Since rebranding my podcast to Women Changing Leadership, I’ve been dealing with one big question:
Who should be my first guest?
It’s so easy to find really famous women leaders who are putting themselves out there and changing leadership in a big way, that it can be overwhelming.
So I brought it back to myself.
And I asked a much more simple question:
Which woman has changed leadership the most, for me.
And then the answer was obvious.
Susan is a phenomenal teacher and excellent human being.
She’s a Buddhist teacher, a New York Times bestselling author, and the founder of the Open Heart Project, a virtual meditation community with 20,000 members around the world.
And on this episode of Women Changing Leadership, she joins me to discuss her new book, The Buddhist Enneagram: Nine Paths to Warriorship, and how discovering your Enneagram type will unlock a whole new level in your career and life.
Let’s dive in.
Want to receive the recognition you deserve, step into a higher leadership position, get paid for your ideas instead of the hours you put in at work, and enjoy more time, freedom, energy, and joy? Then you need to get your hands on a copy of Promotions Made Easy. Get your copy here.
What You'll Learn:
- Susan’s definition of true success
- How Susan’s Enneagram studies allowed her to practice more compassion
- How to use your Enneagram to cope with self-aggression
- How the Enneagram helps you see and honor yourself
- How to discover and use your Enneagram type
Listen to the Full Episode:
Featured on the Show:
- Read Susan’s books, The Hard Questions: 100 Essential Questions To Ask Before You Say "I Do", The Wisdom of a Broken Heart: How to Turn the Pain of a Breakup into Healing, Insight, and New Love, Start Here Now: An Open-Hearted Guide to the Path and Practice of Meditation, The Four Noble Truths of Love: Buddhist Wisdom for Modern Relationships, and her latest book, The Buddhist Enneagram: Nine Paths to Warriorship
- Visit Susan’s online community at OpenHeartProject.com
- Follow me on Instagram
- Connect with me on LinkedIn
- Join my group coaching intensive, Executive Ahead of Time
- Get your copy of my book, Promotions Made Easy: A Step-by-Step Guide to the Executive Suite
- Go to StacyMayer.com/Strategies to join my email list and receive my email series, Seven Promotion Strategies that Your Boss Won’t Tell You
Stacy Mayer: Hello, everyone. Welcome to another episode of Women Changing Leadership. I am your host, Stacy Mayer, and today I have my very first and incredibly special guest for this new platform. And I was asking myself: who do I want to bring on as guests when I start to talk about women who are changing leadership. And I see Susan's eyes getting bigger, like: really, I'm the first. Oh, my goodness. I'm so excited.
And I asked myself: how do I think about it in such a big way? And you can look at all of the really famous women who are putting themselves out there and changing leadership. And then I came immediately back to myself. And I said: Who has changed leadership for me? And not to put Susan on the spot, but the first person I think of are teachers, mentors, people who affect your lives in ways that they don't even know. This is probably the first in-person conversation that Susan and I have had, but she has been a part of my life for the last ten years. And I'm going to tell you so much more about her. But she is just a phenomenal teacher and an excellent human being. And when you're in Susan's presence, you feel uplifted.
And so I was like: this is the person that I want on my podcast. This is the message that I want to send, is that every single one of us as individuals are changing leadership. Some in enormous ways, with a ripple effect on the entire world and some in the smallest ways that still have that gigantic ripple effect on the world. So I'm so excited to have Susan here. And thank you.
Susan Piver: Thank you. I was like: Wow, I'd really like to go that person. She sounds awesome.
Stacy Mayer: You know what it is? It's so important. I'm going to talk about her a little bit before we get into the interview. But just the journey for myself through meditation. And I first entered the meditation world probably more like 20 years ago with the work of Pema Chodron. And then when I moved to Berkeley, California, I was told that I had to go to the Shambhala Center. And it's so amazing. And this is where everything started. It was just very exciting.
