Thursday, March 12, 2020

More Art & Writing

After more than 30 years as a leadership development and Enneagram coach, I'm focused now on my writing, art, and volunteer work (Bacopa Literary Review, Gainesville Fine Arts Association). But you'll find support in posts at my Evocative Enneagram Mentor blog.

Individuals on a personal journey will find suggestions in my Evocative Enneagram Self-Coaching Tips blog -- how to observe personal responses without judgment and interrupt them in creative ways that evoke transpersonal change.

My Evocative Enneagram Stories blog posts will help deepen your understanding of Enneagram applications.

Monday, February 25, 2019

About Mary Bast

In 1982, I completed an interdisciplinary PhD in social psychology, with dual emphasis on organization development and personal growth. Already Training Manager for Federated Department Stores' corporate organization, I was promoted to Director of Executive Development and co-created a benchmark program to coach high-potential executives in our retail companies across the U.S.

Bast Consulting, Inc. (1988-1998): In 1988 I started Bast Consulting, Inc., coaching executive clients for a decade of on-site leadership coaching and team development. Hundreds of my executive clients put failing careers back on track, attained desired positions, and developed more effective teams. (The variety of client industries included community mental health, financial services, health insurance, home improvement, software development, scientific research, toy manufacturing, transportation, utilities, and many others.)

Out of the Box Coaching (1998-2018): During the years of on-site executive coaching, it became clear that career success only scratched the surface of my clients' potential (organizational contracts typically focus more on measurable outcomes and less on personal growth). So I launched Out of the Box Coaching in 1998, most of the first year spent in research and writing about the dynamics of change, which informed my coaching practice. Having learned the Enneagram during my Bast Consulting years, the data I'd collected about diverse clients in a variety of industries became Out of the Box Coaching with the Enneagram, the first Enneagram coaching book--now in its 4th edition.

The Evocative Enneagram (2019+): While coaching clients worldwide by phone for twenty years, I continually learned and revised my work, resulting in a mindful approach that evokes transpersonal change--loosening ego bonds, personality patterns, and defenses, leading to heightened awareness, an awakened sense of purpose, and commitment to seek out the possible. Everyday applications of this perspective are available on my blogs (see sidebar).

I stepped back from full-time coaching in early 2019, expanding my interests in writing, artwork, and community involvement as board member of Writers Alliance of Gainesville (where I've been senior editor of Bacopa Literary Review since 2016) and Gainesville Fine Arts Association.

Sunday, January 17, 2016

Free Enneagram Articles

Descriptions of Key Patterns for Nine Personality Styles:


Instinctual Subtypes for Each of the Nine:


Applications to Work and Personal Life:

Saturday, January 16, 2016

Enneagram Style One Patterns

Description: Self-observing people with these patterns can be wise, tolerant, balanced, and focused on standards of excellence in ways that provide an exemplary vision for others. In business organizations, they're often the purveyors of quality. 

When less well-developed, they show their perfectionism, with an internal judging voice that chastises them (or others) for falling short of perfection (preaching). In a very healthy individual, that voice invokes higher attainment (teaching). 

Their driving force is anger, typically over-controlled until it erupts as resentment when someone has failed to live up to their expectations. They're prone to moral tirades, yet they also show a "running amok" side that allows them to escape their own high standards. 

Typical Comments "I know I'm right, why should I have to compromise?" "I'm my own worst critic." "My whole career, I've been brought in to fix things." "My message as a kid was always, 'You can do better.'"  

First-Order Change De-potentiating their critical voice, allowing themselves to be wrong, techniques for channeling anger more effectively, learning to respond to criticism non-defensively, and moving away from black-and-white thinking with positive reframing and creative problem-solving. 

Second-Order (Transpersonal) Change Developing nuance and options. Patience, the willingness to accept conditions that don't conform to one's ideal. 

Friday, January 15, 2016

Enneagram Style Two Patterns

Description: The most interpersonally oriented of all the personality styles, people with style Two can be unconditionally caring, deriving deep satisfaction from seeing and encouraging others' development. In organizations, they're typically great supporters of customer service. 

