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The enneagram path to developing your coaching potential | heart center coaches 2, 3 and 4

heart-1213481resizeThe 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 2nd blog of the series, focusing on coaches formed from the Heart Center of Intelligence (types 2, 3 and 4), 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 | Empathic listeners, psychologically savvy, available, offer useful advice and resources
Development Areas | Over-involved, too relationship focused, create dependency, hesitant to offer negative feedback

How Coaches Can Use the Coaching Relationship for Their Own Development
Because Two coaches usually enjoy coaching – it offers them a chance to help others – they often become quite involved with their clients, showing great concern during the coaching meeting and keeping in contact with clients between meetings. A caution for Two coaches, however, is to keep in mind that the ultimate goal of coaching is to help the client to become independent of the coach. The close relationship that Two coaches often develop with their clients can actually create an unproductive degree of dependency in the client.

In addition, Two coaches need to pay attention to their reactions to their clients. When working with clients they like, Two coaches may give the clients too much benefit of the doubt rather than confronting them when needed. On the other hand, when Two coaches don’t like clients or feel frustrated by them, they may become insistent and harsh when giving negative feedback, or they may even “fire” the client.

Two coaches often become role models for clients and can leverage their strengths toward this end – for example, their strengths in developing relationships, demonstrating warmth and understanding, and being empathic.

Strengths | Pragmatic, results oriented, organizational savvy, strong interpersonal skills, confident
Development Areas | Inattentive to feelings, frustrated with clients who don’t “get it” quickly, unwilling to share more of real self

How Coaches Can Use the Coaching Relationship for Their Own Development
While Three coaches are usually adept at coaching for results – the ultimate objective of the coaching process – they need to pay equal attention to the process by which these results are achieved. Paying attention to process means helping clients to deal with their feelings and examine multiple options for achieving their desired results – Threes may have a bias to achieving results in the most expedient way – and allowing time during the coaching to discuss the relationship between the coach and the client. Three coaches may also want to take on the additional challenge of coaching some clients who do not fit their idea of a confident, successful person. Doing so challenges Three coaches to look at themselves and their own responses, and it pushes them to deal with their own issues of competence and image.

Strengths | Able to understand meaning, empathic, compassionate, patient dealing with difficult issues, have novel perceptions
Development Areas | Over-emphasize feelings, over-use personal stories, over-personalize issues

How Coaches Can Use the Coaching Relationship for Their Own Development
Four coaches often work with clients at deep levels of understanding, leveraging their ability to make connections with others as a basis for moving the coaching process forward. While this can be invaluable to many clients, there will be other clients who do not want to talk about deeper feelings, personal values, and issues of life’s purpose. They may simply want someone whom they can talk to and who will help them develop practical ideas for action.

A second caution for Four coaches is to stay focused on the client’s coaching goals. Four coaches can become so enamored of their discussions with clients about feelings and the coaching relationship that they may lessen the movement toward results.

Fours can also make good use of their ability to bring out the best in others and their willingness to explore difficult issues.

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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