As I was preparing, and doing the research and creating the outline for this episode, my thoughts continually drifted back to my grandmother, my mother's mother. And I remember it was 1994. I was 15 years old, so yes, you can do the math. I was born in 1979, I will be celebrating my 43rd birthday this year. And when I was 15, I was an inquisitive, insightful, angsty teenager, as I'm sure you can imagine. And I was very interested in understanding my place in the world. And I remember having a conversation with my grandmother, and it wasn't directly about that. But she started talking to me about personality assessments. And specifically, she was very interested in the Enneagram and in Myers Briggs, and those are two of the assessments that I'm going to talk about in today's episode. But when I was 15 years old, and I was feeling alone and isolated and like no one on earth could possibly understand me and what I was experiencing, being introduced to both Myers Briggs and the Enneagram felt like a lifeline. I was able to use these tools not only to understand myself better, to understand my own tendencies and preferences and how I viewed the world. But for the first time, I really felt seen and validated. When I took both the Myers Briggs and the Enneagram assessments, and I learned more about my type and my personality. All of a sudden, I felt less alone. I didn't feel like I was an outcast. I didn't feel weird. Everything made sense. And I felt like I was connected to other people who maybe felt and thought and experienced things the way I did. And it helped me make sense of why other people didn't view the world the way I did too, because they probably had different perspectives, different personalities, different preferences. And so these assessments really helped me get my bearings and discover, really how people work and how to both create a relationship with yourself and with other people in your life that respects your personality and your preferences without assuming that it's the only way to exist in the world.
So at the tender age of 15, when I was exposed to this, it was like a whole new world opened up to me. And I could not get enough of personality psychology. And to the point where in high school, I took a psychology class, it was not an AP level class. But I went ahead and took the AP exam for psychology because I was so fascinated by it. And I wanted to do the additional study. I think I wrote a term paper for my class all about the Enneagram. And I just felt like this is what I want to focus on in my life, this is what I want to do. So I really credit my grandmother, and her introducing me to this whole personality typology system out there as being a gateway into the study of human behavior of psychology. And it really influenced my path. I know that it was one of the reasons why I became a social worker, and then a therapist, and now a coach. So in many ways, I owe so much to my grandmother, and I probably should dedicate this episode to her. So thank you, Mary Lou, I couldn't have done this without you. And that influence continues to shape my work today. So even though I find personality assessments, and these typology practices to be fascinating and helpful, there are a few considerations we need to discuss before we go all in.
Number one, we need to be really clear about how and why we are using these assessments, whether for our own personal development, or as a professional coaching tool. My perspective is that these tools can help us deepen our understanding of ourselves, and of other people, and can support us as we seek to build relationships and connections. And there can be a fine line that often gets crossed between using it to inform our understanding, versus dictating what we believe about others. And I have seen this happen far too often, where people will use the results of a personality assessment or tool and then pigeonhole people or try to predict their behavior because, well, “Your personality test says you're this or you're that and therefore you are going to do this,” or “Yeah, everyone like you does this kind of behavior.” That is not helpful. And I believe that is a distortion of how these tools are intended to be used. What we are called to do is to find that balance between seeing ourselves reflected in these assessment results, and possibly seeing qualities of other people reflected in theirs, while at the same time honoring each of our own unique constellation of traits, strengths, qualities and values. I do not believe that these assessments are meant to be predictive. I also don't believe that they are complete. They are one tool of many that we can use to deepen our intrapersonal and our interpersonal relationships.
But to assume that one tool or one test can tell us everything we need to know about a person, including ourselves, is a gross misuse of these tools. So when we talk about these tools today, let's do so with the understanding that these are data points that can inform our understanding. But they're not meant to be prescriptive. And I think that would also be my argument to those who question the validity and the reliability of these types of assessments. And certainly that is an important conversation to have. Whether we are talking about Myers Briggs, or Enneagram, or any of the other assessments out there, or the ones that I'm going to talk about today, there is legitimate critique of their reliability, and whether or not they have empirical evidence to back them up. Now, there are a variety of different studies out there, some will discredit, some will prove, to that I would say, “Tools are as helpful as we allow them to be.” And there are certainly tools out there that maybe don't have the rigorous empirical backing. But that doesn't mean that they're not helpful. And in fact, a lot of these assessments are grounded in archetypes in old stories that have always been a part of our culture. And sometimes when we are looking at these more qualitative aspects, it can be difficult to quantify them and to prove whether something works or it doesn't. So I don't mean to discredit anyone who suggests that the Myers Briggs is not empirically based or that the Enneagram isn't. I think that is a valid critique. And that is why I am adamant that we not use these tools to predict or prescribe behavior, and that we don't use them to pigeonhole people. Let's use them as tools to deepen our understanding of ourselves and others, while understanding that there are limitations to these tools as well. So it's with that perspective, that I want to enter into this conversation with you and to share the assessments that I have found personally and professionally helpful in my own journey. And again, this journey started from birth. But really, when I think about that seminal moment, it was at age 15, when I was introduced to the Myers Briggs and the Enneagram. So those are the two assessments that I want to start with today.
