I have been working with the Enneagram for the last 15 years. I have used it in my own company with great success and it has been a revelation on a personal level. I have worked with it, developed my understanding of it, and taught it to individuals, leaders and teams over the years where it was received exceptionally well. When I came across Emotional Intelligence in detail through my MBA studies – I had known about Goleman’s ideas for quite a while – it immediately struck me that EQ was significantly improved by using the Enneagram.
The Enneagram maps out the individual differences via each of nine different focuses of attention. The Enneagram addresses all of the areas described by Goleman through teaching an understanding of self, ones position under stress and relaxation, an understanding of others and an understanding of focal application area through the subtype. It helps break reactive habits an promotes an understanding of those who do not think and feel as you do.
It was clear to me that if the Enneagram improves all these areas it has to improve Emotional Intelligence overall – and so I went on to validate this hypothesis. In researching this I can across some work on Emotional Intelligence and Leadership which hold true even in our current turbulent times.
It is the really inspirational leaders who stand out in a crisis…Emotional intelligence is a big plus in hard times. Source: Sir John Egan, President of CBI, January 2002
Leadership is positively impacted by improved emotional intelligence. According to Goleman (1996) “Emotional intelligence is twice as important as IQ and technical skills… The higher up the organisation you go, the more important emotional intelligence becomes.” Salovey and Caruso, (2004) write in the Emotionally Intelligent Manager “emotion is not just important but absolutely necessary for us to make good decisions, take optimal action to solve problems, cope with change and succeed”
Improving Emotional Intelligence to improve leadership would seem to be an obvious path. Goleman (1998) also states: “Research and practice clearly demonstrate that emotional intelligence can be learned…To enhance emotional intelligence, organizations must …help people break old behavioural habits and establish new ones. This not only takes much more time than conventional training programs, it also requires an individualized approach” indicate the possibilities and practicalities of improving emotional intelligence.
Over the last few years I have developed and constantly improved, a number of programs to deliver the “Emotional Intelligence Advantage”. The key is that the learning is profound and partly experiential and it improves not just skills but behaviours. And these positively impact life as well as work.