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The enneagram path to developing your coaching potential | body center coaches 8, 9 and 1

body-tmbThe Enneagram is used in so many aspects of coaching beyond its application to our client’s core development areas. The Enneagram, as you can read in this blog, is a vehicle to identify a coach’s strengths to be honored and development areas to be understood and then worked on. In this 3rd blog of the series, focusing on coaches formed from the Body Center of Intelligence (types 8, 9 and 1 ), you’ll read about their strengths and development areas plus more. You’ll learn how the coaches of these types can use the actual coaching relationship for their own development. This takes the Enneagram’s use in coaching to new levels!

Strengths | Clear and strong, honest, able to identify key issues, organizational and political savvy
Development Areas | Overly direct and directive, impatient, overconfident or invincible

How Coaches Can Use the Coaching Relationship for Their Own Development
Eight coaches are usually helpful role models for clients, particularly in the areas of personal strength and power. Their sensitivity to organizational politics and their ability to assert themselves are traits that many coaching clients want to emulate. On the other hand, because Eights often mask their own vulnerabilities and have an aversion to people they perceive as weaklings, they maybe shy away from clients who appear anxious or uncertain. Even confident people feel anxious and uncertain at times, and coaching clients are often dealing with issues that cause them to feel fearful or to appear unsure of themselves. Thus, being a coach can be a challenge for some Eights.

In addition, Eights tend to be decisive, whereas a client may feel hesitant or tentative about a decision that he or she needs to make. Eights need to restrain themselves from telling clients what to do, instead eliciting possible options and consequences from the client.

Strengths | Approachable, nonjudgmental, calm and relaxed, accepting of multiple perspectives, excellent listening skills
Development Areas | Slow interpersonal pace, indirect, reluctant to give opinions, slow to act

How Coaches Can Use the Coaching Relationship for Their Own Development
Clients usually enjoy their coaching sessions with the Nine coach because most Nines are easy to relate to and are, at least externally, nonjudgmental. The challenge for the Nine coaches, however, is to keep the pace of the coaching session moving in a way that propels the client toward action. While the Nine’s tendency to understand a situation from alternative points of view can be enormously useful to clients, who often see things only from their own perspective, the Nine coach must also help the client to determine which point or points of view are the most valid and useful.

At certain times, clients will also want to know where the coach stands and what he or she thinks. Because this may require the coach to confront the client, Nine coaches will be personally challenged in such situations.

Nines need to remember three things: (1) the client values both them and their opinions; (2) their practical, concrete suggestions can be extremely helpful; (3) take the risk to be assertive because it will benefit both you and the client.

Strengths | Clear, responsible, discerning, practical, committed to lifelong self-improvement
Development Areas | Critical and judgmental, impatient, overly directive

How Coaches Can Use the Coaching Relationship for Their Own Development
Coaching provides the opportunity for One coaches to work on their tendencies to be critical of the client’s behavior; to become impatient with the client’s progress, trying to move the coaching conversations quickly; and to focus on the task so intently that their warmth does not come across to the client. These growth opportunities are likely to arise for One coaches during every coaching meeting. One coaches should try to remind themselves of their strengths, such as their skills in analysis and discernment as well as their action orientation. After a coaching meeting, as the coach reflects on the interaction and progress, it can be very helpful to think about all of the things that went well, rather than focusing primarily on all the things that could have gone better.

Ginger Lapid-Bogda PhD, the author of six 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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