I had an experience this week where I was wearing the wrong hat during a conversation. My fall back position is that of coach. And when I talk about coaching I mean partnering with someone to get clear on what’s important, to try on some possibilities and to decide next steps. This process is all about what the person being coached is ready, willing and able to do and nothing to do with introducing my approach or pushing any agenda I may have.

Being an Enneagram Six helps in that my natural inclination is not to assume authority. In theory that supports my intention not to push for my solutions to be introduced or championed. My goal is to be 100% there to pay attention to whether the solutions that are explored “fit” the person and the situation.

Well this natural inclination of the Six not to want to be the authority can backfire when that is what you have signed up to do… bring your expertise in a particular area to the table – that is. During the conversation I was asking questions, when all the other participants wanted was to be given advice. It took someone to say just “tell us what to do” for me to wake up and switch hats. Of course I was able to share my experience complete with the typically Sixish cautionary warning, and all was good.

I’m actually not sure what general conclusion I want to offer. I know for me personally, it was a friendly elbow in the side to not only stay in the conversation but also to be equally aware of what is going on on the periphery. I might have noticed that there was some frustration and wondered what to do about that. Think about what cues you use to switch from wearing one hat to another.

The learning never ends! And as Martha says, “That’s a good thing.”


Category: Coaching / Other Assessments
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