Episode 18: Toxic Work Relationships

In this episode, I’m sharing with you the story of the sex-crazed cardinal that wouldn’t leave our backyard and how her story is like toxic work relationships I’m sure you’ve experienced.

In this episode, you’ll hear:

  • Why you don’t mess with female Northern Cardinals during mating season
  • How fear can motivate workplace behaviors
  • What to do if you’re in a toxic relationship at work

Connect with Me:

Please leave a Rating and Review:

If you enjoyed this episode, I would really appreciate it if you would take a few minutes to do a review on Apple Podcasts.  Reviews on Apple Podcasts are one of the best ways to get the word out about podcasts.

 

Enneagram Types 5-9

Enneagram Types 5-9

This week we are carrying on with the second half of the Enneagram types.  Last week we covered types 1-4 so you’ll want to make sure and go back to the last blog post to get the info on those.  As I said last week, there are all sorts of personality tests in the world but one of my personal favorites is the Enneagram.  The cool part about the Enneagram is that it teaches you all about your personality as well as how other people think and feel.  In my opinion, the Enneagram is one of the most comprehensive personality inventories out there. If you’ve never heard of the Enneagram, here’s how it breaks down.

The Enneagram itself is a geometric figure that maps out the nine fundamental personality types of human nature and their complex interrelationships.  It is a symbol that is made up of a circle with a triangle and a hexad in the middle that connects to nine outer points.  The nine points are what represent the nine personality types – type 1 is The Reformer, type 2 is The Helper, type 3 is The Achiever, type 4 is The Individualist, type 5 is The Investigator, type 6 is The Loyalist, type 7 is The Enthusiast, type 8 is The Challenger, and type 9 is The Peacemaker.  Again, if you want to learn more about types 1-4 go back and check out Enneagram Types 1-4.  Let’s move onto types 5-9.

Type 5 is The Investigator and is an intense, cerebral type who is also known as the Thinker

They are hyper-aware of their surroundings; they are insightful and curious.  They love to pursue knowledge and are able to develop complex ideas.  A 5s basic fear is of being useless, incapable, or incompetent and as you can imagine, their basic desire is to be competent. The strengths of this type include the ability to remain calm in a crisis, constantly learning and picking up new skills, and are often ahead of their time.  Weaknesses include a tendency to be perceived as condescending, disconnected from their feelings, and isolating themselves from others.  This occurs because they are always striving to be independent and so by detaching from people fives oftentimes feel very lonely.  In order to effectively communicate with fives, you need to allow them plenty of personal space and time to think and make sure you express your thoughts clearly and logically.  Meetings should be productive and worthwhile and make sure you ask for their insight or observations.  Like fours, they don’t have time for chit-chat so be direct with what you need.  When giving feedback, just be honest about growth areas and offer constructive criticism.  Common jobs for fives include engineers, mathematicians, computer programmers, writers, and scientists.

And now what I’m sure you’ve all been waiting for, Type 6 aka the Loyalist aka me.  When I very first took the Enneagram test, I tested as a 1 and it completely made sense to me.  Ones feel the need to be perfect, they are highly organized, etc.  Then time went by and I took it again and tested as a Six.  At first, I refused to believe it and I swear I took the test two more times before finally paying for a test and sure enough, it came back as 6 along with an explanation that sometimes sixes misidentify as ones. Then I started studying the six and lo and behold, totally me.  Sixes are committed, reliable, hardworking, responsible, defensive, evasive, and highly anxious.  Check, check, check, check, check, check, and check.  They are often cautious and indecisive but can also be defiant and rebellious.  Their basic fear is being without support or guidance and their basic desire is to feel secure.  Sixes are good at making responsible and practical choices, honoring commitments, caring for others, thinking about other people’s perspectives, and they are both logical and emotional.  However, they can struggle to control anxious thoughts, they tend to expect the worst outcome, and they have high levels of self-doubt and insecurity.  The best way to communicate with a six is the help them feel safe and secure by listening and offering support.  Again, just like 4s and 5s when emailing them avoid small talk and get to the point.  When giving feedback keep it on the gentler side by expressing encouragements and constructive criticism.  You’ll typically find sixes as paralegals, bankers, professors, administrative assistants, and caregivers.

