I CAN CHANGE HOW I TALK
or I can use it to own my True Self
PREVIOUS: Talk Types 8-9
REVIEW: Intro explanation in Part 2a
GROWTH for all Types
Everyone wants to be understood, yet in most cases both senders & receivers have built-in limitations which they bring with them to any interaction, often based on each person’s Enneagram Type.
• Listeners have ‘hearing distortions’ – prejudices in their way of thinking & feeling, that prevent them from receiving someone’s intended message.
• Of course, Senders can distort their presentation which interferes with how well they’re understood. These come in the form of unconscious habits:
— Body Language: face, hand & body movements, voice & energy level…
— Blind Spots, ways of acting & sounding we’re not ware of but everyone else is (clear throat, say ‘um’ all the time, don’t look others in the eyes..)
— Filters, our own distorted listening, so that our responses will be inaccurate, unhelpful, over-reactive….
We can start by asking trusted friends & co-workers what they think our communication style is. If possible – tape yourself giving a talk, or just hanging out, & then listen to / watch it, alone & with others, to identify your patterns.
● Actively listen to yourself all the time (NOT critically) to identify your own CDs (cognitive distortions). When listening to others, paraphrase both the facts & emotions you hear from them so they can be a reality check on your accuracy.
● Because most people tend to live in their head, improving your style of communication can be helped by moving from most conscious to least conscious behaviors:
— Observe & rework Speaking Style / then your Body Language / then correct your Blind Spots & finally the Distorting Filters.
Once you’ve identified your bad (verbal) habits, make a written list of them & periodically thru the day ask yourself: “Which action, belief or talk style did I just express – again?”
● Look for someone knowledgeable & trustworthy as your ‘talk coach’ to give feedback & respectful suggestions for improvement. SITE: Chomsky’s Theories on Language
MATCHING our Communication with others
In NLP-speak the thinking patterns that influence our language & actions are called Meta- programs, the way we perceive & filter our experience of the world, rather than the reality.
Our language patterns – the words we choose & the way we say them – are all expressions of our internal image & dialogue (emotions, beliefs & experiences), adding up to how we act & react to any current event.
● Some people use very ‘specific’ detailed language (lots of words) in describing something – paying a lot of attention to the details of a situation or location. EXP: The dress was black, white & red, sleeveless, with a long skirt, a V neckline, buttons down the front…..
Others use ‘general’ terms, which convey an overview, with few words. EXP: Her dress was sexy & brightly colored.
● Noam Chomsky found that most people modify & distort the information they’ve gathered – so that what gets passed on to others is only 1 or 2% of the original experience. Roger Bailey’s “Words that Change Minds” LAB profile (Language And Behavior) shows how & why people make these transformation. It teaches how to Listen, Reflect & Communicate effectively, developing the skill of being able to match our communication to another’s preferred way of receiving information, which influences their behavior.
● No matter who we’re interacting with, but especially when dealing with someone who is unhealthy, matching has to do with understanding their thinking process & matching their language pattern – rather than falling into their negativity or into a fight. This can be done by taking careful note of someone’s TEAs – which follow the outline of the Enneagram’s main triads – as each has its own language peculiarities. Then we can use similar words & images to get our point across in a way that person can ‘hear’. (Charts….)
EXP: Amy is a fussy woman, very concerned with her image (Enneagram #3). Her friend Elaine (an F.I.T. graduate) is helping her look for fabric to make a new dress. Amy makes some choices & asks for an opinion. Rather than saying those fabrics are ‘loud’, ugly or dowdy, Elaine says they are not elegant. Amy immediately moves toward a few that Elaine is suggesting.
✥ ✥ ✥
Ennea-WORDS to NOT use in Business
Compliant, Withdrawn, Dutiful are terms thrown around in business settings by inexperienced Enneagram users to explain certain Types or groups of Types. Although these categories may be somewhat useful to people learning the Enneagram for their own personal development, they are inaccurate & can be damaging when used in organizations. There – these terms have a different spin than in ‘ennea-speak’. Companies that are trying to evaluate potential leaders would reject certain Types that seem to fit these terms.
No matter how well an H-R person explained the Ennea-based meanings, most people would still make a negative mental translation. In ‘organization-speak’:
— Compliant means being passive, easily pliable, accommodating
— Withdrawn means remote, contracted, not engaged
— Dutiful means docile, meek, submissive, subservient.
Who would want employees like this, much less as a leader? (More…)
Healthy–Unhealthy / Evolved–Unevolved / Developed–Undeveloped
This is another set of Enneagram terms that can cause problems in organizations. Too many leaders focus on judgmental words for Types
rather than the psychological or spiritual development the Enneagram is actually about.
● It would be most helpful if Enneagram professionals in the workplace made it clear that people of the same EnneaType can be very different from each other, based on their Wing, how they use their Arrows, & their level of development or self-mastery. The focus should be on promoting a deeper understanding of workers’ developmental hopes & goals, not just their Type.
● When people become more psychologically and spiritually mature they become much more accepting & discerning, less critical & judgmental.
— Judgment is the formation of an opinion or an evaluation in which two things are compared & one of those two items is considered better.
— Discernment is sensitivity to nuance, insight, perceptiveness, which can lead to wisdom. Looking at a person’s Level of Development & self-mastery is being discerning. Harsh & judgmental terms are not.
Naturally this applies to individuals (us) as well as businesses.
NEXT: Ennea-humor (Part 3)