Let's begin with Myers Briggs. Because I think that one is very well known in popular culture. And many of you probably are familiar with it, maybe you've already taken the test and you know what your Myers Briggs Type is. But, just in case you're not, I do want to provide a little bit of history and context to Myers Briggs. The Myers Briggs Personality assessment really has its roots in Jungian Personality Theory. You may have heard of Carl Jung. He's certainly one of the fathers of modern psychology. And his work certainly influences what we now know as Myers Briggs. He was looking at the differences between extraversion and introversion. And for him that's really looking at “Do you focus on the outside world,” that's the extraversion piece, versus “Placing your focus on the inside world” or introversion. He was also looking at our own cognitive functions and the different ways that people would interpret and use information. All of that influenced the Myers Briggs typology. And in the 1920s, a woman named Katherine Cook Briggs partnered with her daughter Isabel Briggs Myers to create the Myers Briggs typology. Now, there are many other models out there that are anchored in this Myers Briggs format. There's the Keirsey Bates Temperament Sorter, which was actually my first exposure to Myers Briggs. I remember taking the Keirsey Bates Temperament Sorter, again when I was 15 my grandmother, I think, gave me a copy of Please Understand Me by the authors Keirsey and Bates. And that was when I first discovered Myers Briggs and what my type was. Since then, there have been other models that have come out, including the NERIS Model, N-E-R-I-S, which is used at 16personalities.com. And I will say 16 Personalities is a wonderful resource if you're interested in Myers Briggs, and you can go there and take their assessment for free and learn more about your Myers Briggs type. So you'll definitely want to check that out.
But because there are several models out there, if what I described today sounds a little bit different than what you're already familiar with. That may be why, and again, that's the beauty of this, there's room for multiple interpretations of this work.
So I want to talk about the four main pillars of the Myers Briggs typology indicator, and the first one is what I referenced before extraversion versus introversion. Now, this one often gets confused, people tend to assume that extroverts are always outgoing and introverts are always shy. And I think that is a reductive and incorrect reading of what it means to be an extrovert or an introvert. I would say that introverts tend to gain energy from more solitary activities, or maybe more one on one or very few people in a setting. Introverts tend to find social interaction to be more depleting, especially when there's more people involved, say larger groups. And introverts may be more sensitive to external stimuli. So noise, sounds, bright lights, etc. Whereas on the opposite end of the spectrum, extroverts tend to gain energy from social interaction. They might leave a party or a large crowd feeling invigorated, and having too much alone time can actually be depleting. And I've heard from so many extroverts that the pandemic has been particularly challenging for them, because they've had to be in isolation, they've had to quarantine. And so hopefully, you notice that I used the word spectrum. And I think that's really important to consider, certainly for all personality type ologies, but especially when it comes to extraversion and introversion, because I've yet to meet a person who is 100% extroverted or 100% introverted. I believe that all of us fall somewhere on this spectrum and we may have tendencies towards one type. And then some of us, including myself, probably fall somewhere in the middle. And you may have also heard the word ambivert, which describes someone who maybe has traits of both, and we fall in the middle. That's how I view myself. It's interesting when I took the Keirsey Bates Temperament Sorter when I was 15, I was very strongly extroverted, I was definitely an E. Now, as an adult, what I find is that every time I take a Myers Briggs assessment, whether it's 16 Personalities or elsewhere, I fall solidly in the middle, to the point where I literally have a 51-49% E to I or I to E difference. Now, because I scored so strongly as a teenager, on the extrovert side, I suspect that's probably my core preference. And that growth, maturity, social and environmental factors may influence the fact that I've kind of moved more towards the introvert side of the spectrum. All of this is just great data to know about myself, and to understand how I've evolved as a person. So if you feel that too, it doesn't mean that you're doing something wrong, it just means we're human. And we grow and we evolve, and we change because that's what humans do. So that's a little bit of a summary about extraversion versus introversion, which is the first pillar of your Myers Briggs type.