Type 7 is the Enthusiast aka the life of the party

Sevens are busy, productive types who are optimistic and spontaneous.  While they are highly practical, they can also be scattered and undisciplined.  Their basic fear is being deprived or trapped in pain and their basic desire is to be happy.  Sevens can think quickly and creatively.  They can easily handle change in plans, and they are great at acquiring new skills or abilities.  Weaknesses can include difficulty committing to plans in advance, they quickly get bored, and because of this, they can make impulsive or rash decisions.  When communicating with sevens be upbeat and optimistic, let them know what you need from them, and include casual conversation and dialog in emails.  When giving feedback be honest and constructive.  Sevens like to come up with multiple solutions to problems, so let them help you when you get stuck.  Good careers for sevens are artists, interior designers, bartenders, tour guides, photographers, and publicists.

Type 8 is the Challenger also known as the Protector

This type is powerful, dominating, self-confident, and assertive.  They feel they must control their environment and are often confrontational and intimidating.  They love getting into debates and are good at making tough decisions.  8s basic fear is being harmed or controlled by others and their basic desire is to protect oneself.  They tend to act quickly and decisively, can lead their team to success, and they are typically fair and logical in their decision-making.  Eights struggles with others’ opinions, following rules or orders, and being perceived as being intimidating.  When it comes to communicating, be upfront and direct, allow them to share new ideas or suggestions, avoid casual conversation, and share feedback respectfully and constructively.  Because this type strives for control, in order to resolve conflict with an 8, stand your ground and call them out on their inappropriate actions while also considering their side.  You’ll find 8s working as lawyers, ad execs, politicians, marketing strategists, and business owners.

Chad and I recently watched The Last Dance on Netflix which is the docuseries about Michael Jordan.  If you haven’t watched it, you should because MJ really is an impressive human.  During the show, I kept wondering which Enneagram type he is so naturally, I Googled it.  There is a strong debate on whether he is a 3 or an 8.  Remember, threes are the high achieving type but I’m convinced he’s an eight.  I mean, look, he’s powerful, dominating, and self-confident.  He led the Bulls to multiple wins, he’s a logical decision-maker and strives to control his environment.  Hello?  And as I mentioned, marketing strategists and eights go hand in hand.  Do you know how much money this man has made in his career, which let’s be honest, playing basketball was only for a short time all things considered?  He’s made his money through strategic marketing.  MJ if you’re reading this post, take the test and let us know what you are once and for all.

Type 9 is the Peacemaker

This type is easygoing, accepting, trusting, and stable.  They are good-natured, kindhearted, and supportive.  But for all those wonderful traits, they can also be too willing to go along with others in order to keep the peace.  The basic fear of nines is the loss of connection and their basic desire is to be at peace not only within themselves but also in the world around them.  What makes a nine a great peacemaker is their ability to see multiple perspectives, remaining calm and adaptable, reassuring those around them, and being open-minded.  Weaknesses associated with nines are the tendency to minimize problems, avoiding difficult or upsetting situations, and being passive-aggressive rather than addressing conflict head-on.  The best way to communicate with a nine is to encourage them to be open about their needs and ideas but avoid pressuring them to share their opinions or feelings.  Allow room for small-talk and personal connection and avoid being overly negative or critical when giving feedback.  Nines make great counselors, veterinarians, social workers, diplomats, and religious workers.  This is Chad’s type which is why I think we go together so well.  I need support, he wants to give it.  I’m the pessimist, he’s the optimist.  I struggle with anxiety and he’s stable.  Plus, he’s really cute too.

And there you have it – those are the 9 types of the Enneagram.  If you still haven’t taken the test to figure out which type you are, you can go here and take the thing: https://www.crystalknows.com/enneagram-test. Take the test and let me know what type you are!  You can either email me at cj@adultingwithcj.com or you can leave a comment below.  You can also check out this site: https://www.enneagraminstitute.com/type-descriptions which I hope you will because there is a lot of great information as well as a deeper dive into the wings of each type and how each type interacts with the other types.  For example, if you are a 5 and your partner is a 3, it’ll show you how to communicate with one another and where there may be areas of improvement for you.  It also talks about how to work with each type in a professional setting.  All in all, I think the Enneagram is one of the best tools out there when trying to determine how to best lead a team at work or to work on the relationships in your personal life.

