Searched for

The Personalities@Work Program

Awareness to Action International’s signature program, “Personalities@Work,” is now available in a virtual format. Download our brochure here!

One Tribe: A Message from Awareness to Action International

Humans are tribal creatures and at a deep, non-conscious level we often associate “different” with “bad.” This innate bias served our ancestors well. To them, a stranger was likely to be a threat—a competitor for territory, mates, resources; a risk to their very lives. They were safe with members of their tribe who they knew and trusted based on experience, but they were wary of “the other” and quick to assume the worst about them. We have inherited our ancestors’ biological impulses toward tribalism but we do not live in… Read More

What Comes Next

Basic principle number one is that during a dual health and financial crisis, we are all going to be Preservers. Have you been focused on how to stockpile and conserve resources? Have you been mindlessly (or even mindfully, for that matter) cleaning and organizing more than usual? Have you been thinking more about your physical safety? This may feel like simple common sense, but it is behavior driven by deep-seated, prehistoric wiring. But you should also remember basic principle number two… ***** We don’t know exactly what tomorrow will bring… Read More

Coaching Eights: Mercy, Grace, and Magnanimity

I was recently asked about an approach to coaching Eights; particularly, how to help them access the “high side of Two.” I’ve coached quite a few Eights over the years and, as I am an Eight myself, I have a few thoughts on the topic. This blog is a slightly extended version of my response. First, the typical exhortation to Eights that they simply have to “go to Two” and be more vulnerable, open, etc. will rarely work. The affective strategy with which Eights approach the world is “striving to be powerful,”… Read More

Problems vs. Conditions

In life, there are problems and there are conditions, and they are not the same thing. Here is an example of what I mean: My 16-year old son is 6’3” with an excellent vertical leap. He plays on a local club basketball team and, being the tallest player on his team and having an aggressive attitude, he is the starting center. Adrian is a very good player, averaging four or five blocked shots and 12-15 rebounds per game. There is a minor weakness in his game, however—when he pulls in… Read More

The Enneagram Guidebook: An Introduction to Personalities@Work

Get this and all my other books at

People with all sorts of personalities can be successful at work. There are successful introverts and successful extroverts, successful optimists and successful pessimists. Our personality style doesn’t determine our success, and while it is often the source of many of our strengths, it can create blind spots and obstacles that can hold us back.The value of personality models is that they give a framework for leveraging strengths and more-quickly recognizing blind spots and obstacles. A good model can also pro- vide us with roadmaps for overcoming them.No model of personality styles does those things better than the Enneagram.“Enneagram” literally refers to a diagram with nine intersecting lines creating nine points enclosed in a circle (“ennea” is Greek for nine, “gram” for drawing). This diagram is used to represent nine personality styles and the interrelationships among those styles.There are two dimensions of personality de- scribed by the Enneagram—our inherent system of instinctual values and the nine strategies we use to satisfy those values. In other words, the Enneagram helps us understand what is important to people and how they go about getting those things that are important to them.Most approaches to the Enneagram focus more on the nine strategies—thus the “ennea”—and view the instinctual values as a secondary matter. At Awareness to Action International we understand that both dimensions—the strategies and the instinctual biases—are important and focus equally on both of them.

Read More

Looking Past Three: The Instinctual Bias Subdomains

People tend to view the three instinctual domains as three discreet and specific “instincts”: self-preservation, social, and sexual (or one-to-one). This is an archaic and outdated view of biology, which is far more complicated. It is more accurate to think of these as three domains of related impulses, drives, or evolutionary adaptations that increased the likelihood that our ancestors would survive and reproduce (I refer to these domains as Preserving, Navigating, and Transmitting). Those adaptations that worked for our ancestors were inherited by us. But they lived in a different time (for example, when food was generally scarce) and these… Read More

Instinctual Leadership: Working with the 27 Subtypes of the Awareness to Action Enneagram

Get this and all my other books at

Here for the first time, Mario Sikora and Maria Jose Munita share descriptions of all of the 27 subtypes according to the Awareness to Action Approach to the Enneagram.

This approach to the subtypes and the three instinctual biases—Preserving, Navigating, and Transmitting—is based on experience with clients at all levels, from front-line workers to CEOs, in companies of all kinds on five continents. This experience includes conducting 360-degree assessments on hundreds of leaders and observing the consistent pattern of expression of the instinctual biases that they discuss in this book.

This unique and timely book provides not only descriptions of the subtypes, but a framework that can be used to help leaders (and those who advise them):

Identify potential structural or organizational vulnerabilities of their company or teams and devise solutions to overcome those vulnerabilities;
Improve communication and collaboration, and implement cultural changes; and
Remove barriers to improving individual performance.

Order your copy here.

Read More

Leadership and the Instinctual Biases: Preparing to Scale

Excerpted from the book “Instinctual Leadership: Working with the 27 Subtypes of the Awareness to Action Enneagram” by Mario Sikora with Maria Jose Munita. Copyright 2020. All Rights Reserved. As we stated in the previous section, no one can be good at everything. We don’t expect our finance people to be as good at selling as our sales people, and we don’t expect our engineers to be PR experts. The larger a company gets, the more specialized people become in their specific functions. The more expertise individuals have in their… Read More

Power: How to Get It and Why

“Power tends to corrupt, and absolute power corrupts absolutely.” (Lord Acton) Acton may be correct (most people leave out the important word “tends” when repeating this quote), but I have never seen an effective leader who was powerless. In fact, the best leaders are powerful people who know how to use power appropriately. Most of us can find many examples that validate Lord Acton’s concern—from the tyrannical political ruler to the bossy new manager who lets a little power go his or her head. This can lead to us being wary… Read More