Thursday 15 February 2007

Theories & Models - Enneagram

The Enneagram measures human personality by 9 basic types. However, instead of measuring surface traits, it gets below these and into motivations. Motivations can often result in the same behaviours, which is why people of the same motivation may appear just like each other on the outside -- or not. The Enneagram is mainly a diagnostic tool of one's emotional outlook on life. It will not cure one's problems, but may help point out their underlying fixations. It is also useful as a guide to how other people see the world differently.

The Nine Basic Types

Type One - Reformer
Perfectionistic, orderly, hard-working, ethical, conscientious. They can be very rational and idealistic, but can also be judgemental and convinced they are always right. Motivation: To be right, ethical, perfect.

Type Two - Giver / Helper
Generous, friendly, prideful, seductive, reassuring. They can be very loving and dedicated, but also possessive and manipulative. Motivation: To be loved, thanked, important in others' lives.

Type Three - Achiever
Ambitious, goal-oriented, adaptable, deceiving, presentable. They can be exemplars of "all you can be", but also shallow and arrogant. Motivation: To be admired by others, successful, a winner.

Type Four - Individualist
Creative, depressive, romantic, shy, unique. They can be profound artists who express the inexpressable, but also self-hating and clinging. Motivation: To understand the self, be unique, express themselves.

Type Five - Investigator
Insightful, theoretical, detached, eccentric, intense. They can be extremely brilliant and inventive, but also nihilistic and alienated. Motivation: To understand the world, find safety from it, become skilled.

Type Six - Loyalist
Loyal, skeptical, complex, paranoid, dependable. They can be excellent team players but get lost in scapegoating and fear. Motivation: To find security, resolve their paranoia.

Type Seven - Enthusiast
Enthusiastic, worldy, optimistic, scattered, accomplished. They can truly love life like no one else, but can fall victim to hedonism and excess. Motivation: To experience life, be happy, not miss out.

Type Eight - Chief / Challenger
Powerful, leading, aggressive, cruel, protective. They can be magnamious leaders who get the job done, but can become violent and terrorizing. Motivation: To be in control, strong, independent.

Type Nine - Peacemaker
Peaceful, receptive, complacent, forgetting, gentle. They can be relaxed and terrific friends, but can become unaware of reality and problems. Motivation: To be at peace, be in harmony with the universe.

The 9 types can mix like colors on a palette. However, mixtures with numerically adjacent types are particularly frequent and striking, and are called "wings". Hence, a 5's wing will either be type 4, or type 6 (or occasionally both). A 9's wing will either be type 8 or 1. It is also possible for someone not to have a strong wing, or to have elements of both wings.

Advocates of the Enneagram system suggest that, whilst it is a more difficult (and complex) system than the Myers-Briggs, but ultimately more meaningful, descriptive, and enlightening.
Don Riso and Russ Hudson of The Enneagram Institute have produced several Enneagram-based personality tests for personal, group, and business use. Basic, free tests are available at Further, detailed information is also available at

Wednesday 7 February 2007

Personal Development Planning

A Personal Development Plan (PDP) is a framework - within an occupational context - for matching individual needs to organisational needs, in a mutually fulfilling manner. It is an approach that encourages individuals to take responsibility for managing their own learning and development goals, and aligning these to orgnisational objectives. The PDP sets out the actions people propose to take to learn, and develop themselves, with the support of the organisation and their line manager. They should also work with those around them (peers and direct reports) and consider obtaining a 360 degree review, to assist them identify training and development needs.

As a process Personal Development Planning involves the individual:-
- identifying their current situation,
- identifying where they would like to be in the future, and
- developing a plan outlining the learning & development required to get there.

PDPs can vary in focus, but generally include elements of:
- job related development to assist performance in current role and attainment of organisational objectives
- career development to align individual career planning & organisational 'succession' planning so that the optimal match of individual & organisation needs are achieved
- non-work related development focusing on non-work related skills to enhance personal effectiveness generally, which will often have a tangible occupational benefit
- holistic development - incorporating all of the above, emphasising the 'whole person' in all aspects of their life.

