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“So, what advice do you have for me?” asked Michael. The question took me a little by surprise. It came at the end of a social lunch, not a coaching session, but Michael was a client I have known for a long time and he never missed an opportunity to learn how to get better. We first met, I’m shocked to realize, when Bill Clinton was still president. He was part of a team run by a leader I coached and he stood out because of his intelligence, singular focus,… Read More
When it comes to working with your instinctual biases, there are two things to focus on: Learning to manage our reactions to them rather than being managed by them, and Becoming more skillful at the activities related to the three instinctual domains. One might be tempted to think that doing one of these will automatically take care of the other, but that is not necessarily the case. Both self-management and skill building need to be worked on if we really want to become effective and well-rounded people. By way of understanding,… Read More
Understanding group dynamics, unstated team norms, and organizational politics are related to one of the three instinctual domains: the Navigating domain. These skills are critical for success in leadership, but they do not come naturally to everyone. Everyone can learn them, however. This article explains how.
The Awareness to Action Enneagram is a unique approach to this powerful system, designed to be applicable in pragmatic environments such as the business world. It is meant for people who desire self-awareness, a better understanding of others, and also want to know how to apply the system to get results in the real world.
Warning–This post is for true Enneagram geeks! I was recently asked on a Facebook forum about my view on the instinctual biases and how they differed from some of the other perspectives; here is my response. Note that I will be part of panel discussion on this topic with Russ Hudson, Peter O’Hanrahan, and Beatrice Chestnut in April 2020 in Cincinnati. It is being organized by the International Enneagram Association and more info can be found via the IEA at www.internationalenneagram.org. Yes, my approach tends to be closer to Russ… Read More
One occupational challenge I face is trying to stay current with the literature on management and leadership. As in every other field, we have more access to more ideas than those even a generation ago could have ever imagined. In addition to internet-based information, there are a number of good business magazines and newspapers to keep up on and each week brings compelling new titles to the local bookstore. The world is always changing (the rapid rate of technological change presents a significant set of new challenges and opportunities for… Read More
The three instinctual biases–Preserving, Navigating, and Transmitting–are focuses of attention or systems of values that cause us to focus more on some aspects of life and less on others.
Flipping through a recent issue of a prominent business magazine, I came across yet another article on how organizations are flocking to “mindfulness” training based on traditional Eastern practices. In fact, according to the article some 22% of companies offer such mindfulness training for their employees. There is a lot to be said for such practices, but there is more than one way to become mindful and I prefer the kind of mindfulness work that focuses on developing relaxed, deliberate, and purposeful thought rather than simply breathing and observing our… Read More
Most advice on how to change is very straightforward (and simplistic): Become aware of your patterns and what you need to do differently, then make a plan for doing the new behavior. Of course, if it were that easy, everyone would keep their New Year’s resolutions and the whole self-help industry would fade into irrelevance. Executive coaches like me would have to get real jobs… We all know that change is not easy. The reason that most attempts to change fail is because they overlook a critical step between “become aware” and “act… Read More