by:  Aimee Reese

I get asked a lot about how I have managed to develop a strong working relationship with those that I support.  I am not one to talk about myself or my achievements; I am a private person but think it is important for those that are venturing into the assistant role to understand that you have to “Understand You” first and foremost.

About 8-9 years ago I was introduced to someone we refer to as “the most positive man on the planet”, he introduced me to what is called The Enneagram.

What is it you ask?  It is personality typing that describes the central motivational differences between individuals.

Why was this useful?

  1. It helped me understand myself, and gave me direction for growth and development.

  2. It helped me understand how other people operate.

  3. It enabled me to be a more effective communicator and to connect better with my colleagues, friends, and family.

  4. It helped me understand how I would react in times of stress.

Just a brief overview of the Enneagram:

  1. There are nine basic personality types.

  2. There are three centers:

    1. Gut (Instinct, Survival)

    2. Heart (Emotion, people)

    3. Head (Intellect, mental activity)

  3. Wings on each side.

  4. Arrows of 70 against/30 for

  5. Healthy/unhealthy in type

The nine personality types:

  1. ONE – The Perfectionist

  2. Two – The Helper, The Giver

  3. Three – The Achiever, The Performer

  4. Four – The Creative Artist, The Romantic

  5. Five – The Observer, The Intellectual

  6. Six – The Questioner, The Loyal Skeptic

  7. Seven – The Optimist, The Visionary

  8. Eight – The Leader, The Challenger, The Boss

  9. Nine – The Mediator, The Peacemaker

For me to find out what my main personality type was along with my wing on the left and right I had to take a pretty easy test.  The thing is that you can’t over think or put much thought you just need to answer as this is about understanding you.  There is no right or wrong answer.

After taking my little test, I found out that I am a TWO with a FOUR, and EIGHT as my arrows, and ONE, and NINE as my wings.  This made total sense once I got to dive into the meaning behind each.  It was pretty amazing as the majority of the assistants that I work with are TWO’s.

So what does being a TWO mean?  Well here is what the Enneagram says a TWO is:

  1. Supports & pleases others – can manage other’s lives – needs to be needed

  2. Blind spot – often neglects own needs

  3. Sense of having many different selves to meet needs of others – “which one is me?!”

  4. Helps the “needy” and the “powerful”…the power behind the throne

  5. At best giving is altruistic and generous – can be geared to getting something in return

  6. Wanting freedom – can feel confined because constantly supporting others

So there is a brief overview of what a TWO is.  Now there is another step to this which is what he referred to as being on the Green Platform or the Red Platform.  As a TWO when we are on the Green Platform we are at our influential best and we are:

  1. Loving & caring

  2. Adaptable

  3. Insightful

  4. Generous

  5. Enthusiastic

  6. Friendly

  7. Open hearted-brings out best in others

Now when we are at our worst which is the Red Platform we are:

  1. Seductive flatterers

  2. Behind scenes manipulators

  3. Martyr-like

  4. Indirect

  5. Possessive

  6. Overly accommodating

  7. Change to please others

Yes, these are pretty direct but by seeing that staying on the Green Platform and being at our best, we can accomplish and achieve so much more than if we are on the Red Platform.

Now the final overview for a TWO is really how another person can interact with a TWO and get the TWO’s best self:

  1. Personal contact is very important – more powerful than email

  2. Body language and tone of voice is very important – use a nod, smile and friendly tone

  3. Say how appreciative you will be – particularly in front of others

  4. Say that you really need their help – they like to feel indispensable

  5. Relationships are important to TWO’s – show how action will impact positively on others.

See, I had to understand myself first before I could be at my best self.  Once at my best self, it is much easier to accomplish what I need to and makes it easier to deal with others.  I have always chosen to be on the Green Platform as that is when I am most productive and at my best self.

There is more to each personality type such as Leadership style, Relationships, Self-Nurturing.  I will go into those in my next posts so check back for more details about a TWO and more.

Aimee Reese is passionate about bringing awareness to others about Fibromyalgia.  Aimee has been living with Fibromyalgia for years but officially diagnosed five years ago. Aimee is the founder of The Green Platform Assistant where she believes “In order for you to grow you have to start with knowing who you are.”  Aimee believes by staying positive and on the Green Platform it helps get through the most difficult times when living with an invisible illness.  Aimee lives in Kentucky with her husband Eric and two children.

Contact Aimee: aimee@thegreenplatformassistant.com