And Susan would come in and guest teach every now and then. And then fast forward a little bit more into the future and she started an incredible online organization or an online community, a sangha. And at the time that I had my first child, which was seven years ago, happened to be the first year that she introduced the mommy sangha. And at that point in my life, I was looking for a sangha that I didn't have to leave my home. And I was like: I can't go into the center right now. I have a very tiny baby. And so every single week we would meet and we would meditate and we would share what was happening for us as mothers. And that was so impactful.
Now, fast forward to the more recent years, and she started sharing her work with the Enneagram. And this is something that I had heard of and dabbled in and thought about and you'll hear from today's conversation, it's incredibly complex and rich, but it's sort of like: how do you enter into this work? And I wasn't really sure. And then now, most recently, just in the last couple of weeks, her book has come out and it is called The Buddhist Enneagram: Nine Paths to Warriorship. So another reason to have her on the podcast today was to celebrate this work, to share it with you. It's going to be incredibly impactful to what you've been thinking about in terms of your career and how you're navigating relationships at work. And so I just wanted to get into this conversation with Susan.
Susan Piver: I'm so excited to talk with you. I just can feel your appreciation for the journey and for your own path and for the teachings that have spoken to you. And that's wonderful. And we're so fortunate to find teachings and sangha that speak to us. So I'm happy about that.
Stacy Mayer: Absolutely. I love that term. Sangha. It means a lot to me. It means a lot to Susan, but basically it means community. And so I wanted to share that with you if you're not familiar with that term. But it's it's just your people and it's so important.
Susan Piver: It's so important. It's so important and it's more than important. It's necessary to accomplish the journey. And not just in the Buddhist view, but generally speaking, no one can do this by themselves.
Stacy Mayer: Yeah, exactly. So I'm going to talk one more time to deliver Susan's more formal bio, and then the rest I will let her speak, I promise.
Susan Piver is a Buddhist teacher and the New York Times bestselling author of The Hard Questions, The Wisdom of a Broken Heart, Start Here Now, The Four Noble Truths of Love, and others. Her latest book is The Buddhist Enneagram. Piver has been a student of Buddhism since 1993. She is founder of the Open Heart Project, a virtual meditation community with 20,000 members all over the world. She lives in Somerville, Massachusetts, and Austin, Texas.
Susan Piver: Yes.
Stacy Mayer: So we kind of touched on this a little bit just in sharing the importance of sangha, but what do you feel like are some of your secrets to success?
Susan Piver: Well. I'm thinking. I guess everything I thought success was, turned out to have no meaning for me. I still think success is what most people think it is. Accomplishing your goals and making enough money and more than enough money and giving back to this world. And what I have found is the best definition of success for me is: have I been myself and given what I have to offer? Whether it makes sense to anyone else or not. Have I given my gift? Have I discovered what that gift even is? And then have I found a way to express it, to offer it? So I tend to look at my work life not so much as a service or a goal-oriented thing. But I look at it as an art project. What does it need? What is it asking of me? What am I scared to do? What do I long to do even though I can't figure out why? And that, to me, is more synonymous with an art project. And the longer I work in this way, and the older I get, the more I see that. Success is not something that I can craft. I am not. In fact, I am not in charge. I am not. I'm not constructing my life. I'm shepherding it. What does it want? Where does it want to go? What do I need to learn? What can I share? Those kinds of things. So I hope that doesn't sound too woo woo or "soft". But the more I can give myself over to the arc of my journey that I discover within me and around me, the more engaged I feel. And I guess just to sum up, engagement is my definition of success. Am I really engaged? Does my outer life reflect my inner life? And then I feel happy when the answer is yes.
Stacy Mayer: I love that. I told you all she was going to bring it. This is so good. So in terms of the journey to oneself and discovery and what you're being called to give at any given moment, I feel like the Enneagram must have been a huge part of that exploration and that understanding. Can you share with us what the Enneagram is and a little bit more of how it impacted your life? I think you said that you've been studying the Enneagram as long as you've been studying Buddhism, 30 years now.