When less self-aware, they need to be in the middle of things, giving help and advice whether others want it or not. They have a sense of entitlement and can use manipulation to influence others. If they feel betrayed, they may even become vindictive ("After all I've done for you!"). 

Their driving force is pride, which is attached to their self-image as helper. When well-developed, they'll be aware of their own needs, providing balance in their lives and allowing them to give freely, without expectation of return.

Typical Comments: 
"I think it's important to always focus on what we need to be doing to serve others." "Was that helpful?" "Of all the people in the organization the President could have called, he called me."  "Both of my parents were alcoholics, and I took care of them from a very early age."

First-Order Change: Acknowledging their own needs, seeing how they contribute to their own workload and saying no, setting clear boundaries, asserting their interpersonal power more openly.

Second-Order (Transpersonal) Change: Loving, giving without strings. Humility, which is true compassion without expectation.

(Click here for style Two instinctual subtypes

Thursday, January 14, 2016

Enneagram Style Three Patterns

Description: People with this personality style are often expansive go-getters. In organizations, they ensure high productivity. Formidable models for others, they're typically efficient and supremely goal-oriented; consequently, they tend to rise to the top in organizations, or to run their own companies. 

When under-developed they personify image-making, tending to self-promote and showcase themselves at the expense of others. When they look outward for their reflection in the eyes of others, their inner life can be lacking. 

This driving force is vanity, which shows up as self-deception (e.g., convincing oneself a failure to involve or credit others was not important because of the results achieved).

Typical Comments "I like seeing success breed upon success." "I've always been successful." "I have a shelf full of empty trophies." "I got pats on the back for doing well in school, and my parents made it clear what would be approved of." 

First-Order Change Learning to collaborate instead of compete, clarifying their own values/developing internal criteria (vs. external validation), learning from failure, and accessing feelings. 

Second-Order (Transpersonal) Change Inner-directed, communal. Authenticity, speaking from the essential self and not through personality needs. 

Wednesday, January 13, 2016

Enneagram Style Four Patterns

Description: People with this personality style are vital to the health of any group because they're able to view things from a new slant and aren't bound by tradition. They can keep an organization from slowly dying out of untested and outdated assumptions. 

More in touch with their feelings than other styles, they're in danger of sinking into moodiness if they meet with resistance to their ideas. The same talent that allows them to "look outside the box" can leave them wondering why they never see things the way others do, and subsequently to question if they're flawed. Their conversations are ripe with sad stories. 

Their driving force is envy, which shows up in dissatisfaction, a perception that "the grass is always greener somewhere else." 

Typical Comments "People call me because they know I'll come at things from a totally different angle." "I buy into the 'vale of tears' theory of life." "I seem to feel things more deeply than others." "I always felt like an outsider as a child." 

First-Order Change Focusing more on strengths and resources and less on the tragedy of life, learning to develop the possibilities of their current jobs, shifting their moods through physical exercise or creative outlets, reframing self-criticism in more positive ways, and championing a program or process they believe in. 

Second-Order (Transpersonal) Change Effective in external world. Equanimity, the ability to live fully in the present moment.

Tuesday, January 12, 2016

Enneagram Style Five Patterns

Description: Because of their ability to take in the whole picture and integrate its components in creative ways, people with this personality style can be consummate strategists and visionaries. Often very bright, they're extremely capable of influencing others through their knowledge. 

Sometimes they sound as if they're giving a dissertation. Although they can be profound and passionate in debate, they tend to disdain the role of emotions in human interaction. They're the most independent of the nine styles and prefer to be surrounded by other highly capable people who need no direction or external reinforcement. 

Their driving force is hoarding, which shows up particularly as a detachment from emotions, a "stinginess" of feelings. 

Typical Comments "I have a really deep knowledge of this industry." "I hate having group meetings because they're generally a waste of time." "I have a good mind and I'm pretty perceptive." "I was a loner as a kid--I read a lot." 

