PULSE Enneagram

ON Success BEACH live the Superstars


1. Belief that they can accomplish anything with hard work and determination

2. Expect to be the best at whatever they do

3. Accept that becoming the best might mean putting on a show

4. Are Concerned about success and how it is measured

5. Hope that applause equals love.

Those who belong to the Success BEACH  subculture are often truly successful and magnanimous.  When they are pretending to be successful they can become narcissistic.

IT takes enthusiasm to be on the Success BEACH and lots of energy to stay there.  The workaholic beach is no place for laid back contemplations.  Things are happening here all of the time.  Project after project comes to completion amid fan fair and accolades.  The down side is that sometimes what you see is not what you get.  Like the Wizard in the Wizard of Oz Superstars of the Success BEACH sub culture can be all smoke and mirrors.

As I work on the description of the culture of the Perfection BEACH, I am visiting a beach on the north shore of Kauai.  It is beautiful here … but not perfect.

I have been writing for a few hours already and wondering where to start on this next piece.  “Start with what you know” is the old adage …

What I know is that on Perfection BEACH people;

1. Believe that there is a right and a wrong way to do things and that they know the right way.

2. Expect that others will live up to the same high standards that they set for themselves.

3. Assume that goodness exists and that perfection is desirable and achievablefor everyone.

4. Are Concerned about the Rules and how to abide by them.

5. Hope for a perfect world where good triumphs over evil.


What I also know is that people on this BEACH are there for different reasons.  The social structure of the BEACH is interesting.  The Native Perfectioners are distinguishable by their continued efforts to correct any imperfections that they encounter.  Historically they came to be here when there interactions with the world lead them to see imperfection as bad and so they seek goodness.

The BEACH is largely inhabited by natives although the neighbours from Connection BEACH and from Peace BEACH can also be found here.  They are distinguishable by their accents or tendency to be seeking goodness through Peace or goodness through Connection or helping others.  Connection BEACH natives on the Perfection BEACH contribute to the culture with their kind, caring ways.  Peace dwellers visiting on Perfection BEACH are seeking the perfect way to create Peace.  They are more detached and laid back than the natives and have a broader perspective.

Other residents include the immigrants from Excitement BEACH who are more extroverted than the native Perfectioners and seem a little more anxious or fearful.  They are seeking goodness and perfection in an effort to complete the many tasks they have started.

Immigrants from Differentiation BEACH add a dimension of creativity to the Perfection BEACH, there own “je ne sais quoi”.

The social structure of the BEACH is only one aspect of the Ethnography.  It is a good place to start.  Watch for more information on the geographic aspects of the Perfection BEACH coming soon.

I am not a psychologist.  I am a sociologist.  I study how people interact in conversation and how they use language skills for effective outcomes.  Sociologists study human culture and symbols, rules and norms looking for patterns and perhaps causal relationships which may or may not be generalizable.  The purpose is to understand and promote social evolution and reform, which for me is “World Peace one conversation at a time.”

Sociologists can be involved in macro or micro sociology.  Macro refers to evolution of society while micro refers to the everyday human interaction that has caught my attention over the course of my adult life.  I like to understand social interactions and their consequences.

As I write this new book on 40 Degrees in Conversation which is based on the Enneagram, I realize that I am indeed writing an ethnography of each of the regions on the circle that are inhabited by the nine expressions or aspects.  I am writing about the culture of each position and taking the sociological perspective that the mind and the self emerge from the social process of communication.  George Herbert Mead described human perception as socially mediated and states that existence  in community comes before individual consciousness.  He talks about the “generalized other” which represents the expected behaviour of the group

Ethnography requires that I “live among” my subjects and become a “participant observer”.  Years of working in mediation as mediator/participant observer has given me field notes an documentation to support the stories, the narratives of the 9 PULSE BEACHs.  I have conducted informal interviews, direct observations, participated in the life of the group and collective discussions.  I have produced and analyzed personal documents and have generated what I consider a thick and rich description of each of the nine sets of Beliefs, Expectations, Assumptions, Concerns, and Hopes that represent the regions on the PULSE circle or the BEACHs on PULSE Island, to stay with the metaphor.

This is a new approach.  It is not a 40 degree view of the human psyche as it travels from place to place.  It is instead a map and a demographic description of the territory on the ground. It is presented with objectivity and neutrality using cross cultural or cross region comparisons.   Ten years of gathering data has lead to some interesting findings that I am ready to share.