The second pillar is what Myers Briggs views as sensation versus intuition. Or I've also seen sensation referred to as observation. But in your Myers Briggs type, this is where you are either an S or an N. So the S is that sensation or observation piece. People who have the S style tend to be very detail oriented, they're practical, and they tend to place their focus on the present. And maybe the past, as it influences the present day. My husband is an S, and he is so detail oriented, he's meticulous, and he notices things that I completely gloss over. Which, it won't surprise you then to hear that on Myers Briggs, I score more as an N. N’s tend to be imaginative, curious, and they see the forest versus the trees, N’s use a lot of metaphors, and they tend to be more future oriented. So I would describe myself as someone who sees the big picture. And I would describe my husband as someone who sees the fine details. And so when you put the two of us together, we're actually a great pair, because we complement each other. And yes, of course, that means sometimes we don't always see eye to eye. But now that I have this understanding of how my personality differs from his, it puts it into context. And it makes so much more sense.
So the third pillar in your Myers Briggs type will be T or F. And that stands for thinking versus feeling. Thinkers, as you might expect, tend to be rational, objective, logical, efficient, and they're very focused on facts. Facts tend to lead the way when it comes to decision making versus people who are more the feeler side, they tend to be more emotionally expressive, empathetic, very focused on harmony, and I would say their decision making tendency comes more from the emotions or maybe the vibes of how they're feeling. And again, with all of these, let's remember that we're looking at this like a spectrum, very few people are going to be strictly thinking or strictly feeling. And many of us are able to, let's say, code switch. So if you are someone who leads with the feeling side, as I do, if I'm in a situation that calls for some logical decision making, I can call on that part of myself that knows how to think rationally and objectively. It's not that I'm always leading with my feelings, but I will admit that my default tendency is to do so. And when I'm in a situation that requires me to bring a more rational, objective perspective to it, I have to consciously work at that, because again, my immediate impulse is to lead with my emotions.
So the final pillar of Myers Briggs is P versus J. And I've always seen that as described as perceiving versus judging, though, I've also seen the P reference prospecting. But really, what this is inviting us to consider is how we like to make decisions and how we engage in the world. So people who have that P, in their profile, tend to be more spontaneous, flexible, they're great at improvisation, and they really like to keep their options open. Whereas people with the J in their profile tend to be more decisive, perhaps more organized, they’re into structure, and they really like having closure. So there's a question that I find really gets at the heart of this tendency to see whether you tend more towards P or J. And that is, “Do you tend to feel better before you make a decision or after?” People who feel better before a decision, get comfort from the fact that they still have lots of options open to them, and that there are still so many possibilities out there for them to choose from. Whereas people with the J tend to feel better after they make a decision, because they have that closure, and they know where they're headed. And again, there's no right or wrong here. And this does fall on a spectrum. But I find knowing this piece helps me understand people's motivation, and why someone may view the world differently than I do. And really, that is the point of Myers Briggs and every personality assessment.
So Myers Briggs, you've got your four pillars, you've got E or I, N or S, Tor F and P or J. And so with all of those qualities, there are 16 different personality types that you can come up with. So in my case, I would say that I am an ENFJ. And as we talked about, I'm really more of an ambivert. So sometimes I call myself an XNFJ, because I'm a little bit of both there and I fall squarely in the middle. But knowing your type allows you to understand how all of these qualities work with each other. And again, 16personalities.com is a wonderful resource to check out to learn more about your type. They also go into great detail about the four temperaments, which is another way that we categorize some of these personality types. And over at 16personalities.com, they also have a fifth element that they describe as assertive versus turbulent. So people who tend to be more on the assertive side are very self assured and resilient. People on the turbulent side tend to be more stress sensitive, and maybe more success driven. Now, maybe it's just because I didn't grow up learning about this particular pillar, but I do have some mixed feelings about this one. And I would say that while maybe the other four pillars tend to be a little more stable over time, I can see this one really changing based on social and environmental conditions. So personally, I have mixed feelings about the A and T aspect of this, but I encourage you to do your own research, go to 16 personalities.com, learn more about that piece and decide for yourself.