First-Order Change Debating less and probing/listening more with the goal of mutually satisfying solutions, taking their role as coach more seriously, including giving attention to group process (meetings, teamwork), and affirming others' positive efforts. 

Second-Order (Transpersonal) Change Integrated action and thinking. Generosity, giving freely of oneself so energy flows outward. Some teachers refer to nonattachment, the ability to care without feeling confined, to seek knowledge without needing to hold onto it. 

Monday, January 11, 2016

Enneagram Style Six Patterns

Description: At their best, people with this personality style are highly family-oriented in their personal lives and team-oriented leaders in business who bring out the best in everyone. They're energetic and attend to interdependent needs, which shows up in their language as thoughts about the group. 

When less self-aware, their driving force of fear is manifested as accusation of others (particularly those in authority), looking for hidden agendas, and self-doubt. They may procrastinate and/or blurt out their feelings with a kind of reckless courage (driven by their anxieties), and then worry they've shot themselves in the foot ̶ and they may have. 

 The good news is that they challenge others in ways that hold them accountable; the bad news is that they're always looking for the bad news! 

Typical Comments "I've been loyal to this group for 25 years." " I don't think we have very competent senior management." "I wish we could work better as a team." "All my life, I've questioned my own ability." 

First-Order Change Getting a reality check on their fears, empowering themselves vs. blaming others, focusing more on possibilities vs. worries, and centering their verbal presentations on a central theme and several key points. 

Second-Order (Transpersonal) Change Trusting self and others, taking action. Courage, recognizing their own contribution to situations instead of playing victim. In more common terms, Sixes develop the courage of their own convictions. 

Sunday, January 10, 2016

Enneagram Style Seven Patterns

Description: Charming and easy to talk to, highly evolved people with this personality style are the cheerleaders of any group because of their natural optimism. They focus on long-term perspective and possibilities. Equality is important to them, so  in business they sometimes work around organizational constraints. 

When less self-aware they can seem egotistical because they love to tell anecdotes and may forget to invite others to talk. They're sometimes perceived as lacking analytical ability because of oversimplifying or skating over the surface. 

Their driving force is gluttony, a seeking of pleasure to avoid pain; consequently they can be over-focused on enthusiasm and uneasy activity (the bad news is that they only want to hear the good news). 

Typical Comments "I always see the bright side of things." "I've found that if you understand a few basic principles, you can run just about anything." "I'm always the one to figure out what we'll do for fun." 

First-Order Change Contingency planning for problems, eliciting and accepting feedback, using negative reframing to counter their optimism, and disciplining themselves to follow through on their own development (they may perceive it as hard work).

Second-Order (Transpersonal) Change Realistically enthusiastic, visionary. 

Saturday, January 9, 2016

Enneagram Style Eight Patterns

Description: Those with Enneagram style Eight who've paid attention to their own development are able to shoulder huge responsibility without having to control everything. Right beneath the surface they're soft-hearted. When this is tempered with their typical self-confidence, they can truly move mountains. 

Unfortunately, they may have a reputation as power mongers or tyrants because it's difficult for them to acknowledge any vulnerability. 

Their driving force is lust/excess. Often, they feel it's their responsibility to intervene in and direct situations, and they pursue power and control aggressively. They hold a value for justice -- as self-defined, and can have a bull-in-the-china-shop approach because of speaking in imperatives. 

Typical Comments "I've always been very responsible."  "I have a hard time asking for help -- I'll just charge ahead and do it myself." "I can't think of a time when I was afraid." "I had to grow up fast." 

First-Order Change Enhancing their ability to put themselves in others' shoes, collaborative negotiation and active listening skills, respecting and mentoring others. 

Second-Order (Transpersonal) Change Compassionate and just. Innocence, a shift to more altruistic and benign modes of operating, a focus on service to the world. 

(Click here for style Eight instinctual subtypes)

Friday, January 8, 2016

Enneagram Style Nine Patterns

Description: Serene and centered, well-developed people with this personality style bring cooperation to any relationship or group. They're highly capable of dealing with others' problems and building consensus, have a natural tendency to honor diversity, and can get along with almost anyone. 