 

Enneagram Types 1-4

Enneagram Types 1-4

I’m a firm believer that in order to be a good leader you should also be good at relationships.  I think it is helpful to first determine your personality type or leadership style and then see how your employees stack up next to you.  There are all sorts of personality tests in the world but one of my personal favorites is the Enneagram.  The cool part about the Enneagram is that it teaches you all about your personality as well as how other people think and feel.  In my opinion, the Enneagram is one of the most comprehensive personality inventories out there. If you’ve never heard of it, here’s how it breaks down.

The Enneagram itself is a geometric figure that maps out the nine fundamental personality types of human nature and their complex interrelationships.  It is a symbol that is made up of a circle with a triangle and a hexad in the middle that connects to nine outer points.  The nine points are what represent the nine personality types – type 1 is The Reformer, type 2 is The Helper, type 3 is The Achiever, type 4 is The Individualist, type 5 is The Investigator, type 6 is The Loyalist, type 7 is The Enthusiast, type 8 is The Challenger, and type 9 is The Peacemaker.  Each of the nine types fit into a sub-category called the triads.  Eights, Nines, and Ones fall into the Instinctive Triad meaning they are concerned with maintaining resistance to reality – they also tend to have issues with aggression and repression.  Twos, Threes, and Fours are in the Feeling Triad.  They are concerned with self-image, however, underneath their ego, they carry a lot of shame around with them.  Finally, Fives, Sixes, and Sevens fall into the Thinking Triad and are concerned with anxiety and they will do what they need to do in order to feel safe and secure.  When you look at the triads, what you see is that each personality type has a basic fear as well as a basic desire.  Now, I could do 9 separate posts for each type but for the sake of time, I’m going to break it up into two posts.  I’m going to give you a high-level overview of types 1-4 today and next week we’ll do 5-9.

Type 1 aka the Reformer is an idealistic type

They are very conscientious and have a strong sense of right and wrong.  While they are always striving to improve, the kicker is they are scared of making mistakes.  They tend to have problems with repressed anger but at their best, they are wise.  When I first took the Enneagram test, I would have sworn I was a one.  I have a strong need to be perfect and I’m also highly organized.  But then I read that Sixes often misidentify as Ones, which is when I discovered I’m actually a Six.  The basic fear of Ones is a fear of being bad, corrupt, evil, or defective and their basic desire is to have integrity.  Strengths that are typically associated with ones are their awareness and attention to detail, they have an optimistic worldview, and they defend the rights of others.  Weaknesses include the tendency to be perfectionistic, difficulty accepting hard realities, and being highly critical of themselves and others.  When communicating with a One, you need to take them seriously, focus on conveying a clear message, encourage them to share their thoughts, and express feedback in a constructive way such as giving specific examples of ways to improve.  Common careers for Ones are lawyers, judges, social workers, politicians, counselors, and journalists.

Type 2, aka the Helper, is a caring, interpersonal type

Twos are empathetic, sincere, and warm-hearted.  They can also fall into the trap of incessantly trying to please people.  Because they are driven by their need to help others, they sometimes neglect their own needs and forget to take care of themselves first.  At their best, Twos have unconditional love for themselves and others.  Not surprising, their basic fear is the fear of being unworthy of being loved and I’m sure you can guess that their basic desire is to be loved.  Fun fact about Twos.  Women often misidentify as Twos because when they are taking the test, they will unknowingly answer the questions from a place of who they think they should be, aka helpful/caring.  This is not to say that there aren’t Twos out there who are women, but if you are a woman who first tests as a two, check out the next closest type you test as because it may be closer to the truth than the Two.  Twos are typically supportive and encouraging of people around them, they have a positive attitude, and they love getting to know people.  However, oftentimes, Twos seek out approval from others, they are sometimes perceived as overbearing, and the are easily offended by criticism.  In order to communicate well with Twos, you need to be attentive and encouraging and help them to recognize their value.  Let them help you problem-solve issues, and make sure you let them know how much you appreciate their hard work.  When you must give feedback to a Two, avoid being overly critical and share any concerns you may have with sensitivity.  You’ll usually see Twos as nonprofit leaders, religious leaders, nurses, teachers, and customer service reps.