So that was a very quick gloss over of Myers Briggs. And believe me, there is so much more to this particular approach than I can share with you in a single podcast episode, especially when there are other assessments to talk about. So if you are captivated by this, I really encourage you to dive even deeper. And if you don't know your type, head over to 16personalities.com, and you can take that assessment for free.
Now I want to talk a little bit about the Enneagram. And I have to tell you, of all of the assessments out there, this one might be my very favorite. The Enneagram consists of nine interconnected personality types. And these personality types, each one has a number. So they're one through nine. And I want to be clear from the start that these numbers have no value or rank. So it's not that being a five is better than being a three, or that being a one is better than being an eight. There's no comparison, it's simply how the types are labeled. So everyone has one primary personality type. So one of those nine numbers, and everyone has a wing. And a wing will be one of the adjacent personalities. So for example, if you are a type three, your wing will either be a two or a four, your wing has to be one of the types that are adjacent to yours. When you're looking at the depiction of the Enneagram. And the Enneagram looks like a nine sided star, almost. I encourage you to do a Google search for Enneagram, look at the images and you'll see what I'm talking about.
So everyone has a primary type, everyone has a wing. And everyone is influenced by other types as well depending on where we're at in our own psychological health. So when we're operating at our best, when we're at our highest selves, we assume the positive traits of a personality type that we integrate towards, that we move towards. And when we are not in a healthy place, we adopt the traits, the more negative traits, if you will, of the type that we disintegrate towards. So this means that we're influenced not just by our primary personality type, but we're also influenced by our wing, by our path of integration and our path of disintegration. So there are four to five types that we can be influenced by in any given time. Now one of the things about the Enneagram is that it's highly visual. And I can sit here and talk about the paths of integration and disintegration and how the type one integrates towards the seven and disintegrates towards the four. But if you can, I do strongly suggest taking a look at the visual image of the Enneagram. So that you can see the paths of integration and disintegration. And for our listeners who may be visually impaired, I will make sure that in the show notes we link, not just to a visual image, but also a really sound written description of those paths as well.
So I want to take a few minutes to very briefly walk through the nine different types. And again, in the interest of time, these are going to be very brief descriptions. And I encourage you to do a deeper dive into this, if you're intrigued by it. And I'll share some of my favorite resources with you in a bit.
So the Type One is traditionally called the reformer, or even the perfectionist, and this person is deeply motivated by goodness and balance. They are always seeking the ideal and they want to be that ideal, they want to be what's right. And so what they fear is that they are somehow not right, that they are not ideal, there's a deep fear of being bad or wrong or somehow being corrupted.
Type Two is traditionally known as the helper or the giver. People who are twos tend to strongly desire love, and they seek that love by being of service to others. So they will frequently put the needs of others before their own. And so their deep fear is of being unloved, and ultimately of being alone.
Type Three is often described as the achiever or the performer. This is someone who desires more than anything else to be worthy, and to be visible to be known as being the expert. And underneath that sense of wanting to be worthy is the fear that they are not inherently valuable, that they do not hold a sense of worth. And so their activities often seek to prove that sense of worth.
Type Four is known as the individualist, or I've also seen it described as the romantic. This person is motivated by a desire to be unique, to be uniquely themselves, and to be seen and loved and validated for their uniqueness. So it makes sense then, that their deepest fear might be of being ordinary, of not being special, because if they're not special, then that makes them insignificant.
Now, the Type Five is often described as the observer or the investigator. And personally, I like to think of this type as the thinker. This person is highly motivated by a desire to be the expert, and not just an expert at doing something but the expert of knowing something. They want to have a sense of mastery over what it is they're observing and seeing. So these are really our deep thinkers. And their underlying fear is of being incompetent of not understanding these things. And ultimately, that leaves them in a position of feeling helpless.
So Type Six, they are traditionally called the loyalist, and in some places, I've seen them called the skeptic, which personally I think is kind of an unfair way to describe them. But essentially, at their core, the six desires stability, safety and support, they want to know that everything is okay, and that they are safe. And they can be very friendly and genuine people. And that relationship is a vehicle for that sense of stability. And so it makes sense then that their deeper fears would be of uncertainty, not being safe. And they really fear that sense of instability.
The Seven is often called the enthusiast, or the Epicurean, I don't see that one as much, usually it's the enthusiast. But this is the person who really desires adventure, they desire novelty, they love new things, and they're really focused on fun and contentment. And so their underlying fear is of being trapped, and of feeling unfulfilled. And I think the idea of the grass being greener on the other side is this idea of the seven being motivated by something new, and that new thing being better than what they already have. That's that fear.