The observer effect in this ethnography is mitigated by the fact that I was acting as mediator or trainer providing service to participants that would actually shift their perspectives and move them to another location on the map.  The theory that emerged from the work was not about the individuals themselves or their psychic landscape.  Instead it gives a demographic understanding of the BEACHs they inhabit or visit on their journey elsewhere.

My intention is to give you a brief view of each of the BEACHs as they are represented in the book over the next few of weeks.  Feel free to contact me if I am not living up to that intention.  It might be the push and the accountability I need to move things forward.  Thanks.

Writing in DC is great today.  I have accomplished a fair amount and still managed email and kept one ear to the wall to listen as the course goes on next door.  Lynda is doing a great job.  It is weird, I have to say, to hear them talking about the author and know that they are talking about me.

Perspective…. distance makes a difference.  Looking at a situation or a tree from a different angle or perch really broadens perspective.  I like that about the world.  Physical distance can give you emotional and intellectual distance.  Everything is integrated.  I guess that’s why Gurdjeiff was referred to as a cosmologist rather than a physchologist or a mathematician. 

“Cosmologists” study the way the world works.  They see the interrelatedness the wholeness of the thing.  It seems to me that no matter where you begin to study how things work, you end up understanding the way things every where work – the cosmology of it.  Whether you start with a study of conversation or physics, biology or personality you end up at the power of three and the power of seven.  It is interesting – that is cosmology. Hmmmm

I am very aware of that from this distance.  Working in another city, away from home is liberating for me.  I must be a seven.  Any thoughts of true five-ness are fading as I watch myself gravitate toward the positive, the up lifting, the fun side of life.  “High Hopes” is still my theme song although I am very comfortable with the detachment BEACH, I still think “All by myself” is a sad song.  Extroverted Five or Pensive Seven?  They both sound like they describe me.  I must still be on the Ferry between the two.

I like the changing view and the way it changes my persception of things.  From here I look very much like a cosmologist myself!!!!

I was listening to tapes about the Enneagram yesterday getting ready to write the PULSE POINTS book or the PULSE BEACHs book, the one about the compulsions and perspectives from the nine beachs of PULSE island.  The BEACHs represent a set of beliefs, expectations, assumptions, concerns and hopes.  There are nine as represented on the Enneagram.  Each is a unique frame of reference for looking at the world and each provides 40 degrees of the truth, the whole truth.

Sooo for years I have understood that my home enneagram BEACH is the Excitement BEACH.  I seek joy and variety.  I avoid pain.  I have been relatively happy with the description of that perspective and found it a good fit … for the most part.  Something my mother said recently got me thinking.  She was telling someone else that she never know what I was thinking all the time that I was growing up.  I thought to myself “That ‘s not exactly an extrovert thing to do.”

On the Myers-Briggs I was always balanced Extroverted -Introverted, slightly E but not outrageously so.  I live in my head and like to synthesize ideas as you will know if you have been reading this blog.  As I listened to the description of the Five – what is called the Detachment BEACH in PULSE  – I began to realize that I was more at home here.  I had considered that I was moving to five because seven’s move to five when they are relaxed.  It is a facet of the seven character.  But more and move I see detachment, that observer status, knowledge and wisdom is what I have been seeking all along.  Fun and excitement are good but I am not here to enjoy myself.  I am here to learn.

Identity crisis averted.  It is comfortable and it shows me why people say that studying the personality types of the Enneagram is necessary for a complete understanding of it.  I have been “studying” it since 1988.  I was using it to understand others and their motivation.  My own motivation was right there in front of me and yet I had a distorted view of it.  Instead of being an evolved citizen of the Excitement BEACH I am an excited native of the Detachment BEACH.  I believe in thinking things through.  I expect to gather information. I assume that everyone knows what I know and I get frustrated when they can’t read my mind.  I am concerned about knowing more and sharing knowledge and I hope to know everything one day.  Five.

The BEACHs swirl into a 360 degree view of the world as we get older.  Our home BEACH doesn’t change.  I feel today as if I just found out that I was given up at birth and the parent that I thought were mine were not.  It is a little liberating because I am no longer confused about the thoughts that I had reconciled to be seven thoughts that I see now as clearly five.  Weird.  Things that make you go hmmm.

Anyway in PULSE it is not the BEACH you come from but the one you are on that counts and my five BEACH is very comfortable for me at the moment.  What BEACH are you on these days???

Canmore has come to mean so many things to me.  Most of all it is a place for me to be with my thoughts.  I love it here.  The mountains are majestic and there is a little bit of snow falling even in April. The highway noise seems incongruous with the quiet snow covered landscape.