Susan Piver: Yes. And for the longest time, my study of both these things was just my personal interest, and it remains just my personal interest. But I kept finding over and over again that my Enneagram studies supported my Buddhist path of compassion and wisdom and insight. And the Buddhist path supported my exploration of the Enneagram. So Ennea is the Greek prefix for nine, and the Enneagram posits nine ways of being. Sometimes called nine personality types. But I think that is much too reductive. Your Enneagram type includes your personality, but also goes way beyond it to also sort of name your energy, the style of energy that you embody. So there are many wonderful systems of personality typing. Myers-Briggs and Strength Finders and Colby's and many others, and I like all of them. I especially like the Colbys. I think they're really useful, but they remain rightfully so in the realm of transaction. If I can accomplish this, I will be able to get that. If I can understand this, I will be able to do that. And that's fair. That's fine. We all need those tools in our life.
But the Enneagram is one of the wisdom systems that goes beyond psychologizing and transactional investments to point at some essential quality that you possess.
And so there's much more one could say about it. Often people think, well, how can there only be nine? I feel like nine different people in one day. And fair enough. Fair enough. And maybe there aren't nine. Maybe there's 100,000. But I see that there are nine. My personal investigation is, yeah, the Enneagram is extremely accurate.
Susan Piver: So just one short example about how it really helped me at work is, I used to do creative projects with someone, a great guy. And creative projects involve a lot of brainstorming and would have this. And what about that and pie in the sky and that kind of thing. And every time I would go into his office with one of my ideas. What about this idea? What do you think? He would shoot it down?
He would tell me the seven things that could go wrong with it, right away. Can't do it because of this. That's not going to work, etc and so forth. So then I would leave this office feeling like: someone here is a jerk, and I don't know if it's him or me, but this does not feel good.
And then when I realized his type on the Enneagram, in this case number six, the type that is unbelievably attuned to threat, among many other qualities. But they can find threat. They have a great sense of threat. So I stopped telling him my ideas when they were in the germination stage. And I started telling him my ideas when I wanted to know what could go wrong. Because with every project you do, you need to assess the risk. You need to understand what could go wrong. And he was brilliant at that. So just knowing that that little tweak. I stopped expecting him to have a conversation as I would have had a conversation and instead harmonize our work together in a way that worked, I think, for both of us.
Stacy Mayer: You talk about how compassion is a big part of the Enneagram, and compassion in in Buddhism is also a big part of of Buddhist practice. And finding compassion and what you just described feels a lot like a compassionate approach to another human being. It feels like you basically softened and and connected.
Susan Piver: And that's a perfect way of describing it. And I soften first to myself, which is always where we have to start. And that's always the hardest step. So I soften towards myself in this case because I saw all this. I'm not getting what I need. What is fun for me is not this kind of conversation. It's a different kind of conversation. So how can I accomplish that? How can I construct my life so that I can do what's enjoyable, what's nourishing, what's meaningful for me? Well, I can't talk to this guy about my ideas. So that's number one. So that's cool. No judgment of him. No judgment of me. But where can our minds meet? Where can we collaborate? So I stopped judging him on good days for not recognizing my brilliance. And I could instead just: Oh, yeah, here. At this juncture, we can meet.
So nothing has helped me more in the realm of compassion than the Enneagram. And again, first towards myself. All of us, I would say it's a safe bet to say, are in the grip of tremendous self aggression. And when it comes to success and leadership and accomplishment and productivity and effectiveness, self-aggression tends to rise. We think: I have to be harder on myself. I have to not be who I am and instead be like whoever I think a leader should look like. And that is very understandable. It creates a lot of confusion and delays the journey.
Susan Piver: But when we can see ourselves and not accept ourselves, not like: Oh, you're great. Everything you do is awesome, but more like: Well, this is just who I am.
So, for example, this is not about work, but and I think I talked about this in the book. I am the number four on the Enneagram. And that has meaning for this story. I have always faulted myself for not being a good enough friend. Like I wish I was a better friend. There are people in my life who I love. But when's the last time I talked to them? I can't remember because I'm not calling up to chat. I'm not saying: Hey, let's hang out. Uh oh. I'm not. Not a good friend. And in some ways, one could make that case.
