Happy Hour with Bundle Birth Nurses

#46 The Enneagram: A Tool for Personal Growth and Enhancing Relationships with Jess McGrail

October 02, 2023 Bundle Birth, A Nursing Corporation Season 3 Episode 46
Happy Hour with Bundle Birth Nurses
#46 The Enneagram: A Tool for Personal Growth and Enhancing Relationships with Jess McGrail
Show Notes Transcript

This thought-provoking episode delves into the Enneagram, a dynamic personality system that holds great wisdom to better understand ourselves and those around us. Join us as Jess McGrail, an Enneagram expert, shares her wisdom on how this tool can be used for personal awareness and growth. Jess offers practical advice for identifying your Enneagram type and what resources to trust in going deeper into this topic. Discover the significance of Enneagram wings, stances, and arrows. Gain valuable tips for using this tool to foster compassion and connection in your personal and professional life. Whether you're a nurse or simply curious about the Enneagram, this episode offers valuable takeaways for enhancing your life and connections. Thanks for listening and subscribing!


Helpful Links:
- Jess McGrail's On Demand Class "Exploring the Enneagram"
- The Road Back to You book by Suzanne Stabile & Ian Cron
- Be mentored by Jess through monthly calls as part of the  Bundle Birth Nurse Group Mentorship Program
- Click here to email Jess McGrail
- Check out the Enneagram Institute Website
- Check out the Typology Website

Justine:
Hi, I am Justine.

Sarah Lavonne:
And I'm Sarah Lavonne.

Justine:
And we are so glad you're here.

Sarah Lavonne:
We believe that your life has the potential to make a deep, meaningful impact on the world around you. You, as a nurse, have the ability to add value to every single person and patient you touch.

Justine:
We want to inspire you with resources, education, and stories to support you to live your absolute best life, both in and outside of work.

Sarah Lavonne:
But don't expect perfection over here. We're just here to have some conversations about anything, birth, work, and life, trying to add some happy to your hour as we all grow together.

Justine:
By nurses for nurses, this is happy hour with Bundle Birth Nurses.

Jess McGrail:
Hi, I am Jess McGrail. I'm a labor and delivery nurse, pretty much probably everyone listening to this podcast. And I currently am working at one of the biggest, well, the biggest labor and delivery unit in the country by volume, which is pretty crazy. I'm also a mentor for our Bundle Birth Mentorship for labor and delivery nurses, which I absolutely love. I actually started out as a mentee in that program and learned a ton and became way better at what I do just through that mentorship. And towards the end of it, they posted, Sarah and Justine posted a position was open as a mentor, and I was like, "I'm going to do it."
And just super in my Enneagram number-ish applied, without even talking to my husband about it, without even thinking about it. And then it turned into this. So it's been so crazy and I sometimes look around and I'm like, "How in the world did I end up here?" But it's super great. I live in the Atlanta area right now. I have five children and I've been married for 27 years. And we call ourselves the NEMS because we're pretty sure that every single person in our family, jury's still out on our last one because he's 16 and we're not quite sure, but pretty sure that at least six different Enneagram types in our house.

Sarah Lavonne:
Wow, of nine?

Jess McGrail:
Of nine total types.

Sarah Lavonne:
Wow. What an Enneagram mess.

Jess McGrail:
Right.

Sarah Lavonne:
I know that we'll get more into that, but is it normal for families to have so many different types?

Jess McGrail:
That's a great question. I don't actually know. I feel like I hear more often that people are the same, two or three that are the same.

Justine:
I wonder if they're close in age, they would be more the same versus an age gap because they grew up with different parents essentially and in a different environment.

Jess McGrail:
That's actually a really great point, Justine. Most Enneagram masters will tell you that your Enneagram type is nature. It's not nurtured.

Justine:
Oh, okay.

Jess McGrail:
So there's Enneagram that are more nurture, but the Enneagram type itself, the kind of network or the framework of you personality is already there.

Justine:
So interesting. Okay, so let's back up. What is the Enneagram?

Sarah Lavonne:
Yeah, tell us.

