Master Facilitator Journal | Issue #0278, November 14, 2006 ....

Dear friends,

This week's article was contributed by author and coach Mary Bast and was excerpted from her book, "Out of the Box: Coaching with the Enneagram." This is a great introduction to the use of the enneagram as a guide to coaching individuals around their strengths and challenges. We'll explore the enneagram further during our expert interview this Thursday with Valerie Atkin. Join us then when we'll talk about the use of the enneagram in facilitation and group work.

Expert Tele-seminar, Thursday, Nov 16th: Nine Views of the World...Bringing the Wisdom of the Enneagram to Facilitation.
Join Valerie Atkin and I in this one-hour interview where we'll discuss the Enneagram's nine different ways of viewing and reacting to the world. Check out the details after the article.

Facilitating at a Distance. This new 5-day teleclass teaches the Essentials of Teleclass & Virtual Meeting Facilitation. This class is for those of you wanting to offer a teleclass but don't feel you have all the skills and knowledge you need to do so, or for managers working with distributed teams that require you to facilitate virtual meetings. See details at the end of this issue.

Have a great week!

Steve Davis


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The Point

Nine Points of View
Coaching with the Enneagram
Self-Facilitation Skill

Walter Frazier was an innovative, idealistic leader. He held high standards for himself, his employees, and the company, but he was losing people's respect because of angry tirades whenever he was disappointed with the quality of someone's work. It would have been easy enough to help Walter manage his anger. But my questions ran deeper: Why did he feel so much anger? How could I coach him to break out of the worldview that kept reinforcing his perfectionism? When I led him to this deeper level, he learned how to interrupt the inner patterns of processing information that made him angry. He became less harshly judgmental and his underlying anger began to dissipate.

I was able to help Walter accomplish this shift with my knowledge of the Enneagram. This powerful coaching tool identifies nine different ways of viewing the world, each of which has a common set of patterns. You, too, can coach people to grow beyond their immediate requests ("resolve conflict with a colleague," "manage my time better," "prove to my boss I'm ready for a promotion"), help them break free of their habitual perspectives, and invoke long-term, profound change.

The Enneagram points to a narrow focus of attention, each of the nine styles directed toward a few inward realities that lead to convictions about how the world operates and how to act in it:

The gift of style One is the ability to see and work toward perfection. This has narrowed their focus of attention so they often see only what is wrong, what needs fixing. The perfectionism of the One is driven by anger that rejects anything less than the ideal of what should be.

The gift of style Two is the ability to anticipate and tend to others' needs. This narrowed focus on being helpful carries pride that disallows acknowledging their own needs. If they're in the box, they aren't acting out of consideration, they're making an emotional investment. If you don't reward that investment, they can engage in emotional blackmail.

The gift of style Three is the drive to succeed in attaining a goal. This narrow focus of attention can become competitive striving that may rob them of their souls. In-the-box Threes seek to earn love by performance and often become workaholics. They try to meet the real or imagined expectations of others, especially when defined in a role.

The gift of style Four is a passion for creativity, emotional depth, and a profound desire for authenticity. This narrow focus of attention brings up a fear of being ordinary. In-the-box Fours get stuck in melancholy because they often feel different from others. Behind this worldview is a quality of longing, feeling that anything good is always unavailable.

The gift of style Five is the ability to conceptualize and to master knowledge. This narrow focus of attention can cause Fives to be emotionally remote and socially awkward. In-the-box Fives can live so completely in their heads that they wish to pay as little attention as possible to the physical side of life. They can be reserved and intellectual, and tend to hoard their emotions, time, energy, and thoughts.

The gift of style Six is loyalty. From this narrow focus of attention, Sixes question their inner authority. They look to the group for security, rules, and norms, yet, paradoxically, are often the ones to challenge authority. Commonly referred to as fearful, in actuality they cannot stand being afraid. Consequently, they focus on what could go wrong in order to take all the necessary precautions.

The gift of style Seven is positive, energetic, upbeat energy. Sevens love to generate ideas. From their focus of attention on pleasure, variety, and novelty, they habitually over-schedule and have low tolerance for boredom or discomfort. Since life has its ups and down, being driven to be cheerful can leave this style a bit out of touch with the more negative portions of reality.

The gift of style Eight is a natural confidence and ability to take charge. With their narrow focus of attention, they claim power whether others like it or not. In-the-box Eights are driven to excess. If some is good, more is better, especially power. The thrill is in the hunt, however, so they are not necessarily satisfied with what they get, and can stir things up just to spice up a situation.

The gift of style Nine is in being calm, easy-going, and understanding of divergent opinions. This narrow focus of attention leads them to avoid conflict. They can see all sides, agree with all sides, and then either achieve consensus or remain inactive, depending on their level of self-awareness. Anger is typically suppressed. It has been said of some Nines that they "make molehills out of mountains."


Breaking Out of the Box

With awareness of their underlying motives and openness to significant shifts in their perspective, each of the nine styles is capable of great contributions and gifts to organizations, to relationships, and to society in general.

For example, when Jane first contacted me by e-mail, I was charmed by a visual clue to the Five's low-profile style. Her inquiry was written in eight-point type! Fives polarize between retreating into their heads and taking external action. They grow when they interrupt their habitual patterns and begin to move from thought to action. As they do so, they become more confident and comfortable in social interactions.

