Good gaming

When millions of people are playing video games, a coach has to learn why this activity is so attractive. When I read http://www.alternet.org/story/154226/can_computer_games_save_us_all_new_research_shows_how_gaming_can_help_cure_our_social_ills?page4
I learned some important things for coaching, especially when I have to help someone struggle against their enneagram style.
For a game to engage our emotions it has to have three elements: Clear goals, consistent feedback and the proper stretch between our skill and the challenge. OK, now think laterally with me a bit. Make your goals clear is standard coaching 101. But feedback becomes more treacherous. From behavioral science, we know we need that feedback immediately to be effective (or at least fairly soon, the sooner the better). That means some kind of accounting or record-keeping or a third party (the coach) monitoring. I find this part not mentioned nearly enough in the literature and it is hard for me to implement, too.
The last one – the degree of difficulty has to be enough to be challenging and little enough so one can succeed at least part of the time. This is where the Enneagram is so helpful. When someone is struggle directly against the energy of their style, the goals must be very tiny. If the energy required is lurking in one of the wings or at a stress or security point, the difficulty can be increased.

Negotiate

I’m recommending two of the people I’m coaching that they read a book on negotiation. One is a Nine and he should read the book to learn techniques of assertion- always a problem for some Nines – that don’t require in-your-face confrontation. So negotiation techniques will give Nines tools and options. Many of the “techniques” are just making friends, which Nines do nicely.
The other client is a Seven. The book I recommended uses reframing a great deal. This is a chance for man not yet familiar with being Seven very long to see how he can use the Seven’s gift of reframing to advantage. When you do something unconsciously, as Sevens do with reframing, if you employ it consciously, it becomes a masterful tool.

Issues

I don’t have issues. I behave badly or I feel strongly about or I’m upset about the way you or they or both behave. When we talk about our Enneagram style, we can easily slip into abstract nouns that don’t have any obvious or helpful link to experience. If someone says she is a 7, that neither excuses or adequately explains what she is talking about. Instead, your response, especially if you are a coach, therapist, friend or family, is “How do you do your seven defense?” Do you escape and how do you escape? Or, “How do you deny, rationalize, reframe or otherwise muck up the communication process? How do you do that?” Maybe you’re not a seven, just grotesquely immature!
When we use the Enneagram as a defense, a common way we do it, is to describe ourselves in these abstractions. Issues or fixations or even neuroses need to be dragged, with the help of transitive verbs, into the real world of action and experience.