Jess McGrail:
So the Enneagram, it is a tool that can be used to show us our predictable and habitual and pattern behavior that we've used to navigate the world since we were itty-bitty. It is kind of a way for us to understand how we see the world. It's based on this idea that there are nine basic personality types, numbers one through nine, and they all have different qualities, but the thing that most people don't know is they start out with the Enneagram and learning about the Enneagram. They think, okay, great, there's nine types and that's it. And it's like a Myers-Briggs or it's like whatever test you're taking and that you're into, and I'm going to figure out my type and then I'm going to know that's where it's going to end. And there are a lot of folks that do that.
They kind of get into the Enneagram just a tiny bit. They get their toe wet and they figure out their type and then that's where it stops. But when you do that, you're doing yourself this huge disservice because the reason that the Enneagram is so different than other personality systems is that it doesn't just show you how you are in your average space, but it also shows you how you move in stress, how you move when you're in a more secure place. And then it kind of shows you how you can choose to move once you're aware of your normal patterned behavior. If that makes sense.

Justine:
It makes total sense. And to give nurses an idea, so identify with type nine of Enneagram, and I used to identify as a type three, and I thought I was until I realized that nines in growth are similar to threes and they're achieving and then in stress, they call this the sloth, right? Is that what it's called? They numb out. So someone like me, if I'm stressed or burnt out, all I want to do is lay and watch Netflix and my house is a mess. I can't get the energy to get and move. And it's been really interesting for me to identify as a nine because then I'm like, no, no, this is just my stress. I need to figure out my life is what we would say and move towards growth. I love that about the Enneagram. I think that's why it makes it such a great test is because it's not just like this is who you are, black and white. It's like this is what you can do now and how you can motivate yourself.

Sarah Lavonne:
And the first step to personal growth is identifying patterns and systems and struggles and is awareness. That's why currently I was just telling before this call, I was like, I'm in so much therapy right now, and I'm like that awareness last night someone was asking me like, well, what are you doing about it? And I'm like, nothing yet. I'm going to get there.
But it takes that awareness to be able to move towards growth. I know for me at my Enneagram type, I'm an Enneagram seven, which if you know me, I don't know that that would be too much of a surprise because sevens I feel like are pretty obvious to type. But for me, when I'm stressed, I go to a one which is pretty rigid, pretty bossy, pretty black and white and right and wrong and really intense. So I think people that have been around me in stressful times, they would go like, oh yeah, that's her. But my core is very free, very FOMO, very fun, very life of the party type. In my core and in health I go to a five, which this would be no surprise to anybody that knows me as well, is the curious learner.
So for me, a five when I'm doing really well is I want to know the answer. I want to figure it out, I want to piece it together. I want to be able to turn it around and teach it. So for me, when I see that, it also I can identify very quickly if I'm maybe not doing so well based on how rigid and bossy and intense I get versus how curious I become.
So even those two quick, this is one simple thing I've learned through you, Jess, on those arrows that you talk about, because there's wings and there's arrows and then there's subtypes and there's all these different things. And I think I love the flexibility, the fluidity, the nuance that doesn't box you in. And that's what you talk about in the class is that Enneagram seven wing eight looks different in various contexts. And for me that even just where I go in health and stress has been a helpful awareness of like, Ooh, I'm not being curious about this. I'm being real black and white. So let me take a step back and what do I need? What's going on? Why am I so pissy about the world right now?

Jess McGrail:
Enneagram masters, Suzanne Stabile, which is her book on the Road Back to You with Ian Cron is the book that I recommend to everybody. If you just want a place to start there, they're amazing. And she was talking, we'll

Sarah Lavonne:
We'll link it down below.