Fives use time and space as boundaries to give themselves privacy and safety, so it's important to give them time to think things through, especially when you intend to bring up issues they might find uncomfortable. Even though they cherish privacy, they can come to a level of trust where they take emotional risks. They often have an unusual sense of humor and may even be playful.

Jane had been one of the most knowledgeable people in a field where advancing technology had made it impossible to know everything. But as she worked to keep up with the technology, she missed the political dimension. She didn't know about the people involved in projects -- names, positions, and/or needs, which caused problems in situations where the political dimension was important.

I asked her, "What stops you from asking questions about the key players when you need that information?"

After some thought, she said, "I guess I don't want to appear stupid for having forgotten."

I wanted to interrupt Jane's habit of hoarding her thoughts -- but I also wanted to respect her need for a little extra time. So I said, "Will you do something far out if I suggest it?"

"Yes..." (slowly)

"The next time this comes up, try really hard to appear stupid!"

We both laughed at this suggestion, a signal to me that I had broken through her usual intellectual response. At our next meeting Jane reported, "I found myself feeling stupid. I simply noticed it and said, 'Oh, I'm feeling stupid' and decided to make it happen more. That was great! It was empowering to actually cause it. I realized that I can't know everything all the time."

Transformed Fives become more generous. They become aware that they risk appearing arrogant because of their bank of more and better information. I encourage them to ask for feedback, for opinions, and even for more information before they give their input. In a later coaching session Jane told me, "You suggested that I look for things I don't understand and ask questions about them. I noticed that I resisted asking other people to clarify things, but I did it anyway and it didn't destroy my ego. I felt more connected to the people I was talking to and they seemed to feel more acknowledged for what they knew. In the past my ego had been saying, 'I'm the only one who can know something.' I felt better for giving them the gift of their being able to shine."

About the author: Mary Bast,, has been a corporate and personal coach for more than 25 years. She is co-author with Clarence Thomson of Out of the Box: Coaching with The Enneagram and author of Out of the Box Coaching Field Guide, The Self-Coaching Workbook, and Out of the Box Coaching for Managers.


What is your enneagram type? Take this quick test if you don't know and see what you can learn about your type. Please click reply and share your comments. I'd love to hear from you.

Micro Skills Tele-Seminar
Nine Views of the World....

Bringing the Wisdom of the Enneagram to Facilitation

Attend this one-hour interview featuring Valerie Atkin,
founder of Wells Street Consulting

During this one-hour call, we'll discuss how t
he Enneagram defines the nine different ways of viewing and reacting to the world. While it can be studied for a lifetime, even an overview has much to offer facilitators about their own behavior and that of their groups. Attend this one-hour tele-seminar with Valerie Atkin and Steve Davis Thursday, November 16th at 1:00 PM EST (NY Time). Some of the points we'll discuss are...

What is the enneagram and where did it come from?
What are the differences between the Enneagram and other instruments like the MBTI, DISC, etc.?
What are the advantages of learning the Enneagram?
What are the strengths of the Enneagram's as an assessment tool?
What does the Enneagram bring to facilitation?
What are the strengths and possible pitfalls of each Enneagram Style when facilitating?
What are the strengths of the Enneagram's as a process for growth?
What are the implications of Enneagram style on our ability to respond to the group versus our own agenda, manage process, respond to group conflict, etc.
What can the enneagram teach us about participant styles that will help us facilitate more effectively?
How to use the Enneagram to continue growing.
Any questions you bring to the call.

Click here for registration and full details

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In the Spotlight

Facilitating at a Distance: The Essentials of Teleclass & Virtual Meeting Facilitation

Have you considered offering a teleclass as a more efficient way to deliver training, enhance group learning and generate more income for your business? 

Or, are you working with a distributed team that requires you to design and facilitate virtual meetings?

When done right, Teleclasses and Virtual Meetings (T/VM) are very effective and inexpensive ways to train, collaborate, and problem-solve. But if they aren't effectively facilitated, T/VM's can be a boring waste of time!

Remove the fear and uncertainty of teleclass/virtual meeting design and facilitation with this 5-day teleclass series: Leading at a Distance: The Essentials of Teleclass & Virtual Meeting Facilitation, led by Steve Davis, Founder of, January 29th-February 2nd, 2007, 10:00 AM Pacific, 1:00 PM Eastern (NY Time),
60 minutes each day.

This class covers all the elements of T/VM facilitation using a simple, well-organized, and proven approach. This course, that you can take from the comfort of your own home or office, is for facilitators, trainers, coaches, who want to design relevant, engaging, experiential workshops for groups using a simple, proven formula that's easy to apply to any workshop topic.

Learn how to design and run a T/VM that will maximize the use of your group's time and energy. By the end of the 5 days, you will:

  • Have learned the key skills needed to effectively facilitate a Teleclass/Virtual Meeting.
  • Know how to balance interactivity with meeting purpose.  
  • Have a an experience of the 10 modes of delivering learning and information in a virtual environment.
  • Know mistakes to avoid when facilitating your T/VM.
  • Know the 8 Critical Strategies to make your T/VM come alive.
  • Learn the 7 Keys to the Inner Game of T/VM Facilitation.
  • And much more..

Click here for further details and registration.

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