Over the course of my tenure at DeVry University, I have encountered and interacted with numerous professors. Like any other profession or industry, every one operates in an individual manner and takes a unique approach to how they interact with peers and subordinates. Every professor has their own teaching style and way they feel they should communicate to students. Since learning of the Enneagram and the different personalities and character traits we all possess, I can now see the differences in professors I have dealt with. The Enneagram has introduced me to the variety of personality types and the ways each do business in regards to communicating and interacting with other personality types. In the following, I will describe four professors and their personality types, discussing interaction and communication with each.
In the winter session I had a public speaking class with a professor by the name of Suzy Ismail. Her personality type is that of the Helper, or number two. As I have learned in class and reading, a Helper is generous and they support and empower others. Twos are motivated by the need to feel appreciated and they like to express their positive thoughts to others. Helpers tend to offer compliments and are naturally wired to make people feel welcome and appreciated. One of the greatest traits of twos is their heartfelt desire to work with people and assist others in achieving. Helpers take pride in helping others as they have a need to feel needed. By serving others, they are able to fulfill a need and craving that only helping others provides for them. Twos have an encouraging leadership style and approach. They are known as the cheerleaders of people and manage by portraying enthusiasm and pride. Twos take pride in making a difference in people’s lives and enjoy being acknowledged for doing so. A negative aspect of twos is they may want to change or improve other people for the sake of their own satisfaction.
The teacher/student relationship was a positive and beneficial experience for me and I also believe for Professor Ismail. We both have different personality types and I feel this led to my success in the class. I am a nine and I definitely tend to try to keep the peace and an even keel. In this class, I had to speak in front of the class which I felt uncomfortable doing. Professor Ismail was able to help me overcome this fear and create an improved public speaker out of me. She recognized that I was improving and as a two, this was able to satisfy her desire to support and empower others. We were both different in how we approached public speaking; her desire to change/turn me into a proficient speaker did at times make me feel uncomfortable. She had faith in me that I could be a good speaker while I did not have this same outlook. Her persistence and constantly making us speak, sometimes unexpected, led to my discomfort. Looking back now, I appreciate her method and at the end of the semester, I honestly felt like an improved speaker. She possessed strengths such as making me feel like I can accomplish whatever I wanted in the class, making known her desire to help, praise upon doing well, and nurturing me into an improved speaker. Our communication was positive as she was able to effectively communicate her intentions and aspirations for the class. I felt very open with her and expressed my concerns and worries to her without fear or trepidation.
In my first semester at DeVry, I had the privilege of learning from Professor Bell who teaches an intro to computers class. Now it is easy for me to recognize that he is the Top Dog personality type. He is a former Marine officer and I wonder if that played any role in shaping him into this type. As we have discussed, eights like to be in charge, feel responsible autocratic and blunt. Eights can be demanding, confrontational and reckless in their approach. They like to think of themselves as above others and...
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