Inherently, humans are creative problem solvers. We do our best work, are more productive, and more collaborative when we lower our protective barriers and allow our innate creativity to surface. Those of us in roles as leaders should make it our goal is to provide focus, tools, and permission that helps ourselves and our team members, to fully show up, be known, and to unlock our unique creative potential.
In my last blog post, I shared how whole human leadership development and human-centred growth can be a way to differentiate and bring your employer brand to life. In today’s post, I’m going to share a powerful tool that will help you move human-centred growth from theory into practical application: the enneagram.
As Blu Ivy partners with companies and leaders who are defining and activating their employer brand strategies, and aligning their leadership practices with an intention of creating a more human-centred high-performance culture, we hear several common questions:
- How can we connect and motivate members of my leadership team on a deeper and more authentic level?
- How do we improve pathways to growth and development and unlock our full creative potential as a leadership team and as an organization?
- How do we find and use new tools that promote resiliency, compassion, productivity, and self-leadership across our organization?
- How do we invest and value our ‘star’ team members vs. solely focusing on problems that need to be fixed?
- How do we foster a culture of belonging where team members bring their full creative expression to work?
- How do we find new resources and support that I need to lead this organization forward?
The simple way to answer these questions is through increasing incentives.
Incentives can seem like the easiest place for most organizations to focus their efforts on. Incentives within an organizational context are considered hygiene factors and include external elements like compensation, status, titles, job security, benefits, and special perks. These hygiene factors can be easily measurable, comparable, and can be quick quickly to ease initial job dissatisfaction. While incentives certainly have many tangible benefits, for many, once these hygiene elements increase beyond a certain point, they are only byproducts of job satisfaction. In fact, for many, while the initial glow of incentives can feel great, it can be short– lived.
Another way to answer these questions is by investing in authentic connection.
Connecting with ourselves. Connecting with our passions. Connecting with our teams. Connecting with our clients. Connecting with our work.
We cultivate this type of connection when we invest our focus towards:
- Presence: deep active listening and seeing people as unique individuals
- Self-awareness: understanding of who you are and the unique motivations behind why you do what you do
- Providing a framework that prioritizes compassion for self and others
- Building trust: creating a culture that gives space for direct, authentic, and vulnerable conversation and growth
When we focus on this type of connection and self-awareness work, we learn what truly motivates us and what really motivates those we work with.
Tools for Increasing Self-Awareness
According to psychology today, approximately 80% of Fortune 500 companies in the United States use some sort of personality tool to assess and better understand employees and candidates. Assessments like Myers-Briggs, DiSC, The Birkman Method, Hogan Personality Inventory, Gallup’s CliftonStrengths make up an enormous development industry that exceeds 3 three billion dollars each year.
With our intention to create a more human-centred view of leadership within organizations, I’ve found that the Integrative Enneagram (iEQ9) is a superior tool that goes deep on self-awareness while also providing a compassionate and inclusive leadership framework for talking about our diverse motivations, worldviews, work styles, habits, behaviours, and preferences. This tool is all about self-awareness, motivation, empathy, growth, and (ultimately) performance.
What is the Integrative Enneagram (iEQ9)?
The Enneagram is an archetypal development framework that offers in-depth inner insights for individuals, teams, and agencies. The Enneagram points to nine archetypes, or different ways of looking at the world;, behaving and responding to others. This sense-making tool or archetypal map is a powerful and practical insight resource that is used globally by companies like Best Buy, Shopify, Google, Daimler-Mitsubishi, Toyota, Shell, P&G, and others to foster self-awareness, team efficiency, and help form a culture and employer brand founded focused on deeper belonging.
If you’re looking for an Enneagram primer that covers the nine types, how they show up in our world, what their underlying motivations are, and to learn about their paths of development, I highly recommend this Enneagram 2.0 podcast episode from world renowned development leaders Beatrice Chestnut and Uranio Paes.
This powerful tool makes the connection between who we are and why we do what we do. Using the Integrated Enneagram (iEQ9), we can help increase our personal effectiveness by creating a clear, tangible link between growing our self-awareness, increasing our ability to achieve our goals, and unlocking our innate creativity.
The Integrative Enneagram is a tool that increases self-awareness and helps to uncover patterns of behaviour and personality (Ego) that subconsciously drive and motivate us to act in certain ways. When we make these patterns and motivations conscious, we start to see our blind spots, create actionable development pathways forward, and develop richer, more supportive ways of being (Essence) with ourselves, our colleagues, and our friends and families.
