How do feelings influence your planning and decision making? How do you make a decision when you don’t have strong feelings about something? Here’s how an Enneagram Type 4 leader overcame a lack of feelings to build plans for the future.
Of all Enneagram types, Type 4s most naturally live in the moment. They are acutely aware of how their environment is making them feel, and these feelings keep them focused on what they are experiencing right here and now.
If you ask a Type 4 whether they want to do something tomorrow, they will often be ambivalent. They may not know how they are going to feel about doing that thing until doing it is imminent. Until those feelings emerge, it may be difficult for them to make a decision. The 4’s inability to predict their own feelings about plans for the future can frustrate those in the 4’s life who are trying to make plans.
Other’s Emotional Shoes
While predicting their own feelings may be difficult, Type 4s will often have a much easier time predicting the feelings of others. Type 4s are masterful at putting themselves in other’s emotional shoes thereby allowing them to predict how others will respond to certain situations. This ability is one of the sources of their artistic creativity and enables them to communicate through art in emotionally impactful ways.
By focusing on others’ feelings rather than their own feelings, Type 4s can envision future outcomes that convey desired emotional impacts and outcomes—from that vision they can build plans to deliver those outcomes. By starting with desired feelings of stakeholders, Type 4 leaders can create plans for the future. Plans become the canvas upon which the Type 4 leader paints.
How do feelings influence your decision making? Do you use feelings with intention, or do you simply react. When planning for the future, do consider how you and others will feel?
How do feelings influence your planning and decision making? How do you make a decision when you don’t have strong feelings about something? Here’s how Aaron did it.
I asked him, “How are you feeling about the workshop tomorrow?”
He looked at me struggling to answer what I thought was a pretty simple question.
The problem was he was still having feelings about our lunch conversation, about the boba tea he was enjoying, about the rain that was finally falling after weeks of drought.
He just sipped his tea and shrugged at me.
What I love about Aaron is his ability to see around corners—see what’s not there.
He leads a team of creative people who feed him ideas that he can react to. Not only does he have high emotional awareness of how he’s feeling, he also has a strong sense of how others respond as well.
If you want to tailor a message that elicits a specific emotional response, you can count on Aaron and his team to deliver.
And while being present and in the moment comes naturally to Aaron, thinking about the future is a little more murky to him. After all, how does he know how he’s going to feel about something until he’s faced directly with it?
When thinking about the future, I suggested that Aaron imagine how he would like to feel—start with those feelings and work back from there to a plan that delivers those feelings.
Aaron appreciates a full emotional palette. For him, the best outcomes would elicit a wide range of emotions, so even that suggestion was too broad.
I then suggested that he think about how he’d want each of his team members to feel. Aaron has the ability to put himself in other’s emotional shoes.
“Well, I’d want Julie to feel included, he started and I’d want to make sure that Mark had fun.
He then went on to express how he hoped each of his teammates would feel coming out of the workshop. It was pretty amazing. I took notes to make sure that the workshop design hit all the points.
I then turned to Aaron and asked him well how do you want to feel coming out of the workshop. He smiled and said, “We’ll see.”
How do feelings influence your decision making? Do you use feelings with intention? Or do you simply react. When planning for the future, do consider how you and others will feel?
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