I have been listening to enneagram tapes and thinking about how to describe how PULSE conversations and the enneagram coincide.  I believe that the nine aspects or dimensions of the enneagram represent the nine versions of any truth that are brought to the conversation.  Identifying where people are coming from is the first step.  The enneagram also provides a path that is predictable that people may follow during the conversation which is helpful for conversation leaders.

Each of the PULSE BEACHs is based on the enneagram descriptions of the nine points.  I am taking it, not from the perspective of a person’s style and how they integrate themselves through out their life time  but from how the conversation converges on an integration of the nine BEACHs as it progresses.  So I am writing about the BEACHs and how identifying the BEACH provides the freedom to move to the next one.  Once people have felt heard, understood and acknowledged they move and the conversation changes.  Do the people change?  I am not sure.  They move.  Whether they stay on the new BEACH or take the next ferry boat back is  another area of research to be undertaken.  Some times people are transported and enjoy the new perspective so much that they stay on the new BEACH and are transformed.

I am convinced too that each of the BEACHs is represented in a team by the members of a team and that the natural tendency is to complete the circle with all of the aspects or dimensions.  You may begin with a team of people who are all on the success BEACH, for example, but gradually the other BEACHs will emerge to round out the experience and create a balance of the nine perspectives.  It is as if a centrifgal  force pulls the team toward the centre where they can access all of the perspectives. 

Drawn to the centre … hmmmmmm

 In January I changed the look of the blog page.  The name of the new graphic is “Vigilance”.  I have been anything but vigilant in my blogging.  Life has a way of taking us off track.  Today though I am excited again.  Last week I was in Phoenix which has a way of stimulating my thinking.  I awoke one morning with the map of the complex PULSE Frame in my head.  I have been working to free it to the paper ever since.

Imagine the three sides PULSE Frame as an equilateral triangle.  Now expand your vision by adding another dimension so that now you have a tetra-hedron, a shape with four equilateral triangles.  One serves as the base and the others wrap around the sides of the front face.  If you unfold that tetra-hedron so that it lays flat you get a larger equilateral triangle, one at the top and three that fit inside each other to form the base.  Are you with me?

Let’s look at each of the four triangles individually.

The first one at the top of the new larger triangle is the PULSE Frame with four parallel lines that divide it into five sections that we call Prepare, Uncover, Learn, Search and Explain.  Prepare is the base of the triangle and it gives it its strength. If you further divide it into equilateral triangles you get 9.  Uncover divides into 7.  Learn into 5 and Search into 3 and Explain is another equilateral triangle.  These braces strengthen the structure and form diamonds and triangles galore – glorious triangles and diamonds.

But wait we are not finished yet.  Each of those triangles is full of meaning.  I will come back to that once I have finished painting the picture

Triangle 2 which forms the base of the tetra hedron when it is folded is another tetra hedron.  What I see there are the skills that support the PULSE Frame Process. The peak triangle contains five sections like the PULSE triangle.  Each section is labeled starting at the base – Gentle Honest Open Specific Talk.  triangle 2 which forms the base of the inner tetra hedron contains the Wheel of change and the five associated skills – Normalizing, Confronting, Transparency, Bridging and Immediacy.  Triangle 3 to the left of 2 is divided into five sections labeled  from the base – Paraphrase, Open question, Wait, Empathise, Reframe.  Triangle 4 to the right of 2 is divided into five sections and labeled starting at the base – Hush, Empathise, Attend, Reflect and Trust.

Triangle 3 to the left of 2 on the larger tetra hedron represents the content support for the PULSE Frame and Conversations.  There you find a hexagon within the triangle which is further divided into six triangles and outside of the hexagon are three more triangles one at each of the three original angles.  The top three triangles of the hexagon are labeled “To be Positive”, “To be Heard”,  “to be Known”.  The bottom three triangles are labeled “to choose”, “to act”, to dream”.  These six sections represent the six freedoms created in PULSE.  The three outside triangles are labeled too. The Lower left is Release the upper point is Relax and the lower right is Relate.

Triangle 4 to the right of 2.  It represents the Response support for the PULSE Conversation.  Inside this triangle you find the three points form triangles of their own and the space that is left is filled with a circle with 9 points and sections each with a forty degree view of the world.  These are the nine BEACHS or Frames of reference that people use in PULSE Conversations.  The Enneagram connector lines are also present in the diagram which means that there is a triangle inside the circle and lines connecting the other 6 points.  The three other triangles that lie outside the circle are labeled.  The bottom left is Freeze, the top centre is Fight and the bottom right is Flight.