When less self-aware, they tend to merge with others' preferences and forget their own. Taking a strong position is particularly difficult, because they see all sides of an issue and because they're essentially non-aggressive. 

Their driving force is indolence -- not laziness in the usual sense (they're very hard workers) but out of touch with their own wishes, self-forgetting. Though quiet, when they get started they may tell epic tales (holding so many alternative views it's hard to focus). 

Typical Comments "I'm pretty easy-going. My career just kind of fell together, and in a very nice way." "I have CRS disease -- Can't Remember Shit!" "I try to pick the right moment to speak up in a meeting." "I didn't cause much trouble for my parents." 

First-Order Change Learning to speak up/confront others, recognizing passive-aggressive behavior/becoming more assertive, setting priorities/sticking to them, initiating change. 

Second-Order (Transpersonal) Change Focused, initiating, inclusive. Active engagement, the willingness to stay focused on their own purpose -- without distraction. Consequently Nines learn to embrace the conflict that is a necessary part of human interaction. 

Thursday, January 7, 2016

Style One Instinctual Subtypes

Self-Preservation (Worry)
Worried about survival, afraid to take a risk, obsessed about details. Others have to earn this subtype's love and support. They engage in either/or thinking, show anger covertly ("I was so concerned, afraid you'd had a wreck"). According to Peter O'Hanrahan, the key word for this subtype is "anxiety," stemming quite literally from survival worries (self-preservation). Rules and structure are paramount, but attention can focus too much on "What's out of place?" "Off-time" is set aside in favor of working toward survival (can be overdone).
One-to-One/Sexual (Zeal)
In Spanish, zeal means the animal in heat. The most free of style One subtypes. More Eight-like. A passion for being righteous (vs. being right). Aggressive and possessive in personal relationshps, also may be jealous of others who succeed, which feels safer than I want or I need. Peter O'Hanrahan calls this subtype "the evangelist" because of their often passionate idealism. According to Helen Palmer, this is a possessive subtype. In work settings, this will show up as jealousy toward others who are promoted, who are more popular at work, or who are taken more seriously.
Social (Non-adaptability)
Anger acted out through correct causes and social ideals. Self-righteousness, narrow endorsement of own values. Entrenched in the tenets of the "right" ideological platform, with uncompromising opinions. Peter O'Hanrahan emphasizes the importance of rules and responsibilities for this subtype, which may see breaking or even bending the rules as a failure of moral character. They're somewhat more concerned about status than other style One subtypes.
*     *    *
These descriptions draw from workshops with Dr. Claudio Naranjo.

Wednesday, January 6, 2016

Style Two Instinctual Subtypes

 Self-Preservation (Privileged)
More openly dependent. Pride resides as a child in "being the favorite in Daddy's or Mommy's eyes." Too soft, too much needing protection. Exerts power indirectly. Helps ineffectively because gives in return for protecting own privilege, and anger results when there's no reward (wants "best ticket," etc.).
One-to-One/Sexual (Aggression/Seduction)
Every style Two is seductive in one way or another, but this subtype is the specialist, aggressive in pursuit, becomes "attractive" by taking on partner's interests. Can lead partner around by the nose, even an Eight partner. Dependent in the moment of bonding, but quick to detach if not loved in the way desired. More Eight-ish, wild, creative, original, adventuresome. Shows a seeming independence.
Social (Ambition)
The most pushy of style Two, like the Social Three but egocentric in a different way from style Three, with seduction through semblance of achievement, such as aligning own interests with those of a successful mentor. Wields influence indirectly; for example, by bringing people together who have common needs. Wants to impress. Not so warm as the other style Two subtypes.
*     *     *
These descriptions draw from workshops with Dr. Claudio Naranjo.

