Leslie's Enneagram Story


I got into the Enneagram to understand my kids who made their way through the world differently from me. I thought if I could understand them, I could change them so they could see things MY way. (If you’re a parent, you know where that goes).

I learned that I needed to face my own patterns and dive into my own stories so I could be open to theirs.

It created an entire new way of parenting and I saw my kids in ways I’d missed when I was blindly trying to create Mini-Me’s. Understanding my patterns and theirs was a revolutionary awareness that changed our ways of relating to one another.

Now that they’re adults, I have an honest relationship with three wonderful, unique human beings who continually forge their own distinct trails.

Honesty at work and at home takes courage and willingness to engage. It means we don’t hide from the hard stuff and pretend things are okay when they’re not. It means we turn towards the truth and face it even when it’s uncomfortable, sad or annoying.

As parents, honesty means we don’t jam one another into a family box so we can hide from the pain of relating or convey an image where we’re safe, comfortable and impressive to the neighbors.

As a leader, honesty means we look in the mirror and face what we’re putting out there to the people who are counting on us for direction and vision.

We can no longer afford to “off-load our feelings” onto our kids, partners, clients and employees as we’re dying from the stress it takes to numb our feelings, harden them and shove them out of the way. Any emotionally intelligent leader will also tell you it’s a bad business plan to off load your feelings as it eventually gets dumped onto your team and your clients.

The paradox of honesty and facing our vulnerability is that we free up all sorts of energy for the good stuff because we’re not wasting it pushing the hard stuff down.

I use the Enneagram as one portal of entry into seeing how we can use awareness of patterns as a way of engaging and working with more courage and connection.

Yet, that’s only part of it. There’s more to you than your Enneagram patterns.

As you relax the patterns and become more willing to show up with courage and honesty, there’s a sweet spot where you discover something more that may surprise you as a parent, partner and leader.

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