The iEQ9 helps individuals illuminate their greatest strengths and gifts (or Essence) as well as how we might be getting in our own way when we fixate on Ego. Unlike some other personal development frameworks, the goal of the Integrative Enneagram is NOT to place you in a box or to provide you with a static personality type. Instead, the goal of the iEQ9 is aimed at supporting you in the process of self-discovery so that you can realize, own, and accept both your strengths and weaknesses so that you can grow beyond some of the blind spots where you may find yourself getting ‘stuck.’.
The iEQ9 Process
One of my favourite parts about the iEQ9 tool is how simple it is and how it allows individuals to explore their own development goals at their own pace.
To get started, team members take a confidential, 30 minute, and dynamically adaptive questionnaire. The data collected from the iEQ9 questionnaire is used to create a hyper-personalized 42-page individual insight report that focuses on the whole-person.
Warning: iEQ9 in-depth reports are not for the faint of heart
Do you want to be comfortably miserable about on how you view growth across your life? Or do you want to give up some of that comfort as you journey towards new ways of growing, being, showing up, and performing in your life?
I can remember how exposed I felt when I read my own iEQ9 report the first couple of times. Parts of me were angry and even embarrassed at how accurate the report was about how some parts of my personality/Ego were holding me back and potentially harming those I worked with and cared about. For me, my iEQ9 was an uncomfortable mirror that placed spotlights on my blind spots and helped push me out of my comfort zone.
Using the iEQ9 was a powerful starting point on a new personal development path for whole-human growth. I’ve since used this tool with other individuals, colleagues, team members, and teams to help them cultivate more self-awareness, compassion, connection, healing, and whole-person growth.
Although the self-awareness journey with the iEQ9 can be initially jarring, it provides many benefits for authentic human-centred leadership growth at both an individual and team level. As a side bonus, I’ve worked with many folks individuals who have used their iEQ9 insights and reports to deepen relationships at home with family members and significant others, too.
Are you looking to increase your own personal or team effectiveness? What about deep and hyper-personalized feedback about who you are, a better understanding about the motivations that drive you to make the decisions you make (or don’t make), or a greater self-awareness of some of the blind spots that could be holding you back?
iEQ9 Individual Growth and Development
How does iEQ9 aid in growth and development for individuals? Here are the ways:
- Provides a framework for understanding functional and dysfunctional behaviours that stem from core motivations
- Increases consciousness and self-confidence, unlocking full creative potential
- Increases compassion for self and others
- Uncovers pathways to growth, development, and creative integration
- Increases productivity and self-motivation
- Checks in on current stress and strain levels to help increase resilience
- Helps identify and shift self-limiting beliefs & potential blind spots
- Improves connection effectiveness and the ability to work well with others
- Builds leadership authenticity, potency, and impact
I encourage all leaders to invest in their own self-awareness journey with the iEQ9 and to work with a certified coach, therapist, mentor, or manager to help ensure a psychologically safe and action-oriented environment.
Once leaders have invested on their own iEQ9 journey, they can use this knowledge to offer a comprehensive development tool to their own team members. It will help your teams to be more efficient, compassionate, cohesive, and productive.
Team growth and development:
- Reduces judgement and criticism of others while building understanding and tolerance
- Provides a framework for making sense of team conflict and challenges
- Enables the team to move beyond a pattern of blaming conflict on “personality differences” or “role responsibilities”
- Reorients teams and dismantles more traditional “fault lines” found within many teams
- Improves working relationships and team productivity
- Enhances agency effectiveness and invites holistic leadership from all team members
- Improves internal and interpersonal communication while developing a new common language framework for agency team dynamics
When our goal is to truly help others grow in the ways they need/want to , and flourish across their entire lives, we create better leaders and a better world.
Final reflection questions:
- What goals development goals do you have for yourself this year?
- Could you benefit from some increased self-awareness for you and your team?
- What tools and frameworks does your company provide to help all individuals increase connection, self-awareness, and productivity while feeling seen and understood in a safe, compassionate and powerful way?
The Integrative Enneagram iEQ9 can be a powerful tool to help strengthen your employer brand and kickstart your human-centred leadership journey.
VP, Client Strategy & Experience
Blu Ivy Group
Blu Ivy Group is a global leader in employer branding, organizational culture, and recruitment marketing. We help organizations across the private, public, and not-for-profit sectors build extraordinary employee experiences, magnetic employer brands, and high-performance cultures.
From C-Suite to Employer Brand and Talent Acquisition leadership, we partner with our clients to transform their organizations and design the most compelling workplaces of the future.
For inquiries, please contact email@example.com