Lovestache 325I painted this painting in response to the death of Jack layton, the leader of the New Democratic Party. It is not really a political painting. I like to think (no ego LOL) that it is about something larger. When Jack died there was a spontaneous outpouring from people from across Canada, from across the globe, from across income levels, from across ethnic, age or educational backgrounds and from across political affiliations.

What were they responding to? I had the thought that people were responding to the loss of someone with undeniable integrity. Here was a man who had a consistent and persistant message for years and years. He wasn’t angry or arrogant but outspoken and willing to educate anyone about the elements that were creating the current situation.

In a time when we are skeptical about our politicians and their motivations, Jack was a man we could trust. You might not like his politics or even the way he presented his message, but there was something that everyone recognized in him as being of value.

Trustache - the word cropThis was painted last summer and just yesterday – a week or so from the first day of Spring, someone pointed out that she had seen the graffiti “Trustache” that rhymes with Jack’s ever present moustache and read it differently. What she saw was TRUST ACHE and thought that the painting spoke to the “ache” that the voting population has for being able to TRUST our politicians and each other.

Some MBTI types use metaphor and even think in metaphor. This particular interpretation really touched me. Typically I say that I paint rather than call myself an artist, but having someone else see something deeper in your work is in the territory of art and what art contributes to the human experience.

Category : Communication | creativity | Uncategorized | Blog

Judging Perceiving 350

It is such a challenge to step outside of our own perceptual filters. Imagine you are a parent who believes that your preference for Judging and providing structure and organization for your family will keep them safe and on track. This is your duty as a good parent – right?

Imagine you are the teenager in this family. You have a clear preference for Perceiving and prefer to go with the flow. The emphasis and value placed on a structured life that is the hallmark of your family seems restrictive and positively boring. You know you are really responsible and that your last minute style suits how you like to work.

The juggling act that is parenting teenagers has an extra wrinkle in this family dynamic with this difference in Judging and Perceiving. Hopefully understanding each others type will pave the way for compassion. The parent’s preference for Judging is not an intentional plot to squash the teenager’s spirit, and the teenager’s preference for letting life happen rather than planning ahead does not mean that they are doomed to failure.

There are some wonderful opportunities for growth in this relationship if both individuals can stay open to learning from each other.

Category : Communication | MBTI Facts | Relationships | Uncategorized | Blog

Gay and Kathlyn Hendricks posted a video on their Conscious Loving Relationships Facebook page which shows them in their California bathroom holding two different tubes of toothpaste: one mangled by one of them with a clear preference for random squeezing and the other tidily rolled from the bottom. They talk about how we get trapped in the narrowness of our own world-view and the tendency to see that as the “right” way.

Gay and Katey are very discrete about which one is the enthusiastic squeezer and who likes a more systematic approach. What they do make clear is how differences can affect our relationships and how the day to day impact can build into something else indeed. Differences that make us uncomfortable can escalate from merely annoying to creating all kinds of rigid uncompromising postures and decisions. This can happen in a myriad of ways at work, at home, with friends and family.

The solution often begins with appreciating self and others and letting people be who and how they are. Or in this case by simply buying two tubes of paste.

Category : Uncategorized | Blog

Success comes in cans

This phrase came across my radar screen just after I posted my last blog that started with a litany of “can’ts”. The visual of the can really adds punch to the idea and lightens any heavy pressure to perform.

CAN’T see the doodle? You CAN at http://www.personalityplusinbusiness.com/2011/success-comes-in-cans.html

Category : Doodles | Perspectives | Uncategorized | Blog

April 22nd’s Enneagramtip to realize ” how much I am supported” could not have come at a better time.

Picture 9

“Transforming to Essence” is an enormous quest. HAVING a personality seems like a necessary evil. However I truly love the idea of shifting things when elements of my personality HAVE me.

Each of us has our own challenge. As an Enneagram Six the “doubting mind” is the devil I know well. This Enneagram tip appeared in my email the evening after I returned from a bookclub meeting. As I was leaving the meeting, I happened to notice that the hostess had one of my paintings in each of the 4 directions… paintings North, South, East and West. I was bowled over, perhaps because of the concept of the 4 directions. Because I had always known that my friend had some of my work. I mentioned the coolness of the 4 directions to the group and others chimed in about paintings of mine that they enjoyed at their home, at the cottage or in Florida which covers at least 2 directions on another scale.