The Type Eight is often called the protector or in some cases, the challenger. So eights have a strong desire to be influential and they want to be autonomous, they want to be in control of themselves. And so it makes sense then that their deeper fear would be of being controlled by someone else, or even harmed in a certain way. The reason eights want to be influential is because ultimately they do want to be of service to others and of the world, but they want to do so in a way that honors their own autonomy.
And the final type I want to talk about, the Nine is often called the peacemaker, or the mediator. So this type desires peace and peace of mind, right there in the name peacemaker. They want to make sure that everything is okay. So again, when we think about it from that viewpoint, it makes sense that their deepest fear would be of being separated from others and of having some sort of conflict or loss.
So those are the nine basic types. There's one thing I want to mention, just because it's personal to me, there's only one type that could potentially present differently. And that is the Six. And there's a term, it's kind of a little jargony. But bear with me, it's called the Counterphobic Six. And the counterphobic six is still motivated by that desire for stability, and security. But the way they express that desire looks very different than traditional sixes. When sixes feel that they're not achieving that stability, they may present as anxious or even afraid, they may withdraw, they may have difficulty making decisions. And so in some ways that gets internalized. The counterphobic six on the other hand will externalize that. And so instead of feeling fearful or anxious, they may actually present as being aggressive. And sometimes the counterphobic six gets mistyped as the eight, the challenger who sometimes can also come across as aggressive, especially if they're not operating from their highest self. And so the six can be a very special type in that sense. And the reason that this is so personal to me is because my husband is a counterphobic six. And I have to tell you, I didn't realize this until just a few years ago, and my friends, I've been with my husband since 1999, we have been together over 20 years. And for most of our marriage, I had such a difficult time understanding his motivations, until I realized, “Oh my goodness, he is motivated by stability and security.” And even though sometimes, when he's feeling frustrated, he may appear to be more like the challenger. The motivation is entirely different. And so the minute I understood that the key was one of these unique presentations of the six, it all made sense. And again, it comes back to how do we use these personality tools? I am not typecasting my husband as the six and saying, “Oh, well, you're going to do this and this and that, because you're a counterphobic six.” That's not how I want to use this tool at all. But it does help me understand that when we're having conversations around money, around our children, around our future, and he is sharing certain concerns with me. Well, when I look at it through the lens of his priority being stability and security, it makes so much sense. And even if we have differing views, and even if my motivations are different, I have a deeper understanding of where he's coming from, because I understand what's motivating him.
So this is a very brief conversation around the Enneagram. There is so much more that we could dive into. We haven't even talked about the instinctual subtypes, we haven't really talked about how the wings can influence our behavior. I suspect somewhere in the future, I will probably do an entire episode just on the Enneagram alone. But in the meantime, if you want to learn more, there are some wonderful resources out there. One of my favorite books about the Enneagram is called The Road Back to You. I highly recommend that. And then there's also some fantastic books by Richard Rohr all about the Enneagram, and Helen Palmer is also another wonderful Enneagram expert to reference. If you have not yet taken an assessment that will show you what your type is, one online resource for you is truity.com. And we'll link to that and all of these resources in the show notes so that if you'd like to learn more, all you have to do is head to coachwithclarity.com/101. That's the number 101 and you'll find links to everything that we talked about in today's episode.
So I'm going to spend the last few minutes of our time together today talking about two more assessments that I discovered later in my professional career and have been instrumental in helping me really grow into who I am as a person and they've helped me with my business as well.
So the third assessment I want to talk about is the Clifton StrengthsFinder and this is through Gallup. So if you go to Gallup, gallup.com, you will find all sorts of information about all of their services, but specifically the Clifton StrengthsFinder. They also have a book about the StrengthsFinder. And at least when I purchased the book, it included access to the assessment so that you could discover your top five strengths. So the StrengthsFinder is based on this idea that there are 34 themes around our strengths. And when we know what our top strengths are, we can leverage those for success. And then if you want to pay more and upgrade your assessment, you can actually get a ranking of all 34 of those strengths. And the suggestion is that when we know the strengths that we are not as strong in, say, the ones that we rank 30 through 34 on, we can figure out how to use our naturally occurring strengths to compensate for the areas where we're not as strong.