But then when I sort of looked at my own type, four, where all the emotional energy goes in and the inner life is very nuanced and there's even an attraction to what is dark and difficult. I'm like: okay, well, I'm not going to be a friend to hang out. But if you are being born or dying, call me. And I will be your best friend. Because I will stand with you in those moments. Like, okay, do I wish I was all the kinds of friends? Yes, but that's the kind of friend I can be. So I'm more and more able to accept that about myself.
Stacy Mayer: We're going to tell you how to access your own Enneagram and learn more for yourself here in a few minutes. But I just love so many different themes that are coming through this conversation, and I want to kind of pull on this thread a little bit longer.
So you spoke about this idea of self aggression equals success, and I loved your definition of success at the very beginning, and it did sound so profoundly different than what we've heard on this podcast. I asked every single guest this question, and my sense is you weren't trying to be different. It's very true and natural to you. And you're like: No, this is the exploration. But why do you think: one, that we have this tendency to go to the self aggression to gain success in the traditional realm? And then also how can the Enneagram help us uncover that that may or may not be useful for us?
Susan Piver: Those are two really great questions. I will try to do them justice. Um. Can you say the first one again?
Stacy Mayer: The first one was why do we tend to lean on self aggression, especially if it's not our type, right? And that wouldn't be what we would go to. But yet society and... Yeah, exactly.
Susan Piver: It makes me so upset, actually. But the picture that we're given of successful people, first of all, is almost always men. If not always. And they have gone out and conquered something and they have stepped on the faces of naysayers and they have gone their own way and conquered something. They've gone step one, step two, step three.
Another definition of success or leadership is you establish your goal. You back outline the steps. And then you knock each step out one at a time until you get there. I tried that. Stacy. That does not work for me. I know people for whom it does work, and, yay, that's good.
So the self aggression piece tends to come in like, why aren't I more like these captains of industry or these leaders that I admire? And why can't I just do the things they say in the books, like outline your plan and then do step at a time and then you'll get there. Well, it's just the actual journey is so much more nuanced and interesting than that. And fold into that the idea that most of us, myself included, don't think that we are worthy of success. So we have to fight ourselves. Well, who are you to want that? Or who are you to deserve that? Or why should you ask for this or that?
There's something in there that's going: you're not good enough. Okay, well, let me look harder. I try to get good enough, and then self aggression amplifies. So part of it is the world gives us a message about how to be successful and accomplish leadership that does not actually work for most people, I think. And especially, I would say, for women people. Anyone who identifies female. Doesn't have to be gender women born women, but anyone who identifies with the female.
So, for example. I am a Buddhist teacher. I have an online community. There are many Buddhist teachers with communities and 99% of them are men. And there are great teachers out there. I'm not dissing them at all. But when I first started doing the Open Heart Project, I was like: Well, let me offer this and here's the first class you should take, and here's the second class, and it's leading here and there and after a couple of years and I'm like: that's not no. That's not, no. My way of doing things is not linear. And I'm not saying that proudly, and I'm not saying that it's because I'm a woman. It's not step one, step two, step three for me. Rather, I know people can't see me, but it's like I start on this outer circle, I'm moving my finger around, and then the circles get smaller and eventually I land where I want to be or where I think I want to be. So it doesn't move forward in a line. It rotates around in a circle, and then I arrive somewhere. So that's not a leadership strategy that is suggested. But it's one that is profound and also involves. Communication. And I mean that in the deepest sense, Stacy, like not just communication with the people you work with, but communication with yourself and communication with the environment. What I may think you're great. Oh, I'm great. We have this idea. Let's do it. But then we enter a world that gives us messages. Good idea, bad idea. But to remain in that communication with yourself, with me, with your world. Is actually what drives success, I think, and models leadership. So self aggression obscures those communications. And therefore is contraindicated.