Type 3 aka the Achiever is very success-oriented and is sometimes called the Performer

They are self-assured, attractive, and ambitious.  They are extremely competitive even to the point of becoming workaholics.  At their best, they are very authentic people who inspire others to do and be better.  Their basic fear is being worthless or without value and their basic desire, obviously, is be valuable.  They are driven to succeed, motivating and encouraging those around them, they easily connect with others, and are very charismatic.  However, oftentimes Threes focus too much on how they look, they have difficulty accepting failure, and like I previously mentioned, they can be overly competitive.  To communicate effectively with Threes, be as clear as you can and let them know exactly what you want or need.  In other words, being concise is the name of the game with Threes.  The best way to provide feedback to a Three is to let them know how much you value them while showing them how they can improve.  Common jobs for Threes are consultants, marketers, entrepreneurs, surgeons, lawyers, and politicians.

Type 4 aka the Individualist is the romantic, introspective type

They are self-aware, reserved, and quiet.  However, they can also be quite moody.  They have problems with self-indulgence and self-pity.  At their best, they are highly creative.  A Four’s basic fear is being without identity or personal significance and their basic desire is to be oneself.  Fours can deeply connect with their feelings and they are sensitive to the feelings of others, they know their growth areas and are also very deep-thinking and creative individuals.  As for weaknesses, they often withdraw when the going gets tough, they fixate on what they don’t have, and they tend to overreact emotionally when life gets hard.  Good communication with Fours should include sharing your feelings, being optimistic and encouraging, and letting them share their voice.  Avoid chit-chat – those deep thinkers don’t have time for that.  And when giving feedback, turn negative feedback into an opportunity for growth.  You can find Fours working as actors, writers, artists, photographers, designers, and hairstylists.

Is your head reeling yet?  I know, this is a ton of information to take in in a short amount of time.  I find all this stuff completely fascinating because I’m so curious to know that makes people tick.  If you’ve never taken the Enneagram test before, check out either of these websites to learn more:

https://www.enneagraminstitute.com/type-descriptions

https://www.crystalknows.com/enneagram-test

After you take the test, I’d be curious to know what type you are!  You can let me know via the comment section.

Next week we will finish up with types 5-9, which I’m excited about because I’m a Six and I can’t wait to tell you all about it!

 

 

Episode 17: Enneagram Types 5-9

This week I’m continuing on with the Enneagram types 5-9.  The cool part about the Enneagram is that it teaches you all about your personality as well as how other people think and feel.  In my opinion, the Enneagram is one of the most comprehensive personality inventories out there and if you’ve never heard of it, I’m breaking it down for you.

In this episode, you’ll hear:

  • Enneagram Types 5-9
  • The basic fear and desire of each type
  • How to effectively communicate with each type

Resources mentioned:

Connect with Me:

Please leave a Rating and Review:

If you enjoyed this episode, I would really appreciate it if you would take a few minutes to do a review on Apple Podcasts.  Reviews on Apple Podcasts are one of the best ways to get the word out about podcasts.

 

Are You an Effective Leader?

Are You an Effective Leader?

Today I’m starting a short leadership series.  This is a topic that is near and dear to my heart as being the first-born I’m a natural leader, and because I’ve always been curious about what makes for a great leader.  In my short time on this planet, I’ve been witness to people who should never have been put into leadership positions.  You know the type, communication is a foreign concept, they expect you to be a mind reader, you must never question their judgment, and they expect blind allegiance.  On the flip side, I’ve been very fortunate to work with some amazing leaders, the ones who lift you up, and want to teach you and help you be the best version of yourself.  They are your biggest cheerleader.  And although they still expect excellence, the same as the first example, the difference is you don’t want to disappoint the second.

This series is going to cover how, as a leader, you should start working on your relationships if you haven’t already.  We’re going to discuss the Enneagram types, how rewards don’t always work in the way we want them to and why this happens, and we’ll finish with a guest interview on mentorship – how to find one if you don’t have one and how to mentor someone else.

Frankly, I believe that to be a good leader you must first take a hard look in the mirror.  This is not an easy task – especially if you don’t like what you see.  According to a 2018 Forbes article, “It could be easily said that a great leader is someone who possesses a vision and the courage to follow through, who has integrity, honesty, humility and continues to be focused in the face of adversity.”  Those are some powerful words. Let’s start with integrity.

