Ginger Lapid-Bogda’s The Enneagram in Business portal contains an “Ask the Coach” feature, where a coach of each Type answers the same question about coaching, to give a flavor of the different possible perspectives. Ginger asked me to be the Type 9 – or Peacemaker – representative on this panel. Here’s my answer to the twelfth question in the series.
Question 12: As a coach of the same style as your client, what challenges or opportunities arise and how do you deal with these effectively? Do you think it is a benefit or a problem when coaches and clients are the same Enneagram style?
My answer: One challenge that arises is that I need to make sure that the client doesn’t lose me in one of their distractions. It’s my job to make sure that they either stay on their path in the coaching conversation, or alert them that they are drifting from what they wanted to talk about and let them make the call about where the conversation goes.
One opportunity is that I can bring the acceptance of true understanding for their turmoil and confusion. I know it myself. When they want to use the Enneagram as part of the coaching process, I can let them know that we share the same Style. When the Enneagram is not explicitly part of the process, I can let them know, through a couple of brief examples that I do understand.
I find that being of the same Enneagram style can be a benefit. If it were a consulting relationship, then it could be more problematic – since we share the same natural perspective of the issues and run the risk of “group think”.
If you’d like to see the other eight answers to this question, head over to the Enneagram Learning Portal. If you’d like to share your answer to the question, or discuss my answer, please leave a comment or trackback.