Stacy Mayer: So, Susan, as part of her book launch, she was offering a class inside of the Open Heart Project to really dive very deep into each of the types and everything. And I've been listening to it and working through it and, and uncovering my type as well. And something that just occurred to me literally yesterday. So I'm still understanding this, but it makes me think about what you're talking about in terms of this definition of how we achieve success. So I uncovered that I think I'm a seven and there is a concept in the Enneagram called Disintegration. And you can explain more, but this disconnection from yourself and you take on the qualities of another type, and that is your stress. When you're in stress, you're in the the negative qualities of another type. And so for me, the disintegration is one.
And then I was like, oh, when I worked at the hedge fund in New York City, I think I was in a consistent disintegration at work. And and I realized and so I'm talking a little jargony right now, but it matters to me because I'm wondering if at that time in my life that I felt like I needed to act a certain way, which would be the sort of negative qualities that are counter to my type because of the people who were around me. I think now as a as a leader myself, I realized that I could have tapped into my own qualities, figured out my own circle, what you know, the way that I navigated relationships and such at work. But at the time I felt like that was the only way. And I would just use words like, I don't like this. It doesn't feel good. But I didn't exactly know why, literally, until yesterday.
Susan Piver: Oh, my goodness. Wow. How did it make you feel to have that insight?
Stacy Mayer: Free. And also, it really informs the work that I do because I will tell a lot of women who feel very not themselves at work that that's okay. This is not either you're not able to bring yourself to this job and maybe that's a truth. Maybe you won't be able to maybe this is not the exact environment, but that is not the definition of corporate world. It's not what happens everywhere. It's not every single relationship. And so I really forgave myself in some ways where I said: I didn't have the tools to step back and to be compassionate. I just got more self aggressive and tried harder, harder, harder to fit into something that really was never going to work for me. Not that job, but the way I was showing up. Not the blame it on the job itself, but the way that I was bringing and into the environment.
Susan Piver: That is an incredibly, that's an incredible story. And when you say I felt free and I felt compassion for myself. Well, that's exactly right. That's the antithesis of self aggression. And that's how the Enneagram helps, not by telling you how to be a better you or a better anything, or even how to accomplish your goals, but how to see yourself and honor yourself. And when you see and honor, you are confident. Not that you're great and can do everything, but in who you are. And therefore are much more likely to magnetize and give rise to the situations in your life that make you happy and feel successful. I would say.
Stacy Mayer: I just thought of something else. I remember the day that I got a very big unsolicited raise at work, and it was not because of my self aggressive performance, it was because I made the environment better. It was probably, looking back, a blip in my time there where I was able to bring out my seven a little bit more and engage in conversation in a way that felt truer to me and more collaborative and more outgoing. And they were like: here's some money. It was the middle of the year, not tied to a performance review. And the reasons were all the reasons that I would have hoped for and not because of how great I was at my job per se, but how great I was and how valuable I was to the group.
Susan Piver: That must have felt fantastic. Yeah, that must've felt great. Yeah. So seven disintegrating at one, just to use that for an example. Sevens are big thinkers and visionaries and see potential and pull towards joy all the time. Our world really, really, really needs that. So thank you on behalf of all the other eight numbers. Thank you, Stacy. And but when things don't go their way, as you say, they disintegrate at one which is very judgmental on the downside. Ones have many fabulous qualities. But picky. Detail oriented to a fault. And judgmental. And they only see things in terms of black and white. So they start micromanaging. So, okay, cool. That's interesting. Good to know. For my type, when I disintegrate, I disintegrate at type two, which is a very giving, effusive, generous type. Who on bad days creates relationships to manipulate circumstance, not out of any genuine affection. So when my type disintegrates, doesn't look like judgmental or picky or micromanaging. It looks like someone saying reaching out to others. Do you like me? Do you really think I'm doing a good job? Do you think I can do this? Could you hang out with me? I really want to talk this over. That's not what Fores normally do, but a for in stress looks like A to which I just saying to point out that it's not that everyone goes to the same point in stress where you went very different from where I go but it's helpful to have these blueprints these are astonishing blueprints for your inner world, I would say.
