What Were You Thinking?!

iStock_000006641228XSmallI often hear exasperated business owners, managers and co-workers ask:  what were they thinking?

I hear spouses, parents and friends ask the same question.

From time-to-time, other people’s behavior confounds us.  Why did she say that?  Why did he do that?

We seem particularly mystified when people don’t do things exactly the way we do them.

On some level, we know and understand that people are individuals who behave and think differently than we do.  But when it comes to the pragmatics of daily life and work we often forget.  We become frustrated, annoyed, dismayed, disappointed.

Enter the Enneagram.  As clients begin to learn about the Enneagram and its 9 different personality styles, they start to understand their employees’ and colleagues’ (and spouses’) “confusing” behavior.  When they realize people genuinely approach life from their type-specific perspective, behavior that made no sense, begins to make perfect sense.

With this knowledge, I see clients move from exasperation to understanding and compassion.  Once there, they can start to effectively problem-solve.  And those “what were they thinking?” moments become jumping off points for honest communication, improved performance and meaningful change.