Jess McGrail:
Yeah, she was talking yesterday or the day before I was listening to this podcast. She said a good way to know whether you are in your average space is if you're defensive. If you're getting defensive, you're in an average space and that's just something you'd be aware of. And I loved that because it's real true. But something that I did want to mention is that one of the cool things to me about the Enneagram, it's kind of based, it's an Enneagram obviously means nine, gram means drawings. It's a drawing of nine personality types, but it really kind of moves in threes.
So we have our three ways of knowing. We have our head center, we have our heart center, we have our gut center, our thinking, feeling and doing. So those are the three centers of intelligence and that's what everything is based on. And then we have our triads, which are the head center, the heart center, the gut center. So what that means is this is the way that you're going to take information in from the world. So for our head center, five, six, and seven, they take in information through thinking, through analyzing patterns, predictability, all of that, five, six, and seven. And then we have our heart center, two threes and four is they take in things through their heart, through their feelings, they evaluate the world, they pull in information from the world through their heart and through their feelings.
And then for the gut center, the doing center, eight, nine, and one, they pull information in through doing. So that's their dominant triad. But then the second layer there is the way that we process information, it's different. You pull in information and then you process it in different ways. Then we have a whole nother layer of the Enneagram and stance is determined by which of those three centers had harder gut or thinking, feeling, doing is repressed.
And sometimes the best way to determine where you are in the Enneagram, figuring out which one of these is the most like me, which way of seeing the world fits the best for me is by figuring out, okay, I take in information through thinking, feeling or doing, and then I make sense of information by leaving this other center out. For example, Enneagram type seven, we'll use Sarah as an example. She takes in information through her head, through her thinking. So she likes to analyze, she looks for patterns, she wants to know all the things, but then she makes sense of the world using her doing so she thinks and she does and she thinks, and she does, and feeling is her repressed center.

Sarah Lavonne:
1000000% that could not be a more accurate representative, hence all the therapy.

Jess McGrail:
So feeling kind of it's left over here because somewhere along the line growing up you figured out that feeling didn't serve you in the way that you needed to move through the world. So we have to go back as Suzanne Stabile would say, we need to go get that part and bring it back because the goal isn't to stay dominant in one center. The goal ultimately is to be using all three really effectively. So that's why the Enneagram is unlike any other personality system, a way of understanding yourself is because you not only can see the strengths of your personality, but it also shows you the weaknesses and it shows you how to go fix it. It doesn't just leave you in this place of like, "Oh, well you're an INFJ, that's who you are. You're going to stay in this little box."
It shows you the box you're in and then it shows you how to get out of it. And so that's kind of the goal is let me see where I am and then let's start moving towards a better place because persona, personality comes from that word persona. I talk about this in the class, that means mask. We don't want to be wearing a mask. We want our personalities to step aside so that who we really are and the essence of ourselves and how we're created can come through. And so that's the cool part about the Enneagram. That's what we want and that's a goal. So we don't want to just stop at, "Oh, I'm a type eight, I'm a type nine, I'm a type one." We want to go, "Okay, here's a picture of who I am, how I move in stress in health, whatever. And then now that I'm aware of those behaviors that are available to me, I can go pick the ones that are going to get me from this state of health to this better state of health."

Sarah Lavonne:
I love that. So we have the Enneagram, there's nine numbers one through nine, and then there's triads that are how we take in information. So head, heart, gut, that each of those numbers fall under one of those categories and then there's wings. Can you explain the idea with wings?

Jess McGrail:
Yes. So before I explain wings, I think it's important to make sure that everybody understands your Enneagram type, your primary type, the one that you identify with the most is determined not by behavior, but by motivation. That's where people get tripped up. It doesn't matter what you do, it matters why you're doing it.
I use this illustration a lot when I'm teaching. So Justine and me and Sarah are all three different types on the Enneagram, and we might all want a clean house for example. Just use that as an example. May not be important to all of us, but say we all want our house to be clean. I want a clean house because I need to feel like my external world is in control so that my internal world feels in control because as an Enneagram type eight, I want scene control. I'm pretty flexible inside of the scene, but I need the big parts to be what I need them to be.
For Sarah, she might want her house to be neat and clean because she's having people come over and so she's moving into this area of I need everything to be exactly how it's supposed to be, and I need everything to be in order because it's way more fun when people can just come over and relax and feel like they're in a clean space and it's fun. And then Justine might want her house clean because she knows that she's in a place where she's not doing well and if she can just get up and do something, she's going to feel better about every part of what her life is right now.

Justine:
That's so right.