Stacy Mayer: Yeah. So this is a good segway into how we can use and find out the Enneagram type. So one thing that's very unique to the Enneagram than other assessments is that there's not a actual assessment, there's not a test that you take. I wanted to share something that when I did a Myers-Briggs certification to teach the MBTI, something that really stood out to me was the requirement from the organization that you not deliver the results to the other human being until you have had a lengthy conversation about their type. And about an hour long. And they give you tools to be able to engage in that conversation, and then you present them with the assessment. And to this day, and I don't feel like I have to do it that way, but the value is so big in having a conversation with somebody about how they actually see the world, before presenting them with this is your type, this is your letters, these are your numbers. And I think that's the gift of the Enneagram is that while some would say it's annoying that you can't just take a quiz and figure out your type and lots of people have tried and you'll find quizzes when you Google it after this episode, you'll find lots of information. But the way that Susan teaches it and I don't think it's just you. You can explain why there is no real assessment. But then the answer or the question comes to: well, then how? How do we uncover this for ourselves?
Susan Piver: Yes. Excellent question. And that's I'm really interested to hear, by the way, about that hour long conversation, I can imagine why that would be extremely fruitful, because we want to avoid avoid labels. Even though INTJ and seven, those are labels. We want to avoid ghetto izing people. We want these assessments to be liberating and expansive and helpful, not reductive.
Anyway. Yeah, there is no Enneagram test. That said, there are countless Enneagram tests. Unfortunately, none of them are accurate. If you want to do MBTI, if you want to do the Kolbe, they have instruments that seem to be remarkably accurate and that's great. There is no such thing for the Enneagram. Of course there are people who disagree with me and would say otherwise, but that's cool because this is getting at an essential quality that about you that quite often you yourself cannot see. So if you're being asked a series of multiple choice questions or fill in the blank questions about you, you're going to answer those questions from how you know yourself already, not from what you can't see about yourself. So that's my sense of why there's no it's not possible. It's not possible. We're talking about nine. Huge and hugely nuanced energies, half of which are in shadow. So you cannot test for what's in shadow. So I have some suggestion that that said it's yeah it is irritating I agree.
Susan Piver: But my first suggestion for people that want to find their type is take all the tests, take all the free tests. And if you got a bunch of money to spare, take all the paid tests too. They will not supply you with answers, but they will supply you with data points. And you may start to notice: oh seven and one come up all every time I take a test, they're in the top three. Okay, good. So start there. Start with seven. Start with one. Seven is on what's called the mental triad. Five, six and seven are the thinking types on the Enneagram. When things don't go their way, thinking speeds up, they get anxious. They would have this. What if that If I should have put this over there, let me think harder. Okay. That's we all do that. But some of us do that first. If you're one that's on a different triad, eight, nine and one are called the Gut Triad or the intuitive triad. People who operate in the world, they think just as much as the other types. But the predominant way of knowing is through intuition. And when things don't go their way, very broadly speaking, they get angry. Anger and anxiety are different. We all get angry. We all get anxious. But I'm just saying, if seven and one keep coming up, we'll start looking at those numbers.
Susan Piver: Do I identify more with the mental triad, the intuitive triad? What happens when I'm under stress? Do I get angry? Do I get anxious? And so on. You still won't know the answer, but you'll have a deep you'll have more data points, more things to test. And then finally, and forgive me if this getting too complicated, but I appreciated right up front. You said this. This is complex. It is within each of the types. There are three subdivisions or subtypes, so there's three kinds of seven three kinds of one, three kinds of four and so on. According to what the Enneagram calls instinctual drives, Ingram didn't make up instinctual drives. These are the three instinctual drives that we all share, every being, not just human beings. And one of them is predominant for each of us.