PDPs can be beneficial to individuals by giving them greater control over their destiny, achieving work-life balance, enhancing their employability and other less tangible benefits e.g. alignment of personal goals & values with emotional & intellectual committment to their work. From an organisational perspective, PDPs can facilitate the effective accomplishment of goals, san focus developments on job related needs, show that employees are valued, form a key component of learning organisation ethos, increase employee retention and provide a cost effective return on investment in training & staff development.

Theories & Models - Maslows Hierarchy of Needs

Each of us is motivated by needs. Our most basic needs are inborn, having evolved over tens of thousands of years. Abraham Maslow's Hierarchy of Needs helps to explain how these needs motivate us all.

Maslow's original Hierarchy of Needs model was developed between 1943-1954, and first widely published in Motivation and Personality in 1954. At this time the Hierarchy of Needs model comprised five needs. The original version remains for most people the definitive Hierarchy of Needs.

1. Biological and Physiological needs - air, food, drink, shelter, warmth, sex, sleep, etc.
2. Safety needs - protection from elements, security, order, law, limits, stability, etc.
3. Belongingness and Love needs - work group, family, affection, relationships, etc.
4. Esteem needs - self-esteem, achievement, mastery, independence, status, dominance, prestige, managerial responsibility, etc.
5. Self-Actualization needs - realising personal potential, self-fulfillment, seeking personal growth and peak experiences.

Maslow's Hierarchy of Needs states that we must satisfy each need in turn, starting with the first, which deals with the most obvious needs for survival itself. Only when the lower order needs of physical and emotional well-being are satisfied are we concerned with the higher order needs of influence and personal development. Conversely, if the things that satisfy our lower order needs are swept away, we are no longer concerned about the maintenance of our higher order needs.
These needs are generally organised / visualised as a pyramid, with Biological & Physical Needs forming the base, with subsequent needs built on top of this leading towards the apex at the top, which is self-actualisation.

Later models contain an additional element of Transcendence i.e. helping others to reach their potential – this is similar in many ways to Covey’s 8th Habit.

The Four Agreements – Don Miguel Ruiz

Don Miguel Ruiz's book, The Four Agreements was published in 1997. For many, The Four Agreements is a life-changing book, whose ideas come from the ancient Toltec wisdom of the native people of Southern Mexico. The Toltec were 'people of knowledge' - scientists and artists who created a society to explore and conserve the traditional spiritual knowledge and practices of their ancestors. The Toltec viewed science and spirit as part of the same entity, believing that all energy - material or ethereal - is derived from and governed by the universe.

Don Miguel Ruiz, born and raised in rural Mexico, was brought up to follow his family's Toltec ways by his mother, a Toltec faith healer, and grandfather, a Toltec 'nagual', a shaman. Despite this, Don Miguel decided to pursue a conventional education, which led him to qualify and practice for several years as a surgeon. Following a number of life changing events, he later returned to his ancestral beliefs and teachings.

Like many gurus and philosophical pioneers, Ruiz has to an extent packaged, promoted and commercialised his work. Nevertheless the simplicity and elegance of his thinking remains a source of great enlightenment and aspiration. The simple ideas of The Four Agreements provide an inspirational code for life; a personal development model, and a template for personal development, behaviour, communications and relationships.

Here is how Don Miguel Ruiz summarises 'The Four Agreements':

agreement 1
Be impeccable with your word - Speak with integrity. Say only what you mean. Avoid using the word to speak against yourself or to gossip about others. Use the power of your word in the direction of truth and love.

agreement 2
Don’t take anything personally - Nothing others do is because of you. What others say and do is a projection of their own reality, their own dream. When you are immune to the opinions and actions of others, you won’t be the victim of needless suffering.

agreement 3
Don’t make assumptions - Find the courage to ask questions and to express what you really want. Communicate with others as clearly as you can to avoid misunderstandings, sadness and drama. With just this one agreement, you can completely transform your life.

agreement 4
Always do your best - Your best is going to change from moment to moment; it will be different when you are healthy as opposed to sick. Under any circumstance, simply do your best, and you will avoid self-judgment, self-abuse and regret.