Tuesday, January 5, 2016

Style Three Instinctual Subtypes

 Self-Preservation (Security)
Obsessed with security/rejecting experience of insecurity, too sure of self, over-confident. More selfish, less pleasing than other style Three subtypes. Value as a person is associated with material worth. Terrified of being incapacitated and unable to work.
One-to-One/Sexual (Masculinity/Femininity)
Seeks to be attractive to the other, focuses on sex appeal, attractive image.Seeks identity through a role, emphasis on form and surface; e.g., how does a leader take charge of a meeting, what does the best lover say, what books will people be talking about? Wants to be the top producer, ideal mate, etc.
Social (Prestige)
Desires own values to be acknowledged, but pursue values not their own; seeking social credentials. Possibly unaware of saying what the group wants to hear, of projecting the persona others look for. Because money is tied to reputation, it's spent in order to be known as a rich, successful person; important to look the part.
*     *     *
These descriptions draw from workshops with Dr. Claudio Naranjo.

Monday, January 4, 2016

Style Four Instinctual Subtypes

 Self-Preservation (Dauntless)
More self-sacrificing, almost a suicidal edge (life on the edge brings meaning to an otherwise mundane life). More self-contained than other Fours; denial of envy and fear of dependency lead to counter-dependency, autonomy. Instead of demanding from the outside world, they demand from themselves. They don't play the victim; more a noble martyr. Can wreck what they get in order to stay on the edge.
One-to-One/Sexual (Competition)
Competitive anger ("I want that, too!"). An invigorating energy that cuts through depression. Envy in the sense of denying their inferiority ("It's unfair that I don't have it!"). Competes for approval (particularly from special people), engages in rivalry with people who get recognition they want. An arrogant position, wanting something so much they push until rejected. Very intensely desiring.
Social (Shame)
The shyest of style Four subtypes, they develop mechanisms to call negative attention to themselves. Feelings of shame arise from feeling unworthy. A passion for being "in," wanting to be included, to receive favors, but feeling "I'm nothing," "I'm ugly," "I'm silly." A sense of not meeting the standards others are capable of meeting. Shame disguised by image of being above the common throng.
*     *     *
These descriptions draw from workshops with Dr. Claudio Naranjo.

Sunday, January 3, 2016

Style Five Instinctual Subtypes

 Self-Preservation (Castle)
The most avoidant of style Five subtypes. Shy, socially awkward, creates private space because of inability to confront, doesn't want to show non-social side; economy equals independence. Feelings of scarcity underlie pride in doing with very little. Abstinence frees one from personal entanglements required by getting more.
One-to-One/Sexual (Confidentiality)
Looks for the ultimate in a "confidant" with whom to share an understanding. A little more assertive and with more feeling than other subtypes of style Five. A lust for intense, brief, meaningful encounters. More likely to compartmentalize by keeping emotional connections separate from each other (element of secrecy adds a charge--the private advisor, the personal moment, the secret love affair).
Social (Totem)
Totems are symbols that encode messages about tribal knowledge; in this subtype means a passionate search for information that symbolizes power--ideas and people that influence the culture, explain human behavior, shape the history of ideas. Searching for the absolute. Intellectual mastery is very appealing.
*     *     *
These descriptions draw from workshops with Dr. Claudio Naranjo.

Saturday, January 2, 2016

Style Six Instinctual Subtypes

 Self-Preservation (Warmth)
Devoted to friendship. Soft, friendly, like an animal showing its underbelly ("See how nice I am?"). To show they're harmless, they have to bottle up a lot of anger, seek someone who can protect them. An ongoing quest for reassurance. Fear disappears in the company of friends, and a change in affection is very threatening. Without a reality check, they fall prey to their fears, not realizing they're scaring themselves.
One-to-One/Sexual (Strength and Beauty)
Often counterphobic. A drive to make action unfold, as if fear were not there. A push forward as if saying, "You are not going to hold me back!" Very powerful men and women, but a show of power that covers inner doubt. Intimidating like a bulldog, but shy and sensitive underneath and not very fulfilled in relationships (when afraid of people, caring can make them feel helpless).
Social (Duty)
This subtype is about being protected, being in a warm environment, needing rules and becoming too dependent on rules. They contain fear through mutual obligation and commitment (self-doubt is lessened by the power of collective authority, based on a system). Capable of enormous self-sacrifice; protectors of the underdog. Sometimes they pretend to be much more dutiful than they are.
*     *     *
These descriptions draw from workshops with Dr. Claudio Naranjo.