The first drive is for self preservation. I just want to be safe. I don't want to be killed. I don't want to be cold. I won't have enough money. Great. Those are important things. The second drive is called the social drive or the drive to belong to something. A tribe, a sangha, a neighborhood, a political party, a movement, something that I found my place in the world. We all have that drive. And for one third of us, it's the predominant drive. And the third drive is called the sexual drive or intimate drive, which doesn't just mean wanting to have sex with everyone all the time. It means wanting to connect with someone in every circumstance. At work I want to know who I can talk to, at home I want to have my person that I can unburden to, when I go on vacation will there be someone there who I can share it with? Those kinds of things.
So you could be a self preservation seven. You could be a social seven. You could be a sexual seven. So it's easier for most of us to find our subtype. Like as soon as I heard about them, I'm like, Oh, self-preservation. That's me. I thought it was an eight. But then when I read about self-preservation eight, which is called satisfactory survival. I'm like, No, I don't resonate with anything about that. And I'd skipped over four because I'm like, No, I don't identify with anything there. I'm not a drama queen. I don't have a sense of tragic romance. And I just didn't identify with any of those things. So I never thought I was a four until I read about self preservation for which is called Reckless Dauntless. And I was like, You people have been spying on me. This is exactly. So do you have a sense of your subtype?
Stacy Mayer: Yes.
Susan Piver: What is it?
Stacy Mayer: And actually, I thought it was interesting, the Social seven. And when I first read about sacrifice, when you talk about the shadow side, I was like: oh, I don't sacrifice. And then once I dug deeper, I realized that that's actually what I'm running away from consistently. Is because I'm being pulled to sacrifice myself for other people? And so I tend to retreat into myself, like: I'll go, you know, find my own path or try and get away because I am often drawn to let go of myself.
Susan Piver: So Self-preservation seven is called family and friends, which doesn't sound self-preservation, but it's like, I need my posse. That's how I'm going to feel safe. My self-preservation instinct will calm down when I'm surrounded by people I know. Sexual seven, just skipping to that is called fascination. I'm looking for the all sevens are interested in possibility and vision. And like the sexual subtypes, this seven wants to be in love, but then a problem comes up and they're not so interested anymore. I need to find something else, someone else to be fascinated by because being fascinated is the ideal state.
Now Social seven is very different. It's called sacrifice, as you say. Just like the other sevens the social seven is seeing what's possible. Having unbelievable vision. Knowing what could be. While the rest of us are wondering what's for dinner, or I ran out of laundry detergent. Sevens are like, Can't you see the vision that I see of the world?
But the social seven's sacrifice, that Don Quixote esque drive, to honor their responsibilities to their society, whether it's a family or an organization or whatever it is. So those three kinds of sevens are really different from each other. And so take all the tests. Look at your triad. Intuitive, mental or emotional is the third triad, and then subtype, and see if you can narrow it down. And then the final suggestion for finding your type is be patient. Be patient.
Stacy Mayer: And, you know, I'm realizing as we're talking, there was a big clue to me that I was in the mental triad because I could talk about this for I mean, we've been talking for quite some time and I just want to keep going and keep talking about it and thinking about it. And that's why I really think I was attracted to Buddhism early on because the four noble truths just keep unfolding and unfolding and understanding and, you know, and I just I'm like, Oh, what did I learn today? And it's all about that journey and just kind of figuring it out as I go. And and so. So I highly recommend if you're drawn to this, just like Susan said, be patient, you know, dig in and then maybe it will float away and then it might come back. And that's how it's been for me. I couldn't remember what my type was when I started taking your recent class these last couple of weeks, I couldn't remember at all. And then I let it unfold in the class and discovered it again.
Susan Piver: That's so great. That's a great advice. And it's also great that you trust yourself and that you appreciate where your mind goes, it will return. I'm going to send it out into the tundra and it's going to bring something back to me. That's really great.
