Sunday, August 23, 2015

Coaching in Action

Below are some behavioral strategies I've found useful with each Enneagram style. Remember to enfold these and other pattern-breaking experiments within each client's overarching transpersonal vision: 
  1. Style One clients move from seeing primarily what's wrong to developing nuance and options. You could suggest they make a list of their rules, then choose one to throw away or modify. Get them to laugh about this; make it playful.

  2. Instead of losing themselves by taking care of others, clients with style Two become loving and learn to give without strings. To clients with this style, I've suggested a reality check on their tendency to read minds: Write down what you assume about someone's needs, then check it out with the other person. Listen humbly to any differences.

  3. Style Threes shift from succeeding at any price to being inner-directed and communal. Help them discover what they're feeling. You might start with a physical sensation because style Threes often don't know how to label their feelings: Is it more a good feeling or a bad feeling? If it's good is it really, really good, or just kind of good? Do you think it could be mild pleasure, or even joy? 

  4. Style Four clients, who tend to be moody/blocked by melancholy when in their box, become effective in the external world. Metaphors work with all Enneagram styles, but especially well with this one; journaling about and discussing their dreams can also lead to fascinating discoveries. 

  5. Style Fives move from a reserved/reserving style to integrating action with thinking and becoming generous. These clients will benefit from observing how their comfort level changes when (1) sitting or standing at varying distances from people, (2) looking people in the eye for shorter or longer periods of time. By staying present during these experiments, they can develop more comfort with emotional contact. 
  6. The suspiciousness and self-doubt of style Six is transformed into trust of self and others, as well as self-assured action. These clients tend to focus on what can go wrong. They can be coached to incorporate their concerns into a solution statement. For example, instead of, "That won't work because it will take too long," they might learn to say, "I think that could solve our problem; let's talk about how we can shorten the production time."

  7. Style Sevens can be scattered and unreliable; they break through as visionaries who are realistically enthusiastic. One of the best ways for these clients to learn to stay with something painful is to coach them to solicit feedback about themselves and to respond without defensiveness: by finding some part to agree with, then probing for examples (encourage them to give no explanation in response; just to understand what the other person is saying). 

  8. From being driven by a war mentality and power seeking, style Eights become compassionate and just. When I catch these clients being soft I give them lots of encouragement. If they're business leaders an article from the Center for Creative Leadership on Forceful and Enabling Leadership is useful. They see how to develop an integrated style instead of "either I'm strong or I'm weak."

  9. Immobile and indecisive style Nines become focused and initiating, remaining inclusive while remembering their own agenda. Clients with style Nine patterns are often unaware of their anger, so I sometimes recommend a daily log to raise their consciousness by asking "If I were to have been at all angry today, what might have caused it?"