A rotating image of the PULSE Complex Conversation

A rotating image of the PULSE Complex Conversation


Back to Triangle 1.  9 internal pieces of PREPARE

1. Set the tone and welcome

2. State the Purpose

3. Outline the Protocol

4. Describe the Process

5. Establish Confidentiality or Audience

6. Determine Authority

7. Describe Roles

8. Set a Time

9. Invite parties to the next level

UNCOVER – 7 sections

1. Ask – What?

2. Hush

3, Empathise – silently

4. Attend

5. Reflect

6. Trust

7. Name the title or circumstance

LEARN – 5 sections –

 Paraphrase; Open questions; Wait; Empathise; Reframe

SEARCH – 3 sections

Content – Process – Response


The tip – the pinnacle – the plan

If you know the PULSE Frame you will begin to see the strength and complexity of it visually represented with this new map.  I am calling it the geometry of a conversation at the moment and looking forward to expounding on each of the triangles within the triangles in 4 one hundred page books that are floating in my head. 

Comments and questions are encouraged.  Your thoughts, reactions and responses will contribute to a better explanation of this map so that others may follow it to sustainable decisions, relationships and organizations.

Vigilance … I will be vigilant until this project is completed.  I will share the journey with you.

It all seems so simple when you gain perspective. Life and the geography and weather patterns as seen from a plane are just so much easier to see at a distance. People need that distance from their own situations from time to time. We call it needing space. The gift of space CAN become provide the distance and the change in perspective to find your way out. What is clear from here is that the distance needs to be UP. You can gain distance and not perspective if you stay in the same swamp. Up and away is clearly the answer.


So here I am up and away from the experience at the Enneagram conference and still trying to make sense of it.  How did I miss the spiritual connection and uses of the Enneagram?  It has always been a personality assessment to me. It is a useful tool for helping people reach their potential. So in search of potential is the same as in search of higher selve and therefore GOD. If GOD refers to Good Orderly Decision making, I am in. The mind body spirit stuff is something I have always strived for and I am no stranger to spiritual journeys. So why was I so surprised and dissapppointed in Atlanta? I think it was the ritualistic mature of what I saw as much as anything.


I resist others prescribing how I will connect with GOD. What works for them works for them and I am free of judgment around that. I myself prefer to have others do what is necessary for them to experience enlightenment And allow me to my own devices. I would never presume to expext others to follow my path and I found what I saw to be arrogant in presumptions that they were not only on the RIGHT path but in front of me and everyone else.


I feel strongly that connecting with GOD is a personal thing. Do what it takes for you to be a better you and find your own way. I guess the sixties had an influence on me. I am listening to my Flower Power music while I type this on my blackberry and the message in the music is clearer to me from this distance and perspective, the distance and perspective of age. PEACE and LOVE for everyone.


I think I am still missing the basic connection Enneagram and Spirituality. What is it?????

The title for this post has not appeared yet.  What I am thinking about is a little scattered but it definitely has to do with the DVD’s I watched on the plane home yesterday.  It was, gratefully, a rather uneventful return to Canada and Calgary.  The DVD’s were interviews with come of the people from the conference talking about how they type people and their were some interesting observations.  I was still left with the question “Why type at all?”  I remain of the firm conviction that you only need to know what BEACH they are on at the moment to effectively work with them so that they can manage their situation.  The rest is up to them.

Before I left the conference I attended a morning session which was based on improvisational theatre.  It was fun.  It reminded me that life and especially conversation is improv.  You respond to what is being said.  Your role is some what defined by your default Enneagram setting and Enneagram practitioners can see your type and your centre quickly with their observer eye.

I also chatted with some people who had attended my session on conversations who asked about why I had done things the way I did.  I explained the purpose of the one exercise was to show people, when they are present to the listening, they can quickly arrive at the essence, the BEACH of another person … in a two minute story. She related it to Blink, a book by Malcolm Gladwell and I said “Yes- the Theory of Thin Slices”.  Until then I hadn’t realized to what extent that is part of the PULSE practice.