So these 34 themes are sorted into four main domains. So the first domain is the executing domain. And this invites us to consider how we make things happen. And the strengths that fall under this domain are responsibility, restorative, achiever, arranger, belief, consistency, deliberative, discipline, and focus. You can find brief descriptions of all of these strengths over at gallup.com. And I'll make sure we link directly to the page where you can see those brief descriptions.
The second domain is the influencing domain. And as it would suggest, this is how we influence others. So the strengths that fall under this domain are activator, command, communication, competition, maximizer, self assurance, significance, and woo. And in this case, woo stands for winning over others. I know oftentimes, we talk about woo more in a spiritual context, like woo woo. But with the StrengthsFinder, we're really talking about winning over others. So it's an acronym.
The third domain is the relationship building domain. And as the name would suggest, this looks at how we build and nurture relationships. The strengths that fall under this domain are adaptability, connectedness, developer, empathy, harmony, includer, individualization, positivity, and relator.
And then finally, the fourth domain is strategic thinking. And this looks at how we absorb, consider, and make sense of situations and information. And the strengths under this domain are analytical, context, futuristic, ideation, input, intellection, learner, and strategic.
So again, if I were to go into all 34 of these strengths, we would probably have enough content for three or four podcast episodes. And maybe we'll do that in the future. That could be fun. But for now, I'm going to invite you to explore more about them at the website. And to consider how we use these strengths. I find it helpful to understand where we naturally excel, and how these strengths may help you compensate for other areas. I have also found this to be incredibly helpful in understanding other people and their strengths. Which is why StrengthsFinder is often used as a tool in the corporate world, when we're looking at building partnerships and team building.
So here's an example – One of my top strengths is futuristic, which means I'm someone who tends to look towards the future, I'm really good at creating visions, I can see the long term plan. One of my husband's strengths, I suspect, he hasn't taken the test yet. I think he's going to though. But I suspect knowing my husband, one of his strengths will wind up being context. Context allows us to look at the past, and to analyze what's happened previously, so that we can use that data to inform the present. So here I am with my futuristic strength and here my husband is with his context strength. And we see the world so differently. And for a long time, I didn't understand why. And now I have a better understanding of why this is happening. He is so good at analyzing the past and referring to the past to explain the present. Whereas that's all fine and good, but I'm much more interested in looking at what's yet to come and how we work towards that. It doesn't make me right and him wrong. It doesn't make him right and me wrong. It's just we have different strengths that we bring to the table and that influences how we view the world. The other reason that I love StrengthsFinder so much is that oftentimes we have a hard time viewing our strengths as strengths, because these are things that come so easily and so naturally to us that we don't view them as being something exceptional. And in my case, my number one strength when I took the test, ranking number one was connectedness and connectedness really focuses on how ideas and concepts are linked together. People with connectedness as a primary strength believe that everything is interconnected and that we can create those links between just about anyone in anything. I have always felt that way in my life and I never viewed it as a strength. I didn't understand until I did StrengthsFinder, how this could actually serve me as a human being, and certainly as a professional. And now when I think about the coaching that I do with people, it's all about helping them see the connections between their ideas and their talents and what they bring to the table. It's at the heart of the work that I do. So knowing my strengths has helped me better describe the work that I do, and it's helped me set myself apart from other people out there doing similar work. So to discover your strengths, you can buy the StrengthsFinder book that often includes the assessment, you can also go straight to the Gallup website and purchase the assessment there. And again, if you want to upgrade to see all of your strengths ranked, you can certainly do that. And we'll make sure that we've got links in the show notes so that you can check it out if you're interested.
