highlights the development needed. Even better, there are development activities tailored for each type that work efficiently and effectively for that particular client. With guidance from the coach, clients can use the following Enneagram chart to create their own development

Type 1 | hardworking and disciplined; judging and inflexible
Development | becoming more accepting and serene
Type 2 | likeable and generous; overemphasize relationships and other-focused
Development | being truly free and demonstrating true humility
Type 3 | goal oriented and confident; overly competitive and impatient
Development | learning to be in flow and in being rather than doing
Type 4 | sensitive and introspective; intense and moody
Development | achieving emotional equilibrium and balance
Type 5 | objective and systematic; overly independent and emotionally detached
Development | experiencing complete engagement in real time
Type 6 | insightful and loyal; wary and dislike ambiguity
Development | being trusting with more inner certainty
Type 7 | energetic with quick imaginations; unfocused and pain avoidant
Development | sustaining focus and being able to integrate pain to feel whole
Type 8 | strategic and protective; demanding and controlling
Development | being more receptive and vulnerable
Type 9 | easygoing and harmonizing; diffuse their attention and avoid conflict
Development | achieving full presence, thus being able to take clear action

For faster development, take listening skills. Many coaching clients receive feedback that they need to improve in this area. However, depending on the client’s Enneagram type, what they need to work on is very different. Ones may not listen effectively because they are too busy formulating their quick opinions and judgments. Twos, by contrast, perceive themselves as good listeners, but may err on giving too much advice. Threes sometimes listen well, but can become highly impatient when listening takes too much time. Fours listen extensively when the content feels real and deep to them, but disengage when it does not. Fives often listen for short periods of time, but listening extensively, particularly if the content is emotionally charged, feels draining to them and they shut down. Sixes listen well if they want to hear what the other person is saying, but not nearly so well when they feel anxious or fearful. Sevens may think they listen well, but they often comment way before the other person has finished talking. For Sevens, this is listening, but others can perceive this as interrupting. Eights listen to those they respect, but not to those they don’t. Finally, Nines, who listen quite extensively and offer many “uh, huhs” and head nods, may not actually be fully listening. Instead, they may be merging energetically with the person talking without hearing the precise content.

These nine different ways of not listening go directly to the core issues associated with each type and also have type-specific activities clients can pursue on their own.

Visit Enneagram-Coaching.com for more information.

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