The Enneagram in Construction

Construction is a fast-paced, highly competitive industry in which the dual abilities to make high stakes decisions quickly and to control costs are essential to success. The technology of the industry is changing rapidly as well, not only in equipment but also in data management.

In construction, a relatively small corporate staff must manage often far-flung operations with independent management and a shifting employee base. Teams are critical and must be formed and re-formed constantly. The industry recruits management heavily from engineering and related fields. Thus, managers often think linearly and adopt a no-nonsense approach. They prefer to be outside with their sleeves rolled up and aren't keen on what they consider small talk. The Enneagram plays a significant role in team management.

Human Resource departments in construction have a huge challenge, struggling to find and retain employees in an industry that projects a shortage of a million workers over the next 20 years. Communication also can be an enormous challenge in construction companies. With high mobility and frequently multilingual workforces, it isn't easy to get messages across.

Just as one example, a growing construction firm decided to implement a company-wide integrated software platform. They had the ability to construct the software, but getting the messages out proved to be a daunting challenge. The Enneagram is a critical approach in framing essential messages and training protocols.

Given the competition, construction companies often understand the importance of thinking strategically, and the most successful recognize the value of taking the time to see the big picture. The Enneagram allows the space to step back from delivering projects in order to assess the future of the business. The Enneagram also helps management watch for blind spots in team development and ensure that important considerations have a place in decision making.

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As a founding principal of Clarus, I work with clients - from Fortune 1000s, nonprofits and governments to family-owned businesses - to define and implement strategy; develop, train, and coach strong leadership; and communicate effectively with internal and external stakeholders.

My experience includes assisting clients under regulatory, media, and legal scrutiny to implement solutions leading to best-in-class, award-winning improvements; assisting management teams in achieving measurable, bottom-line results; and training for management skills, diversity, and ERP implementation.

Every client deserves high quality, sustainable outcomes. The key is working from a systems approach that aligns processes, people, and skills, while the impediment to achieving optimum results is not usually a host of things; it is a few blind spots that impact the whole organization. The Enneagram is a powerful approach for diagnosing and addressing organizational challenges, for helping employees assess and redress any attitudes that may impede success, and for structuring systems and relationships that work.

My practice is informed by 20 years of experience as a corporate litigator and mediator and as an adjunct law professor in mediation and negotiation. I am Enneagram certified by Palmer/Daniels EPTP and Ginger Lapid-Bogda's inaugural Train-the-Trainer program. In addition, I present at the International Enneagram Association's annual conference on communications, negotiation, and business relationships, and currently serve as president-elect of the Association of Enneagram Teachers in the Narrative Tradition.