Jess McGrail:
See what I'm saying? So we all want to clean house. Everybody's motivation is different. So what is so, so, so important to do is this observation of yourself and of your behavior and then start asking your question, well, why am I doing that?
What's your motivation underneath that? What's driving me here? Because that's the question we need to ask. With that being said.

Justine:
Interesting.

Jess McGrail:
We need to know our motivation in order to determine our Enneagram type that we identify with. The wings then are going to be the numbers that are on either side of your dominant type. So for example, if you are dominant in type four, then you could have a type three wing that's dominant, or you could have a type five wing. These are just adding some behaviors that add a little bit of nuance and a little bit of flavor to your primary Enneagram type. They have to be the numbers on either side of you. So a four can have a wing three, they can have a wing five, they can have both or they can have neither.
And usually what will happen is you draw heavily from one of those wings in the early part of your life and then you learn as you mature to draw from the other side as well, to just bring balance. For a one you can have a type nine wing, you can have a type two wing, you can have both or you can have neither or a type six. You can have a seven wing, you can have a five wing. You can have both or you can have neither. Does that make sense?

Justine:
Yep. It does make sense. And I hear a lot of people will say like, I'm a nine wing six, they'll just throw it out there. Maybe they scored higher, they're taking those online tests and is it true, Jess, we're not supposed to take those tests.

Jess McGrail:
Please don't take a test. Yeah, the best way for you, because it's based in your motivation, the best way for you to determine your dominant Enneagram type is to read the Road Back to You or go to enneagraminstitute.com and look up the types and read through them and figure out which one of these sounds the most like me. And usually what will happen is you'll read through three or four of them and you're like, no, I mean I kind of see this. I kind of see that. And then you get to yours and you're like, "Oh, damn. Somebody has been reading my journal here, and this is a little bit disconcerting." You start to feel a little bit, "Oh, this is so exposing." That being said, it's nice to make sure that you have a safe person that you can talk to about the things that you're learning when you're first discovering your Enneagram type.
Again, it can feel a little bit like someone's reading my mail and I'm not real comfortable. But yeah, so the tests unfortunately, because it's very, very difficult. There are some really good ones out there, but they cost a good bit of money. And I would say that it's usually better to do a little bit of your own work by reading through. And the reason is because it's very difficult for a test to measure your motivation.

Sarah Lavonne:
And if you don't want to read a book, you can just take Jess's class.

Jess McGrail:
That's true. We kind of talk through all of that. The most important thing is to understand that your main Enneagram type has to do with your motivation, not your behavior, and then kind of the opposite for the wings. So your wings have to do with behaviors you grab, but your motivation does not become that number. Your motivation is always going to stay the same. It's always going to be in that primary, that dominant type for you, but you're going to pull behaviors from the other ones.
For example, I'm dominant in type eight, but I have really strong seven wing, so I see a lot of behaviors like Sarah and I share a lot of the same behaviors in a lot of ways. We're quick thinkers, we have a lot of energy, and there's another reason for that that maybe we can get to, but we have this idea that we can make change in the world around us to mold it into the way that we want it to be. That's similar, right? Because we share that wing. I think you have a pretty strong eight wing, right?

Sarah Lavonne:
The strongest, yeah.

Jess McGrail:
It's like we're the flip-flop of each other. Sarah's seven wing eight wing seven. So there's so many similarities, but our motivations are subtly different because the main dominant type.

Sarah Lavonne:
So then our arrows, we mentioned the other piece of this is where we go in stress and where we go in not stress, in health, there's another word. Do you have any other little insights you want to tell us about our arrows?

Jess McGrail:
I do because this is so important. So in the class we talked about arrows being where you go and stress it and where you go in security or health. Everybody has these different names for it, but what I didn't divulge in that class, I don't like to overwhelm people when you're first learning about it, but this is really important too. All the arrows are doing really is they're connecting you to other numbers within the Enneagram. So let's use a type five. So dominant in type five, when they're doing well, they're going to move to grab behaviors from the high side of type eight. So this reserved really knowledgeable, quiet, usually I know all the answers, but I'm not going to speak up. Our Diana is type five. I think.