Friday, January 1, 2016

Style Seven Instinctual Subtypes

 Self-Preservation (Family)
Earthy, sensuous, epicurean--focused on tastes, colors, tactile stimulation, a bit cynical like style Eight, not so gullible as other Seven subtypes. Very tender, Family is important; doesn't need to be "blood" family; counting on one another is important.Pain is not felt directly, turns lemons into lemonade. Good at business, opportunistic, a bit more selfish than other Seven subtypes.
One-to-One/Sexual (Suggestibi8lity)
More extraterrestrial; actually not very sexual--more poetic, more the dreamer, the "charmed charmer." Prestidigitator, more narcissistic; like being in love--enthusiastic, even manic. Not so much into pleasures of this world, more extraterrestrial.
Social (Service)
More ambitious than other Seven subtypes, Six-ish, In search of recognition is helpful, forgiving, and willing to accept limitations of love (sweetness in exchange for service). Creates an imaginary "perfectionism." Good person, even a do-gooder, echoes the Two a bit in "seducing" the world. Sense of sensationalism. Monkey mind.
*     *     *
These descriptions draw from workshops with Dr. Claudio Naranjo.

Thursday, December 31, 2015

Style Eight Instinctual Subtypes

 Self-Preservation (Satisfaction)
They do what they need to do to get what they want. Great desire for privacy, more Five-like, less feeling than other Eight subtypes. Survivalists who secure a personal bunker against invasion, more contained, less visible as as Eight. The fear of deprivation fosters preoccupation with comfort, knowing where things are.
One-to-One/Sexual (Possession/Obsession)
Acts out passion of lust by possessive attitude toward intimates and friends. More emotional, dramatic. The will to take hold of the other to do what the Eight wants, a passion for possession and surrender. Full involvement, wants to know everything, often takes charge of another's life. Lusty in love and commanding in business. Relentless competitors, more angry, more likely to humiliate; can be tyrannical, even sadistic.
Social (Complicity)
Friendship without judgment, harder to recognize as Eight because very friendly and not apparently angry. Lets out feelings within a close circle. Accompliceship or survival through alliance. Good times are magnified by good friends who can hold their own and assert themselves honorably. Seductiveness makes it possible to be an Eight in the world--they can go full out because they've tested the other's limits.
*     *     *
These descriptions draw from workshops with Dr. Claudio Naranjo.

Wednesday, December 30, 2015

Style Nine Instinctual Subtypes

 Self-Preservation (Appetite)
The "heavy" Nine subtype. Merges with things. Serves sloth through appetite, but "eating" of a different order. When yearning for affection can fuse with own body; doing without is somaticized. Very concrete, interested in concrete things (e.g., a piece of land). "I eat (or I shop or I collect), therefore I am." More aggressive than other Nine subtypes (steam-roller), but isn't aware of it. Can be invasive, talkative ("epic tale"), can smother out of need to give.
One-to-One/Sexual (Union)
The "weak" Nine subtype. Merges with one person in a kind of symbiosis--awareness of self, sense of being through the other, but can be unconscious of the fusion. The most tender but with tendency to be steam-rolled (confusion of togetherness vs. coming together out of individuation); real contact would be awareness of differences.
Social (Participation)
The gregarious Nine. Merges with group (family, team, organization, nation, humankind). Not in contact with own being; derives sense of being through feeling the values of the group ("As an individual I'm nothing, but as part of a group I'm powerful"). Tends to be undeveloped, provincial, with a narrow view. A little movement seems like a lot.
*     *     *
These descriptions draw from workshops with Dr. Claudio Naranjo.