On a scale of 1 to 10 (with 10 being high) how weird are you? Do you catch yourself behaving in a certain way and want to shout “why?” Or perhaps there are things you know to be true about you, which you don’t like to admit out loud? In fact Zappos (US online retailer) even ask their potential employees “how weird are you?” Zappos embrace weirdness; it is one of their company values. This is of course the same company, which was sold to Amazon for $1.2bn in 2009, a little weirdness turned very lucrative.
I think we are all a little weird; here are some examples of my own particular brand of weirdness:
• I will find myself agreeing with a person even when I know I really disagree with them. Strange. I know my own mind so why do I do this?
• I have lots of energy and drive but here is the catch, my focus can be poor. In fact I can be a world class day dreamer. Weird for someone so grounded and practical.
• I am easy going and have the ability to get on with anyone but then my easy going nature will snap in a second. I liken it to falling off a cliff and I have no idea when I am going to fall. Once I have fallen it is pretty difficult to win me back round – stubborn springs to mind.
I could go on…but enough. What has helped me understand and grow into my weirdness is the Enneagram. It is a personality profile system with nine types of personality. I am what is called a type Nine. The Enneagram has had a huge impact on me. It has enabled me to understand my behaviour and that awareness has created changes. It is like having an internal independent observer, who catches my behaviour and gives myself a choice about how I am going to behave in any given situation.
Here are some of the things it has taught me:
• In the words of Stephen Covey “The main thing, is the main is the main thing”. I have finally admitted that focus is not my gift and I need to work with this carefully every day, I ask myself if I was to do just one thing today what is the most important thing?
• Life is richer and easier when I am living in the moment. Get out of the day dream and into the now.
• When I feel wronged or upset with people, I need to tell them. No more running away.
There are some really great things about being a Nine, which other types don’t have and I have taken them for granted; calmness, a natural ability to bring people together, Nine’s can be dropped into any situation and they will survive. I appreciate some of my own talents more as a result.
If you want to grow into your own type of weirdness then the Enneagram is a great place to start to explore your version of “weirdness”. Then you can take the online test at https://www.enneagraminstitute.com/Tests_Battery.asp#FreeShortTests and find out what is your type?
Photo: Alexander Krivitskiy