The Enneagram and Effective Communication
Effective Communication Training
for Leaders, Teams & Workgroups
Build successful work relationships • manage diversity
maximize productivity • reduce unnecessary conflict
using the Enneagram System of Personality Types.
Successful communication requires self awareness, interpersonal skill, and the recognition of different personal and cultural styles. Not everyone thinks alike, talks alike, or is motivated in the same way. People differ widely in the way that they communicate, the way that they approach a task, and in their need for external structure or support. In order to build rapport and effective working relationships with a diversity of people, staff members must develop the skill and flexibility to address the needs and concerns of different personality types.
The Enneagram System of Personality Types is a powerful tool for understanding people in the workplace and creating successful strategies for effective communication and teamwork. It is a psychological system which describes nine basic personality types, their point of view, their motivation and chief concerns, and their communication style.
Everybody can improve their communication skills. The Enneagram presents a model of skill building and professional development for nine personality types while respecting individual differences. Instead of one size fits all, we can take the basic principles and practices of good communication and adapt them to each of the nine personality types. No type is inherently better or worse than any other. Each one has a important perspective and contribution to bring to the workplace. The challenge is to get people of all styles and personality types working together well.
In this seminar you will learn how to:
• Recognize nine different communication styles.
• Understand your own communication style and your impact on other people.
• Develop your communication strengths and overcome problem areas.
• Give and receive feedback in a way that works.
• Create rapport and avoid unnecessary conflict.
Advanced training includes:
• Managing conflict with different personality types.
• Becoming a more effective manager, mentor, or coach.
• Guided interactions and roleplays.
• Personal feedback and skill building.
• Communicating in groups and teams.
• Forming successful, long term relationships at work.
• Using three centers of intelligence - head, heart, and body.
Communication and Teams
"In order to survive and succeed in this time of rapid change and increasing complexity, companies and workgroups of all sizes must be able to communicate quickly and efficiently both within their organization and without. The fast pace of technological innovation and the increasing inter-relatedness of the global economy demand new ways of thinking and collaborating. Increasingly, companies are turning to a new organizational structure - efficient and highly adaptable teams which will have the intelligence and flexibility to meet the challenge of this new era. But to be successful, managers and staff at all levels of the organization must be equipped with the "people skills" that will make their goals and visions practical. Good ideas and good intentions are not enough. Whether efforts to restructure organizations and build teams succeed or fail depends on the ability of staff to communicate effectively and reach higher levels of cooperation and group intelligence." From the handbook: "Transformational Leadership," Forster & O'Hanrahan.
Examples of communication style:
Type One - the Perfectionist
Speaking style: Precise, detail-oriented, focuses on quality and improvements, getting things right. Demonstrates critical thinking.
Strength: Authority based on personal integrity. Fair-minded.
Common pitfalls: Sounding judgmental or righteous. "I'm right and you're wrong." Tendency to sermonize. Overly critical.
Meta-message: Recognize my good intentions and hard work.
Balance this communication style by: Demonstrating tolerance for other points of view. Support more than one right way. Give lots of appreciation as well as criticism. Mediate the quality of "rightness" in your tone and words.
Creating rapport with this personality type: Take them seriously, and respect their code of manners. Emphasize quality and share an interest in making things better. Avoid making agreements that you can't keep. Apologize directly for mistakes. Appreciate their hard work.
Point Nine - the Mediator
Communication Style - Point Nine
• Nines are good at seeing all points of view. Because they see value in most positions, their communications may tend to be ambiguous. However, they can excel in their role of mediator, bringing together different opinions or different sides of an argument.
• Nines seek harmony and comfort in their relationships. They want to avoid conflict and anger, and they hate being the bearer of bad news.
• Rather than saying "no" to something, Nines will appear to agree but may resist or fail to cooperate fully. They can feel threatened by new procedures or expectations for new behaviors.
• As body based types, Nines need time to process new information and find their own relationship to a decision. When they do "get on board" they can be enthusiastic and steady. They can be very convincing and persuasive from a deep sense of doing the right thing.
• Once they establish a position, they can be quite stubborn and resist change.
• Non-verbal communication: Nines can appear peaceful or unperturbed even when they are feeling resistant or overwhelmed.
Tips for communicating/relating with Nines
• If you don't hear "yes" it's probably "no." To keep the peace, Mediator Nines can appear to agree, because they haven't said no. Don't assume that silence is agreement.
• If you want a true agreement, frame a conversation in which you state your own interests. Then elicit their need in the project. Establish common ground. Otherwise Nines are likely to buy your agenda up-front to keep the peace and then feel trapped.
• Nines flourish with lots of support. Value their contribution. Conversely, they hate to promote themselves. Recognition is paramount. Give it to them. They want it, but won't ask.
• Remember Nines like structure. They want well defined procedures and clear lines of command. They want rewards to be well defined. Keep the lid on sudden surprises. When making changes, acknowledge the difficulties and ask for their cooperation.
• Nines can be stubborn about taking orders. Try to communicate the overall context or the organizational need behind the orders. When possible, reframe orders as suggestions in which the Nine has input.
• Nines have a tendency to talk at length, sometimes avoiding the bottom line. Interrupt them in a friendly way when necessary, and ask for their help in getting to the point.