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Uncovering type thru lucid probing | mistaken identity for Threes

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’m extremely impatient.”
This statement sounds like a type 3, but is it? Yes, Threes can be extremely impatient but so are many other types. Here’s what Threes might say, as well as a sampling of a few other types.
Type 3
1st Explore the meaning of the statement
What does “I’m extremely impatient” mean to you?
What a Three might say
“I’m not always impatient, but I can be extremely impatient, especially when I get frustrated or dissatisfied with how something is going. I can also be extremely impatient with people when they take too long to get to the point or they waste my time in some way.”

2nd Explore the underlying motivation for the statement
What causes you to become “extremely impatient”?
What a Three might say
“I just said this. I can’t stand having my time wasted. I don’t like it when things take longer than they should or when people talk on and on when they could get to the point more quickly. I also become impatient when I have work to do and something or someone wastes my time.”

Yes, the answers appear to suggest this person might an Enneagram Three. However, without the inquiry of Lucid Probing – that is, if the initial statement “I’m extremely impatient” was taken at face value and it was assumed to be a Three statement – an unintentional wrong typing identification is possible. Here are some other types that might easily have made the statement “I’m extremely impatient.”

The Statement | “I’m extremely impatient.”
Type 1
1st Explore the meaning of the statement
What does “I’m extremely impatient” mean to you?
What a One might say
“I get impatient easily; perhaps irritated is a better word to describe my reactions. I get irritated and impatient with people who make mistakes without checking them and, then, either I or they have to redo them. Why not get it right the first time? I also get impatient when people put forth ideas that have no thought behind them. I also get impatient and irritated when people break the rules, like parking in a disabled park spot when the person clearly has no disability.”

2nd Explore the underlying motivation for the statement
What causes you to be “extremely impatient.”
What a One might say
“I’ll have to think more about this. I think it relates to people not being respectful of other people and their time, not having high enough standards that they think good enough is good enough. I have high standards and expectations.”

The Statement | “I’m extremely impatient.”
Type 5
1st Explore the meaning of the statement
What does “I’m extremely impatient” mean to you?
What a Five might say
“It means I don’t like something and I get annoyed by it.”

2nd Explore the underlying motivation for the statement
What causes you to be “extremely impatient.”
What a Five might say
“I like to work with smart people who do smart things. I become extremely impatient with people who are not logical and who take up too much time just talking but not going anywhere. I also get impatient when people talk about or demand conversations about emotions that go on way too long. What’s the point, and it’s tiring.”

The Statement | “I’m extremely impatient.”
Type 8
1st Explore the meaning of the statement
What does “I’m extremely impatient” mean to you?
What an Eight might say
“It means I want it over and done with now. With some things and people I am highly impatient; in other cases, I have a great deal of patience.”

2nd Explore the underlying motivation for the statement
What causes you to be “extremely impatient.”
What an Eight might say
“I like things to happen in a big way and don’t like being inundated with details. I get impatient with this. I also don’t like being around people who don’t take their responsibilities seriously or who don’t take responsibility for their own behavior and performance.”

The above three examples are simply samples. Many Enneagram types might say “I’m extremely impatient,” 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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