Sarah Lavonne:
Hannah, my sister is a type five.

Jess McGrail:
Perfect example. So they know all the answers, but they don't really have any desire to speak in front of a bunch of people or share their information. But when they're in a really healthy space, they'll start to grab those behaviors from the type eight and they just show up in this way where they're like, "I know how to do this, let's do this." And they kind of pull people in to their knowledge base and they just bless the crud out of everybody. "Oh my gosh. She knows all of it, listen to her." But they have the fear of I'm afraid to share anything until I know everything. And so they hang back. But when they realize they don't have to know everything before they share what they know, then they can move in and grab that eight and then they get this strength to them right?
Then when they're not doing so well, they move to the seven on their arrow and they grab some maybe the unhealthier behaviors on the lower side of the type seven, and they can get a little scattered and they can get a little anxious and it's like they just kind of get a little squirrely over there in type seven. But the secret is that the truth of the matter is that we have access to the whole range of both of those arrow numbers.
So when you're aware, for a type five, when you're aware that you have access to type eight and you have access to type seven, you can go, "Okay, what is going to serve me the best right now? I'm feeling X, Y, and Z, or I'm stressed, I'm anxious, or I want to have some fun", whatever. If fives need to relax a little bit, they can go towards the higher side of type seven and go, "You know what? I'm not going to do anything today. I'm going to go and I'm going to have some fun and I'm going to do something that I think is just going to be a good time, and there doesn't have to be a purpose to it, and I don't have to learn anything new. I'm just going to go get a massage or I'm going to go get my nails done, or I'm going to go to the zoo."
And it serves us well when we are aware of the behaviors that are available to us. And again, one of the amazing things about the Enneagram is it's so dense that we can learn how to access all of these pieces that will eventually transform us into this essence that we're trying to allow to show up instead of the mask that we're wearing.

Sarah Lavonne:
Well, and all of this self, I want to say self-help, but help means that you're weak and I don't want to go there with that. I think it's just self-growth or growth mindset type stuff. And that's my Enneagram five arrow coming out of the curiosity of what can I learn about myself to be better? How do I learn about others to access what I love about Jess's eight-ness and say, how do I jump in and how do I really identify those characteristics and even put some language around them.
That's what I love about all of these types of tests, or in this case it's not a test or growth learning frameworks, is to be able to label and say, "I want to be more structured like my mother on my one." And I think even learning that my one, I think I sort of look down on going to one in unhealth, but even hearing that I'm like, okay, what are the really good qualities about a one which I can easily say, okay, what are the good qualities about my mom because my mom's a very strong one and say, oh, okay, I can see how I may be able to access some of her organization or some of her black and whiteness instead of making that a bad thing.
So all of that takes intention and awareness before you can even begin to do that work.

Jess McGrail:
Absolutely. And you said something in the beginning of the show that made me really think of something that we teach in the mentorship, you were talking about how it helps us to understand the people around us. And this week we had our trauma call, our trauma-informed care call, and I was just thinking about when that module, we talk about how do we change from saying, "What is wrong with them?" To, "What happened to them?"
I think this is along those same lines. It's like we changed this thinking from what is wrong with you? It's not bad, it's not good or it's not right, it's not wrong, it's just different, which we had a marriage counselor years ago, I've heard you say that before. We had a marriage counselor years ago that used that all the time in his teaching. It's not right, it's not wrong, it's just different. I think that when we know the Enneagram, it not just makes us aware of our inner workings, and sometimes we can get really self-absorbed into, well, how do I work? But the goal is just developing this compassion for everybody else and a way of understanding that the way I see the world isn't the only way. It's not the right way to see the world. There are eight other valid ways of seeing the world, are different from mine, and we can learn from each other.
If we can just back up off of this need to be right or wrong, black or white, good or bad, there's so much gray and that's coming from me. That's a really hard thing because I am so that, I'm so much, "Oh, it's good or it's bad. I feel good about it. I don't feel good about it." It's all the gut. I am all about the gut and my gut says yes, my gut says no. And I have had to learn over the years to allow for so much gray, probably more than any other tool in our parenting, these five human beings the Enneagram has been so helpful and my only regret is not knowing it sooner because really didn't get ahold of it until my oldest children were teenagers almost out of the house. So my parenting of them would've looked very, very different had I been aware then what I'm aware of now.
And I mean like we say all the time, all I can do is best you can with what you got at the time you do it. So I have to kind of let myself off the hook there or else I just get seeped in this mom guilt, which is not productive. But now going forward, right now that I've learned it, I feel like our younger children have benefited way more from us understanding the Enneagram and just not that we're typing our children, we're not because you can't type anyone else. You really only know your own motivation. But as they have grown and learned and discovered their own primary Enneagram type and have had language around what they are good at and what they're not good at and what they need and what they don't like, it's been incredibly helpful and it just allows for so much more compassion and in my marriage as well, I would say for sure.

