Get Out Of Your Box

by april burrows

We’ve been talking about the human connection lately, a topic I’m fascinated by.   I spend a lot of time reflecting on my connections, and those of people around me.  I am repeatedly amazed by how often my biases and personality lenses lead me down the wrong path.  And, just as often, how I feel as if I’m experiencing heaven on earth, or what I call my sweet spot.   

I truly believe this all matters—in our business relationships, and in our personal lives.

I’ve discovered something that has opened the door, a kind of key that has made a huge change in my ability to deepen my connections and relationships.  It’s the Enneagram—maybe you’ve heard of it.  The Enneagram maps out nine personality types and the complex interrelationships between them.
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The Enneagram is all about personal growth into health and wholeness.  I describe it as both deep and wide.  I’m amazed at the growth and transformation that have occurred in my life as I have explored and embraced the power of the Enneagram.  When you understand your type you’re more able to understand how you get stuck in very particular behaviour patterns, and what needs you’re really trying to fulfill by those behaviours.  This knowledge then makes it more possible for you to fulfill those needs in positive, healthy, transformative ways. 

What I love most about the Enneagram is how it can increase your sense of life purpose and releases your potential.  When you identify and begin to understand your type you start to see the unique gifts you bring to the world.  I’ve found that it’s different from other personality systems that put you in a box—the Enneagram teaches you how to get out of the box you’re already in.  

Do you see how this awareness could strength your relationships?  Think about workplace dynamics:   not “I’m a type X, so I get to behave this way.”  But “Now I understand why I always approach a task like this, or react to Y when they do Z”  When you understand and accept the reasons behind your own behaviour you will have new insights into your co-workers, clients and colleagues, and be able to choose new ways to work together or inspire your team. 

If you’re interested in identifying your type and strengthening your relationships, start at www.enneagraminstitute.com  You can take an online test to get started, and then explore the materials available there.  And don’t be surprised if it takes some time to be sure about your type—you’re beginning a profound journey. 

Stay tuned for more on each one of the types in the months to come.