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Development | giving feedback

We all need people who will give us feedback. That’s how we improve. ~ Bill Gates

Here are some tips for keeping your own Enneagram type tendencies from interfering with your feedback delivery, especially when giving negative or constructive feedback.

Enneagram Ones
Utilize your skill at being very specific, but avoid being too detailed or picking on too many small items | Keep your capacity to generate ways someone else can improve, but work very hard to control your use of explicitly or implicitly judgmental language | Maintain your truthfulness, but resolve any residual anger or resentment prior to having the feedback conversation so your feelings do not show through your body language

Enneagram Twos
Maintain your positive regard for the other person, but not at the expense of avoiding the negative information | Consider the other person’s feelings, but do not “fog over” the issues to keep the feedback recipient from feeling bad | Pay attention to the recipient’s reaction, but take neither a positive nor a negative response personally | Maintain your perceptiveness, but remind yourself that your insights may not be accurate, especially when you are angry

Enneagram Threes
Maintain your focus, but also allow room for feelings, particularly those of the other person | Be clear and honest, and remember to be gentle | Keep focused on the desired result rather than using too many small examples that may derail your main point | Be patient

Enneagram Fours
Be empathic, but be careful not to get your own feelings so involved that you presume to know what the other person feels | Maintain your truthfulness, but add a positive tone and include positive comments | Pay attention to the other person, but try to match his/her mood or energy rather than trying to get the person to match yours

Enneagram Fives
Keep your precision, but do not be so concise that the other person does not understand what you are saying | Continue to rigorously think through your approach, but be careful not to overload the feedback recipient with information | Keep being clear about your task, but also invite an emotional response from the other person

Enneagram Sixes
Planning is crucial, but work to calm yourself before the feedback meeting | Details are important, but keep sight of the big picture; thinking about possible scenarios is helpful, but try to balance the negative possibilities with positive ones | Honor your insights, but avoid assuming that your thoughts are accurate; treat them as hypotheses, and seek the answers from the feedback recipient

Enneagram Sevens
Maintain your optimism, but be careful not to let that obscure what the feedback recipient needs to hear | Use your ability to provide context and perspective carefully so that the central issue does not get lost | Do bring in related information, but keep your focus so that the feedback recipient does not get sidetracked

Enneagram Eights
Maintain your ability to keep focused on the key points, but do so in a receptive way | Have some ideas about what to do, but allow the feedback recipient to make the first suggestions | Consider in advance what you want to say | Keep your skill in steering your full attention to the task, but downplay your energy level so the other person does not feel overwhelmed | Smiling, making easy jokes, and waiting patiently for a response are helpful | Retain your truthfulness, but include a positive component

Enneagram Nines
Keep creating rapport and maintain your kindness, but also deliver a clear message | Retain your capacity to understand a situation from many viewpoints, but stay focused on your main point | Think of other issues that may be related, and save them for further discussion; try to keep your feedback focused on one issue at a time

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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