I am excited to share my interview with Abby Buter.
As pulled from her site:
“Over the last seven years or so I’ve journeyed through the nonprofit, graduate school, marketing and writing worlds to get to where I am today. All of these experiences led me to becoming a Personal Growth Coach – where I walk alongside others towards wholeness.”
Abby offers coaching, workshops, retreats and both one on one and enneagram workshops.
You can learn more about Abby at her web site.
Now on to the interview.
I realize there are books written about the enneagram. At a high level, what is the enneagram and why should someone be interested in learning more about it?
The Enneagram is a dynamic tool to help individuals understand themselves better. Where many personality tools explain our behavior, the Enneagram explains why we think, feel and behave the way we do. It gets straight to the heart of the matter and explains our motivations. The Enneagram teaches that there are nine unique lenses through which we view the world and each person is dominant in one of those lenses (or types).
When people understand the Enneagram and their type it helps them increase their self-awareness, understand their motivations and why they do what we do so that they can live more fully into their true selves. I have had people tell me that learning about the Enneagram could have saved them years of therapy!
It’s a tool that is very effective at getting to the root of who we are and showing us that we don’t have to stay trapped in our personality and ego. It also helps us understand others and increases our compassion and understanding about those who we are in relationship with.
How do people find their type? And after they learn their type, now what?
That’s a great question! There are assessments that can be taken online to discover your type, but they aren’t always the most accurate. I recommend for people to read through a description of each of the nine types and pay attention to your reaction after reading each one. You want to pay attention to which one resonates most. This can happen quickly for some people while others are still not sure. That’s okay!
The great thing about the Enneagram is that it’s a spiritual tool to help guide you in the process of self-discovery. It takes some people a bit longer to land on their Enneagram type. Keep learning about the types and commit to a period of self-observation where you’re really paying attention to your motivations. A quick hint: if there’s a type that makes you squirm or feel uncomfortable…that’s something to pay attention to, there’s a reason it’s striking a nerve!
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Once you find your type, you’ll want to learn more about it. Commit to learning more about your type and the types you’re connected to in stress and security. You can learn information from the Enneagram, but the growth comes when you apply it to your life. Information alone doesn’t mean transformation – you have to do the work. This can be helped by attending workshops, reading books (I always recommend starting with The Road Back to You by Ian Cron and Suzanne Stabile) or working with a coach. The Enneagram invites us to do the good work of personal growth so that we can live into our truest, most authentic selves.
Tell us a little bit about the enneagram workshop you offer.
As an Enneagram coach, I offer one-on-one coaching as well as Enneagram workshops. Through my one-on-one coaching I meet regularly with individuals to help them understand their dominant Enneagram type and how they can use the wisdom of this tool to increase their self-awareness and spur personal growth.
I also offer online Enneagram courses where individuals enroll and over a period of three weeks we dive deeper into what the Enneagram is, how to use it and how it helps us grow and develop.
The Enneagram can also be a great tool to use within the workplace so I offer workshops to churches and organizations. The Enneagram not only helps individuals understand themselves better, but when utilized within the workplace it can help teams work together better, provide a common language and improve team dynamics.
I understand you are a personal coach. What is a personal coach and how can that help someone?
A personal coach is someone who walks alongside individuals to help them reach a goal. These goals look different for different people. A coach’s job is to journey with you to help you get unstuck, point out things you maybe can’t see, encourage you and challenge you. Sometimes it’s hard as people to “read our own label”. When you’re inside a jar – you can’t read what the label is on the outside, that’s what a coach helps you do.
A coach can see things you often can’t because you’re stuck within your own circumstance. Coaches can ask the right questions and help provide clarity so that individuals can live more freely and holistically, reaching whatever goals they are seeking to achieve in their life.
What are some of the unexpected fruits you have experienced as a result of your enneagram workshops or personal coaching?
Teaching workshops and coaching individuals is one of my favorite things to do! I love seeing those light bulb moments where someone understands something about themselves that they’ve never thought of before. The reason I teach and coach is to help individuals understand themselves better so that they can live healthy, whole and thriving lives.
I honestly wasn’t expecting to get so much joy out of seeing people learn and understand the Enneagram and how powerful it would be in people’s lives. I have seen it revolutionize people’s lives and help them find so much freedom in their life.
I also wasn’t expecting how much I would learn from others through this. When I started as a coach, I had the expectation that I would always be teaching and have to know everything, but I’ve learned that I get to learn so much from those I’m coaching too. Especially when it comes to the Enneagram, because I’m only one type, I don’t know what it’s like to be dominant in any of the eight other types. I have gained so much wisdom and insight into what it’s like to live as the other eight types through the people I have coached.
What is prayer? How do you pray? What are some of the ways and practices that you utilize to stay connected to God?
Prayer to me is communion with God. For me, it’s an ongoing conversation that isn’t just about talking and asking, but about gratitude, listening and silence. It’s learning how to just be and to sit in God’s presence. I stay connected to God through regular practices of silence, solitude, spiritual direction and spending time in places (like nature) where I feel closest to God.
I have also found that I feel connected to God when I’m engaging in life-giving activities that allow me to fully be myself. For me some of these activities include writing, deep conversations with trusted friends, and going for walks.
My idea of how I viewed God and what it could look like to be connected to him used to be very small and limited. It’s been exciting to find new ways that maybe wouldn’t have fit in my traditional box, but have become a fresh expression for how I experience God in my life.
Do you have any upcoming projects that you wish to share?
In August I will be launching my next online Enneagram course. This is a three week course where we meet each week to learn more about the Enneagram and how we can use it in our own lives. People who register for the course also receive a one-on-one coaching session. It’s great for people who have never heard of the Enneagram or people who understand it and know it, but want to go deeper. We always have a good time and learn a lot together!
What is the best way for people to find you and learn more about you and your work?
The best way for people to find me is through my website, www.abbybuter.com, I would love for you to come by and say hello! You can sign up for my newsletter there to receive updates and you can also follow me on most social media outlets, @abbybuter, to stay up to date on what’s coming up.
Abby, thank you for taking the time to let me interview you and allowing others to learn more about the wonderful work you do!
The Road Back to You: An Enneagram Journey to Self-Discovery by Ian Morgan Cron and Suzanne Stabile
The Sacred Enneagram: Finding Your Unique Path to Spiritual Growth by Christopher Heuertz
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