Blog - E-Mediate
 
From the pen of Ellen Edwards

It’s one of those tricky interview questions no one’s ever really quite sure how to answer: “How would you describe your leadership style?” It’s enough to make even the most savvy leaders hesitate, and the lesser ones freeze completely. Very often, the way in which we describe ourselves as leaders is based solely on feedback we’ve had from others, and not from any real self-awareness. And yet, effective leadership is heavily dependent on self-awareness and self-management....

Since the most ancient of times, human behaviour has been linked to that of animals. Although we have assumed dominance over our non-human, fellow earth-dwellers, we still display many of their survival characteristics. Stealth, aggression, skittishness and passivity serve animals well, but they work for us too, helping us cope more effectively in a competitive and complex world. Our undeniable link to animals is found everywhere in commercial and pop culture. We only have to look...

Somehow, it’s that time of year again. Year-end office parties, book club parties, Ladies Who Lunch Secret Santa get togethers…we just seem to ricochet endlessly from one social occasion to the next. But why do some of us handle these events better than others? At every function, there are the wallflowers and the dancers-on-tables, the witty raconteurs and the one-word-answerers. Contrary to what you might think, the way we behave at parties has less to...

The world, as Louis Armstrong sings so hauntingly, is wonderful. Sadly, though, it’s also a place where anxiety and guilt occasionally threaten to overwhelm us. This is when we rely on our defence mechanisms to help us deal with these uncomfortable and difficult situations. Although Sigmund Freud, who is generally credited with “discovering” our defence mechanisms, would not have described them this way, they are, essentially, the human equivalent of a computer firewall. They defend against...

In our last blog, we introduced you to the Enneagram subtypes, which are based on our three basic instinctual drives: Self-preservation, One-on-one and Social. This time, we take a deeper dive into how these sub-types manifest in each of the nine different personality types. Type 1: The Perfectionist In Enneagram Type 1s, the self-preservation instinct most often presents as anxiety. Ones are highly concerned about security and survival, and are anxious to be a good person and...

The Enneagram Subtype The Enneagram model catagorises people into nine basic personality types. However, because we humans are complex beings, these nine types don’t actually give us the whole picture. Of course, it’s a fantastic place to start when it comes to understanding what motivates our behaviour. But, to get a truly comprehensive handle on why we act and react the way we do, we need to delve a little deeper. This is why each of...

“I’m easy to please – just give me everything I want.” A colleague had that sign on her desk, and it always made me smile every time I saw it. At face value, it’s a simple enough life philosophy. Getting what we want makes us happy. But, does it really? What if what we want isn’t actually good for us? Or what if we don’t really know what we want? How then, will we know...

Why is it so tempting to mess up the desk of that one colleague who is a total “neat freak?” And why do we take perverse pleasure in denying the office “egomaniac” the unwarranted satisfaction of taking all the credit for the team’s good work? It’s because we know, from observing their behaviour over time, just what pushes their buttons. And as human beings, we do like to poke the bear on occasion! Sometimes, of course,...

You don’t have to be a psychologist to know that, as human beings, we are all very different. And this is a good thing. If we all approached life in the same way and had the same thought processes and behaviours, life would be pretty predictable, boring and unproductive. The fact that we all bring something different to the table makes us better as a group, particularly at work. The secret is understanding what motivates...