Having integrity means that you possess strong morals and an ethical conviction.  In other words, you always try to do the right thing even when no one is looking.  It also means that you recognize when you screw up and own your mistakes.  If your subordinates are calling you Dexter behind your back, this could mean one of two things.  Either they’ve figured out your dirty little secret/pastime or more likely, it means they think you are a sociopath.  This is not a good thing my friend.  I once worked with a woman who was the very definition of a sociopath with a good dose of narcissism mixed in.  She would lie, cheat, and steal to get what she wanted.  Driven by her lust for power is ultimately what did her in and in the end, she was fired from her position. Bosses with integrity have no need for power because they know they are good at what they do meaning they are natural leaders who know how to keep things organized and running smoothly.  They are also willing to show appreciation to their staff for a job well done.

As children, we heard the tales of Honest Abe and how he was known for always telling the truth.  Everyone who knew him said the same thing, they trusted his judgment and knew they would always get the truth even if it was something they didn’t want to hear.  Do your employees trust you?  Effective leaders are generally viewed as honest by their employees.  They keep everyone apprised of the goings-on within the organization regardless if it’s good or bad.  Leaders who are transparent and have an open-door policy are viewed much more favorably than those who conceal information.  Also, a trustworthy leader is a person who sees the best in people and believes that most people want to do the right thing.  They are approachable and supportive of everyone, not just the people they like.  We’ve all had teachers who played favorites.  When I was in high school there was this one teacher who I swear must have been the most unpopular person when they were in school because they always let the popular kids get away with everything.  In fact, this teacher actively participated in students stealing things because she would accept the items as treasures!  And, she was highly jealous of another teacher who was very well-liked by all the student body.  These traits do not make for good teachers or leaders.

And this brings me to humility.  Leaders who come from a place of humility use their success for the greater good, rather than for their own personal gain.  As a leader, how can you show humility?  First, you have to be willing to get your hands dirty.  Your team needs to know that you are willing to get down and dirty in the trenches with them.  Let me give you an example.  At a company I previously worked for, there was this one leader who could never be bothered to do any task she deemed menial.  She wouldn’t even load paper into the copier when she was in the middle of printing something.  And you bet your butt that if you suggested a new way of doing things that wasn’t her idea, it was never going to happen – even if it would make her life easier.  At this same company, you could always find the CEO doing any job that needed doing.  Pallets in the warehouse that needed unloaded? She was in there getting hot and sweaty working with the warehouse workers.  Toilet was overflowing in the restroom?  She went in with a plunger in hand.  The receptionist had to go home sick?  She was at the front answering phones.  Can you guess which one of these women everyone respected?  She removed her ego from the equation.  No task was beneath her.  She led by example and people loved her for it.  I know that we sometimes hear that being humble is a weakness.  But having humility is what helps us learn and opens us up to new opportunities for self-improvement.  You either want to grow and develop or you don’t and guess what?  The people you lead pick up on which one you choose.

One of the best bosses I’ve ever had embodied all these traits.  She was always willing to dig in and do the work, her door was always open, and she gave credit where credit was due.  She treated everyone the same and she tried to see the best in all her people.  She led by example and we loved her and would do anything she asked of us.  She is the kind of leader I aspire to be.  Are you that person for your people?

If you have a story you’d like to share about your favorite leaders, you can leave a comment below or you can email me at cj@adultingwithcj.com.

Next week I’m discussing the first four types of the Enneagram, which if you want to check out ahead of time, you can visit here: https://www.enneagraminstitute.com/type-descriptions.

See you next week!

Episode 16: Enneagram Types 1-4

There are all sorts of personality tests in the world but one of my personal favorites is the Enneagram.  The cool part about the Enneagram is that it teaches you all about your personality as well as how other people think and feel.  In my opinion, the Enneagram is one of the most comprehensive personality inventories out there. If you’ve never heard of the Enneagram, today I’m breaking it down for you.

In this episode, you’ll hear:

  • Enneagram Types 1-4
  • The basic fear and desire of each type
  • How to effectively communicate with each type

Resources mentioned:

Connect with Me:

Please leave a Rating and Review:

If you enjoyed this episode, I would really appreciate it if you would take a few minutes to do a review on Apple Podcasts.  Reviews on Apple Podcasts are one of the best ways to get the word out about podcasts.