What’s on the back of your t-shirt?

Do you know you have more potential but aren’t sure how to unlock it? Is it the same in your team, business, and maybe even your relationships?  Does it feel like you’re just slogging away but still aren’t achieving the results or having the impact that you want?

Chances are you don’t know what’s on the back of your t-shirt.

Yip, you heard me. Your t-shirt. I recently read an article by Robert Glazer and fell in love with Mike Zani’s referenced analogy, from his book ‘The Science of Dream Teams’, about the front and back of your t-shirt.  It goes something like this. We all wear our strengths – our greatest gifts, those parts of ourselves that we like and that are easy for others to see – on the front of our t-shirt.  We also, however, have writing on the back of our t-shirt. These are the things we don’t see about ourselves, but everyone else does. These are our blindspots.

If we want to level-up in our personal and professional lives, then we have to get to know what is on the back of our t-shirts! If you’re wondering how to do this and, of course for all the entrepreneurs and impatient people among us, how fast – then look no further.

Cue, the Enneagram. The Enneagram is a unique and in-depth tool which, when used in conjunction with an accredited practitioner or coach, delivers healthy doses of truth serum. The process always starts with individuals but has powerful applications in both team and organisational environments.

The Enneagram personality profiling process offers a framework to understand our ‘whole’ self, warts and all. I liken it to ripping off a band-aid. It might sting a little once you discover your ‘type’, but with some fresh air and time you can start to heal. The Enneagram will help you to realise that, while you have predominantly been using one tool for life, you actually have 9 tools in your toolkit; the 9 Enneagram types.

When you look at your life, relationships, business and challenges from only one perspective, you are most certainly missing a trick. If I only ever use the hammer from my toolkit, then sometimes I will ‘hit the nail on the proverbial head’ but other times I’m just going to break stuff; set the project or team back; or worse still, do serious damage to my relationships or business. In short, not every problem is a nail and not every solution is a hammer.

Things we don’t see about ourselves

Sometimes, you need to use the other tools in your toolkit to get better results. When you coach and facilitate individuals or teams, the Enneagram helps you explore, discover and practice using all 9 tools in your toolkit. When you learn to leverage your gifts and recognise them in others, you’ll solve problems faster, more creatively and with less conflict.

Once you find out which Enneagram type you are, you will be able to break down the invisible walls you built up for yourself to stay safe and have your needs met. The Enneagram will help you identify patterns of behaviour and assist you in understanding why they exist. It’s about knowing the subtle interplay between motivation and behaviour, and the difference between them. It’s a game changer and one that helps people create lasting change.

Think of the 9 Enneagram types as different pairs of glasses; each type has their own view of the world, strengths, triggers, defences, and blindspots. Of course, each pair is equally as good as the other and self-aware people, teams and businesses will be able to wear different glasses in different situations.

Why is that important? A 2018 article by Tasha Eurich in Harvard Business Review shows “…that when we see ourselves clearly, we are more confident and more creative. We make sounder decisions, build stronger relationships, and communicate more effectively. We are better workers who get more promotions. And we’re more-effective leaders with more-satisfied employees and more-profitable companies.”

Greater self-awareness is directly linked to greater happiness, fulfilment and success (as you define it). In an increasingly competitive global marketplace, it is more important than ever to know what’s on the front and back of your t-shirt.

If you, your team or your business is looking to reach its full potential faster, then let’s start a conversation. Our Enneagram programs can be tailored to meet your specific needs and challenges for fast, effective and sustainable results. Stop pussyfooting around and let us fast track your progress by helping you, your team or your business see what’s on both sides of your t-shirt.

Rebecca Stürmer
Truth Serum Coach. Facilitator. Speaker