Alright, my friends, you have hung in with me, I have one more assessment that I'm just going to mention very briefly. And it's one that's very close to my heart, because I'm certified in it, which means I'm able to administer this assessment to other people, and then perform a debrief to help them better understand what it means for themselves. And that is the Energy Leadership Index, or the ELI. This is an assessment that examines your unique energetic profile, and how your energy can show up and work for you, and how it may inhibit some of the progress you're trying to make. So the thing about the ELI is that it has to be administered by someone who has completed the training. And that's typically someone who is a coach who was trained through the Institute for Professional Excellence in Coaching, or iPEC, the ELI is intellectual property underneath iPEC. And what I find so fascinating about it is how it approaches energy, it's essentially looking at seven different levels of energy. And it's not that you are one type, and someone else is another type, and someone else is a third type of energy. It actually proposes that we are all seven types of energy, at varying levels, depending on how things are going for us, and also our kind of unique constellation of traits and skills and values. So when things are going well, or when they go as they typically do for us, we're going to present with a certain primary energy. And then when we're under stress, we may present with a default energy. So of these seven energy levels, every single level has its strengths and its benefits, and it has its limitations. So there's no bad energy, there's no bad form of how we express energy. But what's important to know is that there may be unintended consequences if our energy feels out of balance, or if we are showing up with too much or too little of a particular type of energy. So as I mentioned earlier, there are seven types of energy and they are on a spectrum, where on one end of the spectrum, it's highly catabolic energy. Catabolic energy can motivate us when we're under stress, it can cause us to take care of ourselves quickly, to respond to a threat. So it's very much kind of in that fight, flight, or freeze zone. Catabolic energy serves us very well when we are dealing with a stressor. But over time, it can be draining and destructive. People who are feeling burned out often will report high levels of the more catabolic energies. On the other side of the spectrum is anabolic energy. This is growth oriented, it allows us to expand rather than contract. And so when we're operating at a place where we're feeling good, or when we're not experiencing super high levels of stress, we may be more on the anabolic spectrum. So what the ELI allows us to do is to examine how the seven levels of energy are showing up for you, how it's working for you, and if you would benefit from cultivating certain types of energy or maybe reducing other types. I absolutely love the ELI. I love this Energy Leadership approach to work. And I promise you that in the future I will devote an entire episode to the seven levels of energy because I find them so fascinating. But my friends I have now spoken for about 45 minutes, much longer than I normally do for a solo podcast episode. So I think this is a great time to take a breather, and to move into this week's Clarity in Action moment.
So typically, the Clarity in Action moment is brought to you by a couple different offerings I have, whether it's my free coaching quiz or the Coach with Clarity Collective. This week, I'm doing something a little different. Earlier in my career, I used to do ELI debriefs all the time with my individual clients, because I loved it so much, and it was such a powerful tool for their growth. Recently, I had the opportunity to do the ELI debriefs for my private mastermind. So I currently work with five extraordinary coaches for an entire year to help them grow and scale their businesses and deepen their personal mastery. And I had such a fun experience delivering this ELI debrief. And I hadn't done it in a few years. And it reminded me of just how powerful a tool this is. So I've decided to open a limited number of slots for a one on one ELI debrief. So if you are interested in learning more about your unique presentation of the seven levels of energy, I invite you to go to coachwithclarity.com/elidebrief. And there's no fancy sales page here, it's going to take you straight to a page where you can get a little bit of detail around what the debrief includes. And then if you'd like to schedule your debrief, you can go ahead and do so right on the page. I am only opening a limited number of debrief spots in my schedule. Right now it looks like I have room for five over the next few weeks. So I anticipate these will probably go pretty quickly. So if you are intrigued by this head to coachwithclarity.com/elidebrief and book your session today.
All right, my friend. For this week's Clarity in Action moment, I want you to ask yourself if there is a particular assessment you feel drawn to, it might be one that you are already familiar with, maybe say the Myers Briggs or Enneagram. It may be one of the other ones that I've shared with you today, Clifton StrengthsFinder or the Energy Leadership Index. It may be an entirely different assessment that we haven't talked about today. And if so, I hope you'll share that with me over on Instagram @CoachWithClarity, but I want you to choose an assessment that you would like to explore on a deeper level. And as you do so, I want you to ask yourself how the results from that assessment can support both your interpersonal and your intrapersonal growth. How can these results allow you to deepen your relationships with other people, as well as your own personal relationship and understanding of yourself? Because ultimately, that is what these assessment tools are designed to do. And then I want you to share your experience with me. Come find me over on Instagram @CoachWithClarity, you can send me a DM or send me an email at email@example.com and let me know how this episode resonates with you. Alright y'all, I think this might be the longest podcast episode I've ever done, at least a solo episode. It's been a big one. I had a feeling it might be. And I just want to thank you for listening this week and every week and I hope you'll join me again next week for the Coach with Clarity Podcast. If you haven't already followed the podcast, make sure you do that – Wherever you listen to your shows whether it's Apple Podcasts, Spotify, Stitcher, you name it, there should be an option for you to follow or subscribe to the show. It's absolutely free to do so. And when you follow or subscribe it ensures that next week's episode will show up automatically in your feed, ready and waiting for you every Monday morning. And that's when you and I will connect again, my friend, so until then, my name is Lee Chaix McDonough reminding you to get out there and show the world what it means to be a Coach with Clarity.