Sarah Lavonne:
So when you think about using this with nurses on the floor in a team dynamic, and for those of you that maybe aren't nurses that are sneaking in on these podcasts in life in teams and as coworkers, the Bundle Birth team, all of that, how have you seen having this knowledge affect those dynamics? How can this benefit say a unit in this case, and how has it for you?

Jess McGrail:
That's such a good question. I think that it affects so many things, and I think it affects people, different Enneagram people who are different. I think that's a great question, and I think that depending on what your primary Enneagram type is, it's going to affect you differently and you're going to use it differently. So part of it is just knowing your Enneagram type and knowing how to use it. So I'll use myself as an example. I'm an Enneagram type eight. I am quick on my feet. I think quickly. I don't mince words. I'm very direct and I want everyone to be direct with me. I want to know the whole truth and I want it all at once. And you don't have to pretty it up for me. The fewer the words, the better. So I know myself and I know that I can tend to get real impatient and really frustrated.
Say I go in and I'm talking to my boss or something and they're trying to share a hard truth with me, and I'm like, "Oh my gosh, would you just get it out? Say it. I'm not going to be offended." I'm aware of my craziness and for you to call me out on it. And not everybody feels that way. Now, the way that I get caught up though, right, is they say, I'm precepting a new nurse and that's the way I am and that's the way I want people to be with me. But my new nurse is a type five, or a type nine, and they're really overwhelmed by my directness. Then I have to tone it down and I have to learn to move slower and to talk slower and to lower my voice and to lower my intensity, or they're not going to be able to hear a thing I'm saying.

Justine:
I think about me and my nine, we had a breakthrough a few months ago. I kept avoiding one-on-ones because I always see one-on-ones, you think of the hospital one-on-ones, and I'm like, "I'm in trouble. No one wants to meet with me unless I'm in trouble." And you say, "Just get to the point. Tell me what I did." And I'm like, "I will just PTO for three weeks. So you forget about it." But that is really interesting and I know that because of my type. So it's really cool to know what you are.

Sarah Lavonne:
And for me, with my strong wing eight and especially in work, I definitely tend, I think Brian really balances me out because I don't feel responsible for everyone anymore. And so now I can just be the fun life of the, "Hey, what's going on? Let's have a good time." Versus feeling like the weight of everybody. But I think for me, when I go to that wing eight, it's just me being productive. Let's just talk about it. Let's get the job done, let's check in. And one-on-ones are just like, what's happening? We barely see each other. You work what? 10 hours a week, 12 hours a week is what you get or what we get from you.
And so we need to check in, "How's it going?" But again, it's all based on we have a different vantage point. And I think, again, I love this puts language behind it. And then we can go like, "Oh, duh." Whereas I maybe need to over communicate, "You're not in trouble. Let's just hang out for a little bit. Let's catch up. What are you working on? How can I help you?" All of those different pieces being and relating to are different Enneagram types and learning to work together.

