05 Jan Kai’s Story – True Tales of The Enneagram 8
Kai was fiercely protective of his team and well respected within his role as Senior Manager. He was the person that the other managers turned to when they experienced problems because he was able to problem solve efficiently and effectively. Kai was a natural leader. He was also unafraid of voicing his concerns to the directors and of presenting a case where necessary.
His working life began to change when a new director was brought into the company. The director made many quick decisions changing work processes and job profiles without sufficient research – in Kai’s mind. Initially Kai was prepared to sit back and to observe the changes to ensure his perception of the situation was correct but as time went on, Kai began to lose highly skilled members of his own team who were unsettled by the number of changes. Kai determined to voice his concerns – which he did.
Although he had always been held highly respected by the directors, this time, they seemed unprepared to listen. Kai felt as if he’d been alienated from within his role. The situation grew worse but ,although he usually enjoyed a battle, Kai realised that his way – one of integrity and honesty was not going to win this war. Kai suddenly felt betrayed by the company that he had worked for so many years and these thoughts led to feelings of self-doubt and hopelessness. In many ways Kai felt almost childlike as if his power had been disconnected. He felt vulnerable. Not used to feeling this way, Kai began to shut off his emotions so as to protect himself, certain that his own job was on the line.
Unhappy with the way he was feeling, Kai sought out executive coaching where he was able to consider his options and possible training opportunities. He also wanted to develop ways of communicating at a higher level, thinking that his usual direct manner did not work as well.
The Enneagram training helped to identify his strengths and weaknesses but more, he was able to recognise his own patterns of behaviour and to see that he had reverted to type 5. The Enneagram sessions helped him to understand the mix of personality types at play within the organisation. Kai could also see the influences of the directors and their personality types. This made the situation much easier to read and enabled him to take a different approach with his communications.
Kai was still uncertain as to what would happen in his role but felt much more confident having faced his fears and knew that in this instance, he was right to stand his ground and get his viewpoint across regardless. He knew there were other options available to him externally should he feel the need to seek employment elsewhere but was not prepared to leave his role without being heard as instinctualy he knew his way was the best way forward. After much disharmony within the organisation, the new director left. Kai was brought back into the circle of confidence again where he was told that the director had been acting as a consultant to revamp the processes and to ascertain areas that were necessary for development or for wastage. Kai was able to explain confidently that their lack of communication had only bred fear and hostility among the employees, losing the loyalty of many and that clear communication going forward was vital.
Much to his surprise, Kai was offered a promotion as Head of Communications where the existing directors had been impressed by his ability to speak his mind, to assess the situation correctly and to do the right thing regardless of the outcome.
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