Stacy Mayer: Yeah. And I'll highly recommend her book if you want to start digging into this as well, because it's such a great and accessible access point to really reading. And she recommends that you don't just skip to your type. And actually this leads me into the final question for today, which is: we want to think about other people's types. And so it's very common to just skip to your type in the book and read about it and understand that. And I do believe that this process starts with self and self discovery and understanding of one's self before we can understand and connect and be compassionate with others. But there is also a desire to work better. Like I loved your story at work and to understand when there's friction how we can better connect. So how can we use this work to understand what other people's types are? And is that even possible?
Susan Piver: Yeah, such a good question, and I'll try to keep the answer concise. But what I try to say to myself is you can never really know anyone's type. That said, I've been studying it for 30 years. So I hear it, I feel it, I can sense it. But I always remind myself that I could be totally wrong.
So instead of saying: Oh, Stacy's a seven, I would say when we're having a conversation to myself: I feel the energy of seven. I feel the energy of two. Whatever it is, not: she is a seven. So it's important to hold it loosely. So one of the stories I told in the book about a seven who was my boss in this particular situation and present company excluded, I'm sure, but every type has an avoidance, and the avoidance for seven is pain. Nobody likes pain at sevens will go way out of their way to not acknowledge things that hurt. Because for very good reasons. And so I would tell my boss, I'm having a problem with a project that we're working on. Can I tell you about it? And he would just zone me out. And I felt ashamed and bad because if someone says to me, I have a problem, I'm like, okay, buddy, bring it.
Stacy Mayer: Stop everything.
Susan Piver: Let me have your problem. So he was blowing me off and then I realized he was a seven, I believed. And though they don't like pain, which very few of us do. Some of us, however, see the value in it. They like ideas. So instead of saying to him, I have a problem, I would say to him: I have an idea and I would like your feedback. And then when we would talk, I would tell him my problem, but phrased as an idea. It wasn't hard to do. It was just a little reframing for me that opened the doors for us to have a conversation. And you cannot put a price tag on that, I don't think.
Stacy Mayer: No. Yeah. And this exploration and this curiosity is so important because I was definitely inclined to tell my husband what I thought he was. And I was actually probably just about to tell him almost. And you hear that word tell, tell, tell rate instead of just offer it as curiosity and exploration. And this is what I'm seeing and I read this and it made me think of you. So much better. That's such a good reminder. I love.
Susan Piver: It's so good for both of you.
Stacy Mayer: Yeah, That's wonderful. So, any final words of advice for a woman who is looking for success in all areas and and looking for bringing more of herself into the conversation? Anything that you would offer to her as we close out today?
Susan Piver: Yeah, two things, very brief. One is go your way. Go your way. And the other is relax. Because what we long for, insight, ideas, creativity, they tend to arise when we relax, not when we work.
Stacy Mayer: Yeah. Space.
Susan Piver: Mm hmm.
Stacy Mayer: Wonderful. So how do we find you? How do we learn more about you? All of the digits and things like that that we can click on and find more about you?
Susan Piver: Well, first, thank you for this lovely conversation. It felt really good to talk with you about this. And I really appreciate your enthusiasm for these topics and your dedication to your audience and your own journey. So it all was very palpable to me. You can just Google me. Susan Piver. Or my online community is called OpenHeartProject.com. And my books are on online bookstores. It would be great to stay connected in whatever way is useful.
Stacy Mayer: Wonderful. Oh, Susan, thank you so much for being here today. And it's such a gift to me and and my audience, I know. Thank you.
Susan Piver: Thank you, too.
About Your Host
Hi! I'm Stacy Mayer, a Certified Executive Coach and Promotion Strategist on a mission to bring more diversity to the leadership table by getting 1000 underrepresented corporate managers promoted into senior executive positions each year worldwide.
I help undervalued executives scale to the C-Suite using repositioning strategies that build your confidence and visibility, so you can earn the recognition and support you need from key stakeholders while embodying your unique leadership style.
My podcast “Women Changing Leadership with Stacy Mayer” tackles topics like executive communication, getting more respect in the workplace from challenging bosses and team members, and avoiding the common mistakes that sabotage career advancement.
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