Jess McGrail:
Yeah, there's actually a whole nother part of the Enneagram that speaks to what you were just talking about.
And that's the stance. So the stances have to do with the center that's repressed. So we take in information using a center, and then we make sense of the information that we took in using two of the centers, but we usually leave, well, everybody kind of leaves one hanging over here. So fours, fives and nines are part of the withdrawing stance. So they tend to back away. They really want to be a part of the world, but they automatically, when they walk into a room, feel like they don't belong there. It's just part of their way of making sense of the information that they've gathered. And so part of the reason why Justine would back away from a one-on-one meeting would be because she's part of that stance and then that withdrawing stance. So four, five, and nine, their orientation to time is the past.
And so she's probably thinking about this one-on-one and thinking about what did I do what I done, what have I not done well that Sarah wants to talk to me about? So they can tend to kind of sit there and ruminate. The three, seven and eight are part of the independent or the aggressive stance. So they're part of this real intense, they have a full schedule, they have a lot to do, and it's that idea of I'm pretty sure that today's going to be a great day and things are going to go the way I want them to go.

Sarah Lavonne:
Totally.

Jess McGrail:
That's just how we move, three seven. They just move. They're pretty positive people. They're not easily intimidated. They want to go, go, go, and their orientation time is the future before we even celebrate what we just did, I'm already off to the next thing. I'm not even there. So that is part of that disconnect there is because of the stance.
So the withdrawing stance is doing repressed, the independent aggressive stance is feeling repressed. And then we have our ones, twos and sixes, which are part of the, I'll just say the dependent stance. And they are thinking repressed, which don't hear me say that you don't do or you don't think or you don't feel. It's not what I'm saying. What it means is that you don't use that center to make sense of the information that's coming in. Does that make sense? And then ones, twos, and six's their orientation to times the present. So I know we just opened up a whole nother can of worms, but all that to be said, you don't need to know that in order to figure out. But sometimes that is helpful to understand the stances a little bit when you're confused as to which is your primary Enneagram type. Because if you can nail down your stance and you can nail down which triad you were in, then it's easier for you to find what your dominant type on the Enneagram and all those things are important.

Sarah Lavonne:
Well, and then there's subtypes. I'm like, how many other little thingamajigs?

Jess McGrail:
Right.

Sarah Lavonne:
This is so complicated in the best way. I love, and again, that's why they say that it's so unique as a "personality test". First of all, it's not a test, and second of all, it's really fluid.

Jess McGrail:
It's a journey. It's not a one and done. It's not one of those tests that you take and then you're like, this is what I am, your Strengths Finder, right? Love all those tests, but it's not something that is a one and done. It's a journey. You learn about a little bit at a time, and it's kind of like looking at a cell under a microscope and it's 10 times, and then you just keep turning up the magnification and you realize it's way more complicated. You realized just keeps going and going. But the cool thing is that this system of the three triad, the three subtypes and the three stances, they all layer layer. There's all these layers to it, but they're all in threes. I just find that so fascinating.

Sarah Lavonne:
So do you have any tips for, first of all, we'll talk about if you want to learn more, we'll get there. But I think just in closing, what tips do you have for people based on your knowledge of the Enneagram for just working together and existing in life? What can we take as life lessons from what the Enneagram teaches?

Jess McGrail:
It's a really good question. So I would say that the best advice I can give, I guess, is to become a, we own primary Enneagram type. Understand the way that you see the world and then understand that not everybody sees the world the same way. And learn about not just your own type, but learn about all of them. And then hold this attitude of being a little bit curious. Instead of saying, "That's so annoying that she does that", you can say, "I wonder what's motivating that?"
What's causing her to feel like she needed to say that to me? Or why is this patient acting this way? I noticed that they're really anxious. There's a lot of anxiety behind all the questions that they're asking. Maybe that's giving you a little bit of a clue of how they're seeing the world, but it's just one of those things that gives you the ability to just take a step back and withhold judgment for a second and just go, "Gosh, maybe it's just that they're seeing the world in this certain way that's a little bit foreign to me, and I need to use maybe the Enneagram to get inside of that way of seeing a little bit and figure out how do I meet them where they're at?" Because I'm a firm believer that when you understand the Enneagram, there are so many points of connection with people who are different than you.
So we just talked about you and me, how we're this mirror image of each other. There's all these ways of connecting. And then with Justine, I also have developed that nine wing over the years I've had to raising five children and being married, you have to learn how to be a peacemaker a little bit. So I've had to lean into that nine wing some, and so there's points of connection there that are important and that are vital and that bring life then to our relationships instead of being closed down and kind of stuck in this place of, well, this is who I am and I can't change it. The Enneagram goes, no, no, no, you can change it. There's so many things that you can change about what you choose to do when you recognize that I have these pattern waves of behaving, but that doesn't mean that I'm a slave to them.
I can become aware and then I can choose a different way. And it doesn't happen all at once. It's one thing at a time. This week, I'm going to work on counting to five before anything comes out of my mouth, whatever it is. You can choose so many things that you just want to do this one thing, and then once you master that, you move on to the next thing, and then you move on to the next thing.
When you realize what a mess you are, how much work you need to do, I think it just makes us way more compassionate towards other people, and it makes us, instead of being like, "Well, I'm this way and I'm the best and you need to be like me." It's like, okay, no, no, no, wait. What can I learn from you? Because you have this really unique way of seeing the world that I'm not accustomed to. And by learning from you and observing you and withholding judgment and writing your story, like we talk about a lot. I'm going to glean so many things that I would've missed if I wasn't. I didn't have these tools if I didn't have language around how to understand other people's motivations and the reasons why they do what they do.