When I read this message from “The Wisdom of the Enneagram” it struck me that I am totally blessed and supported even when I am feeling otherwise. It also struck me that I have had this awareness before. The Enneagram teaches that what we focus our attention on creates our reality. So this tip is a good reminder.

It was cool that I had the experience of realizing that I was supported before I had the nudge. Progress?

I think progress is a better measure of success than expecting perfection or transformation.

Want to subscribe to EnneaThought for the Day

Category : Other Assessments | Resources | Uncategorized | Blog

Inntuition - I Just Know

When you ask someone with a preference for Intuition how they came to understand something to be true for them, they can come up with a logical rational explanation. If truth be told they often just know. Different threads come together so that those who prefer Intuition SEE the pattern and it all becomes clear. Then they seek to back it up with some rationale.

Those who are versed in developing critical thinking skills in decision making, may find relying on Intuition unreliable. I use my Intuition all the time. I also trust that I can distinguish when it is the kind of decision where it is necessary to take a more refined look weighing what I believe against critical criteria.

The thing is my Intuition has been a reliable guide at least 90% of the time.

How do I know that’s true – you may ask? I just know.

To view the cartoon http://www.personalityplusinbusiness.com/2011/intuitions-mantra-i-just-know.html

Category : Doodles | MBTI Facts | Uncategorized | Blog

MBTI Cartoon

People with a preference for INTP seem to have finely tuned radar that let’s them look at any situation and literally “see” the underlying principles involved. Understanding the requisite guiding principles for the best result and then operating accordingly is second nature. Therefore they may also measure the success of an endeavour by how closely the result matches these guiding principles.

What may not be second nature is fully understanding that others do not necessarily process the same way. People with different preferences may need help to make the connection between a particular principle and the behaviours that go along with it.

I can imagine that it is disappointing to the INTP when the people act in a way that goes counter to agreed principles. It is worth taking the time up front to help make some links.

“If we say we agree on these principles what does that look like in action?”

It may also seem too obvious but keeping a running check in will keep “drift” from being inevitable.

“Does this current direction align with our principles?”

Do you have a set of operating principles for how you conduct your business (or career)?

Category : Doodles | Uncategorized | Blog

Seth Godin, author of Linchpin and my blog of choice each day talks about the limitations imposed by the fear originating in what he calls our lizard brain.

“The lizard is a physical part of your brain, the pre-historic lump near the brain stem that is responsible for fear and rage and reproductive drive.”

This fear shows up as resistance that infects the voice in our head we listen to telling us “to go slow, be careful, not to risk, not to try, not to rock the boat, not to stand out etc. etc,)

There is a distinction I would like to add to Seth’s wisdom that comes from understanding the instinctual subtypes of Enneagram. In other words we are not all created equal in our motivation in this area. We are driven by needs for intimacy, for social needs and for security, safety and self care or self preservation needs. BUT we do not have these in the same intensity or priority. You can watch the clip of Enneagram author Helen Palmer below http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=D86IVsoiqTE

If you recognize that self preservation or security needs are highly important to you, you need to factor that into how you decide what to listen to. These needs are not going to go away nor can you simply dismiss them. However, it seems to me that people with strong security needs often pay a price that they don’t acknowledge consciously. They will stay in a relationship or difficult work situation long past the time to take action because the familiar discomfort of the current conditions seems less painful than the discomfort of the what is unknown and insecure.

Avoiding is not a strategy or plan that works long term. Don’t wait for a crisis in order to make a plan of action. You can make a plan that is rational and well considered and respectful of who you are as a person. Sacrificing your power by relinquishing the steering wheel for the illusion of safety is anything but safe.

Category : Decision making | Other Assessments | Uncategorized | Blog

This is a tale of apples and oranges.. The MBTI and Enneagram are two very different personality typologies which look at very different things. They work well when used in conjunction to provide a fuller understanding of what make us tick just as apples and oranges both contribute to making an excellent fruit salad.