During the session others had asked about the structure of the Frame.  I have been thinking alot about the PULSE Prism and so I began to explain my thinking aroung the four sides as Green Content or Thinking, Yellow Process or Doing and Red Response or feeling and that the base was the Blue of Insight.  That feels like the right names for the dimensions.  I also found myself talking about Appreciative Inquiry as the quide for the Green dimension, Brief Solution Focused Therapy – holding people capable as the quide to the Red dimension and the Zones of Perception which is based on Dan Dana’s retailiatory and conciliatory cycles and forces toward harmony as the quide for what to do in the Yellow dimension.  The base or Blue Zone of insight is quided by the knowledge of the Enneagram.  Understanding people and quiding them to their next level of potential is the goal and, more than a base, it is florescent bulb that runs up from bottom and lights  the whole prism, from the inside.  People come into the conversation as white light and are refracted to the many colours of the rainbow.  They see themselves and others differently on the other side.

Really this whole series of entries about the Enneagram and the illusions is that Blue Zone where we work to understand people and enlighten them as to thier own capabilities and potentials.   It is about myth and Illusion busting, about managing perceptions and reframing with the PULSE Frame the way people see and act, feel and think in the world.  And it happens in a 90 minute conversation.  Each time someone experiences the conversation they experience the path from stress to healthy to growth points on the Enneagram.  The conversation represents a microcosm of what they will experience through out their lives. The lessons will be repeated …  until they aren’t … until the illusion is finally understood as an illusion and the lesson about ‘self’ is learned.

All we can do for others is show them a path to that possibility.  We are guides, conversation guides, Delta’s… the Agents of Change.  Here’s to you PULSE professionals and practitioners.  Your work is important and you are changing the world and the people in it – one conversation at a time.

Wow.. This is a myth buster.  I have had disunity plague me for a week now.  Nothing has been easy or peaceful.  Life has thrown me challenge after challenge. So what is missing?  UNITY  pulling it all together and the higher quality of Self-Remembering.  Remember that intention is at the root.  The speaker this morning talked about that – Quantum Thinking and just putting out the intention creates the energy for things to change.  So what role did my uncertainty about being here play in the experience I had here?  hmmmmm?  I am not sure but it was less than satisfying and I accept that I likely have only myself to blame.

Everyone here seems to know each other, long lost friends who haven’t seen each other since last conference.  That’s okay.  I expected that and the people I have met are lovely and warm and welcoming.  I also expected that speakers and participants would be talking about the nine points of personality represented on the Enneagram.  Surprise!!  I haven’t heard anyone except Ginger talk in terms of Enneatypes.  And it is all about integrating and spirituality.  Yoga, breathing, somatic stuff around the body paths to enlightenment.  The practical side … the application of the Enneagram must have been presented while I was presenting.  I just haven’t seen it.  I bought some videos and some audio stuff so I can hear and see the Enneagram rather than just listen to it and maybe I will find something in there that will enlighten me, says the eternal optimist 7.

Today they described people like me who read books and study Enneagram on their own as weekend warriors, instant experts.  They were describing a certification or accreditation program the Association is working on.  It sounded much like the kind of thing the Mediator Societies are struggling with.  The goal is public awareness and the issue is quality control.  It was an interesting dialogue and I came away from it wondering who would have to stamp me on the head to say YES she knows it. 

The people in my session were either impressed or very polite.  Either way, I enjoyed our conversation together.  I think most of them got it.  They understood the application of the types in conversation and the paths and the BEACHes metaphor.  Some interesting and complimentary comments.  I can however see and feel the energy drain that the astrologer predicted because of today’s eclipse.

I am going to bed early and have actually changed my flight home to tomorrow through Toronto.  I really enjoyed the conference so far and staying I think, no I belief would be a mistake. So I am flying through Toronto … not my favourite point of entry … just to get home sooner.  I would be resentful of the time being here when I could be home.  And I can’t seem to shake the feeling of not quite fitting in.  Time well spent is important to me and so far I am not convinced that I need to be here beyond presenting my thoughts for consideration.

So rather than fight I am switching like a 9 does.  9’s don’t rock boats.  They seek harmony and peace even when it costs them personally.  The illusion of disunity reigns and so they work to unify themselves and relationships around them.  9’s will even tell you what you want to hear rather than risk conflict. (7’s on the other hand might risk the conflict if the situation is NOT exciting enough).   Once 9’s have satisfied their stressed 6 where they are unsure and afraid of everything, they can then move to be the healthy 9 and generate criteria for resolving differences in a meaningful way.  Once satisfied they move to the performer growth point of the 3 where they work hard and accept the recognition due them for their accomplishments.

Anyway, Atlanta isn’t fun for me anymore so as the predictable 7 that you have come to know I am  bailing and going home.  Thanks IEA.  It has been interesting … a real learning experience.  Note to self .. write a blurb suggesting a meeting of new attendees at the next conference in Las Vegas on the evalutaion forms.

« Previous PageNext Page »