Sarah Lavonne:
So given all of this, if I am a listener here, what can I do for next steps? You mentioned some books. We know that we have the class. Do you have any other tips for and or other offerings? Sneakily saying that, what can they do to learn more? Because a lot of potential growth that can come from this tool.

Jess McGrail:
So much growth. And the great part about it is that most of them are free. You can get on Spotify or wherever you listen to podcasts. There are a lot of great podcasts that you can listen to and educate yourself. I would recommend The Journey, which is Suzanne Stabile, which is, again, I mentioned her earlier. Ian Cron has a podcast called Typology, which is helpful. I also really appreciate it if you're more faith-based. I really recommend Beth McCord, Your Enneagram Coach. She goes by and she has a podcast and she has an amazing Instagram account that I've found incredibly helpful. Be careful, don't just follow anybody. I would say just kind of try to stick with the big wigs. There's a few Enneagram teachers out there that are well-known and they have been teaching it for a long time. Learn your material from them.
But then there are also are people who do private coaching. I do private coaching. If you have done some work and you've read a book or you've listened to some podcasts and you maybe need a little bit of help typing yourself, you're trying to figure out what is my dominant type, just email me. Sarah will drop the email below and you can just email me. I'm not really on social media right now. I'm taking a little break, so email is the best way to get in touch with me, but I'm happy to just meet with you for typing session and a few sessions to help you get started. I do deeper Enneagram coaching also. I don't have a ton, ton of time right now for personal reasons, but I'm always happy to do that with people if they want that.
If you are looking for something a little more in depth, you've done the work, you've known your type for a while, you're kind of stuck in this place of like, I want next steps. I want to know what I can do. Again, you can email me, I can help you find some next steps for you if you kind of let me know a little bit of your story. But yeah, there are so many ways of doing that. There are private coaching. There are people who do cohorts, so you can sign up for a cohort where you're learning with a whole group of people for a year. You can do that on the Typology website. You can do that on the Suzanne Stabile's website, which I think it's called Life in the Trinity or something like that.
But yeah, tons and tons of ways. I think the most effective and the easiest way for you to get a handle on this is to kind of do some of your own research first and your own reading, because really so much of discovering your own primary type is just self-reflection and tough questions, and getting really good at observing your behaviors and then asking yourself the questions, well, why am I doing that? What am I trying to get to? What am I afraid of? Why am I doing this? And then of course, the class, we did record that class, and so if you're looking for just a quick and dirty, basic, basic, this is the nine types of the Enneagram. That's a great place to start too.

Justine:
Thanks for spending your time with us during this episode of Happy Hour with Bundle Birth Nurses. If you like what you heard, it helps us both. If you subscribe, rate, leave a raving review and share this episode with a friend. If you want more from us, head to bundlebirthnurses.com or follow us on Instagram.

Sarah Lavonne:
Now it's your turn to go and learn more about yourself through the tool of the Enneagram. We'll see you next time.