The MBTI is based on the work of Karl Jung and it looks at the conscious functions of taking in information through the functions of Sensing and Intuition and making decisions through Thinking or Feeling. The underlying assumption is that one way of doing this is not inherently better than another. It is a preference one has that is in fact not an indication of skill or talent but of what is often most accessible and therefore most often practiced. The 4 letter code that makes up the 16 different MBTI types helps to indicate how these functions interconnect. Most MBTI literature focuses on the positive or more neutral aspects of the types before looking at what happens “in the grip” of stress.

The Enneagram has a history that is more esoteric. It dates back before the mystic schools of Islam where the Sufis used aspects of the Enneagram in the spiritual development of initiates. When the Enneagram was brought to the West the first teachers were exploring questions in psychology concerned with dysfunction. The Enneagram looks at the world of the unconscious and how the 9 different worldviews outlined by the Enneagram influence our orientation to the world. The current teachers of the Enneagram have shifted the focus from the shadow aspects of personality to focusing on real world applications of the model for business and self development.

Mapping One onto the Other
There isn’t a direct correlation- hence the apples and oranges analogy. There are some things that may be typical however given the understanding that there is an exception to every one of these forced correlations.

  • Enneagram 5 and I,T
  • Enneagram 8 and E
  • Enneagram 2 and F
  • Enneagram 7 and E,P
  • Enneagram 1 and J
  • Enneagram 3 and E
  • Enneagram 9 and I
  • Enneagram 4 and I,N,F

Some authors and researchers such as Tom Flautt and Renee Baron with Elizabeth Wagele have mapped this even more extensively than my very limited correlations. They too add the cautionary tale of exceptions being a distinct possibility.

Using these tools

The MBTI has a validated inventory that has one publisher so that it is readily recognized across sectors as a valuable tool in business for team building and personal development. People can recognize areas of possible strength and what else may need looking after. The downside is the perception that it can be learned and applied in a one time event. Without reinforcement the MBTI type may be forgotten and shelved MBTI-amnesia!

The Enneagram has a variety of assessments that have been tested to various degrees. It comes out of the oral tradition and is best learned by watching participants discuss their type in a workshop setting. Then you can see the physical characteristics, patterns of speech as well as hearing typical ways of focusing attention. Even though it may not have been as rigorously tested for validity the Enneagram has its own distinct advantages in certain circumstances. It too can be effective for personal development and creating understanding in teams. The Enneagram is uncannily accurate in capturing core dynamics. In part this means that the disowned shadow elements are also on the table from the beginning and some people find this challenging.

My personal take is that the Enneagram is a harder “sell” in a business environment, but a very important tool that anyone serious about leadership ought to consider. It isn’t the easiest route to take but the rewards of self knowledge at the deepest level make it worth the effort. At the end of the day real leaders need to dig deep to take people into uncharted territory.

Knowing both tools adds the distinctions that make for a truer picture. Mastery is in the ability to make these kinds of distinctions.

Please don’t make me choose I am delighted to have both in my toolkit.

Category : Other Assessments | Uncategorized | Blog

Palliative care takes a special kind of person. Imagine stepping into this role with someone in your social circle.

Recently I spoke with a woman who commented that she had just come from the last visit with a woman who she had been caring for for the last 6 months. That wasn’t her career and she hadn’t even started out as a best friend, but here she was saying goodbye to someone important in her life.

Granted she had skills that allowed her to do this work as a caregiver. She had been a nurse and is a trained coach working in the education system with families. However what was amazing to me was the combination of practicality and compassion that went hand in hand in her approach.

Understandably the family of the woman who was dying were in a state of confusion and denial. Part of what this ESFJ offered to them was being able to see through the overwhelm to know what needed to be done not only in the moment but for the next steps. The suggestions she made provided organized, well thought through information with concrete steps that were easily achievable. The family came to trust her open and compassionate guidance. Plus it gave them something to do to feel somewhat in control.

ESFJ’s supply warmth and are a steadying influence. They work well in systems and/or teams as they create collaborative environments where the practical needs of all concerned are top of mind.

What was most evident to me was the value in the simple act of daily conversation. These two women talked from the heart about what was wanting to be said…no holding back…no being afraid to go to all of the scary places.

Perhaps other types can also bring this level of heart and hand but this ESFJ has my vote for getting her angel wings.

Category : MBTI Facts | Uncategorized | Blog