Jeff Erbskorn, enneagram teacher, leadership coach and pastor

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I enjoy helping organizations, leaders and individuals communicate more effectively utilizing a tool called the enneagram. I can help you listen to the way others speak and tailor your speech to the way they listen. The enneagram has been used by 72 companies  (including Avon, Best Buy, Daimler/ Mitsubishi, Parker Hinneafen and Toyota) from more than 20 countries spanning 5 continents. It suggests that our life is made up of nine "folders" or "portfolios" that we can open at any given time, but that we habitually choose one over the others to expresses ourselves. It is likely that your particular portfolio has opened up many doors to you.  Yet at the same time an over investment in the thoughts, emotions and behaviors contained within your portfolio has likely shut many as well. You want to reach as many people as you can.  You want to reach into their head and their heart.  You want them to sense and understand deep in their gut that what you have to offer is what they need.  Some you will reach easily with the gifts, strengths and competencies within your own portfolio, your own style of speaking and being in the world.  And yet others will miss out for the reason that you were simply not speaking their language.  You missed or miss heard what they were saying.  They will frustrate you or be frustrated by you, and both of you will lose out. I can help.

As you seek to grow and change let me guide you to a deeper understanding of yourself and others through the Enneagram Spectrum of Personality Styles.  You will learn to "speak to their listening" and "listen to the way they speak.”

I am a trained Healthy Congregations workshop facilitator and a certified leadership coach within the Evangelical Lutheran Church In America through Coachnet Global.  I became certified to teach the enneagram in 2012 and in 2017 completed advanced certification training within the same program (Enneagram Spectrum of Personality Styles Certification Program).  My teacher, Dr. Jerry Wagner, was among the earliest students of the enneagram in the US, being taught by Robert Ochs, a Jesuit Priest and professor at Loyola University Chicago, who studied with Claudio Naranjo (the first person to teach the system in the US).  Dr. Wagner was recently recognized an honorary founder of the International Enneagram Association (IEA).

I became a professional member of the IEA in  2015, completing another certification program the same year, with enneagram teacher Tom Condon.  Tom has taught over 800 workshops in the US, Europe and Asia and focuses on helping people grow and change. As a Lutheran minister for 21 years, I've seen first hand what it costs an organization when things are taken personally.  Leaders make decisions born from their own anxieties and become reactive rather than responsive.  I have also seen the huge dividends paid when decisions are made by a team of persons whose commitment to their own health ensures the health of the organization.  Decisions are intentional, thoughtful and responsive. Whether it's our professional or personal life, sometimes all we need is the support and encouragement of someone who believes in us and is committed to our success. Let me guide you to a deeper understanding or yourself and others through the Enneagram.  You will learn to "speak to their listening" and "listen to their speaking."

Thursday, November 24, 2016


"Keep awake therefore, for you do not know on what day
your Lord is coming. 43But understand this: if the owner
of the house had known in what part of the night the thief
was coming, he would have stayed awake and would not have
let his house be broken into. 44Therefore you also must be
ready, for the Son of Man is coming at an unexpected
hour." – Matthew 24:42-44

First, what thief is going to announce when they are going
to break into your home? They are not! Second, what sense
does it make to prepare for a break in by staying awake
all night? None! You need locks and alarms because you
need your sleep. The point is that readiness for the Son
of Man (i.e. divine presence) is not so much about staying
awake as it is about being present. You can be awake and
not be present to your guests. A Christocentric view of
the enneagram shows that there are nine stances disciples
of Christ can take to stay awake which actually lead to
sleep (i.e. not being present).

Discipleship stance ONE stays awake to improvement
opportunities. They can find themselves so focused making
sure everything is right, as it should be and as they
envision it for their guest that they can fall asleep to
the importance of relaxing enough to simply "be" with
their guest.

"But the Lord answered her, "Martha, Martha, you are
worried and distracted by many things…" – Luke 10:41

Discipleship stance TWO stays awake to the needs of others
and asleep to their own. They can find themselves so
focused on providing for the needs of their guests that
they fall asleep to the presence of the One who provides
for their needs. This Thanksgiving they fell asleep to the
fact that by doing it all by themselves they denied others
the joy of helping them with the dishes, etc.

Discipleship stance THREE stays awake to achievement
opportunities. They can find themselves so focused on
trying to accomplish things that they fall asleep to what
can be accomplished (particularly in their relationships
with others) when they stop.

"But he answered his father, 'Listen! For all these years
I have been working like a slave for you…" – Luke 15

"For by grace you have been saved through faith, and this
is not your own doing; it is the gift of God— 9not the
result of works, so that no one may boast." – Ephesians

Discipleship stance FOUR stays awake to enhancement
opportunities. They can find themselves so focused on
what's missing that they fall asleep to what's there.

I am now rejoicing in my sufferings for your sake, and in
my flesh I am completing what is lacking in Christ's
afflictions for the sake of his body, that is, the church.
– Colossians 1:24

Discipleship stance FIVE stays awake to holding and
hording opportunities. They can find themselves so focused
on acquiring & accumulating that they fall asleep to how
much can be held by letting go.

"16Then he told them a parable: "The land of a rich man
produced abundantly. 17And he thought to himself, 'What
should I do, for I have no place to store my crops?'
18Then he said, 'I will do this: I will pull down my barns
and build larger ones, and there I will store all my grain
and my goods." – Luke 12:16-17

Discipleship stance SIX stays awake to protection and
provision opportunities. They can find themselves so
focused on what could happen or might happen that they
fall asleep to what is happening.

22He said to his disciples, "Therefore I tell you, do not
worry about your life, what you will eat, or about your
body, what you will wear…Consider the ravens: they neither
sow nor reap, they have neither storehouse nor barn, and
yet God feeds them." – Luke 12:22 & 24

Discipleship stance SEVEN stays awake to options and
opportunities. They can find themselves so focused on
exploring positive possibilities and experiences with
their guests that they fall asleep by living outside of
the moment rather than in it.

"Now Peter and his companions were weighed down with
sleep; but since they had stayed awake, they saw his glory
and the two men who stood with him. 33Just as they were
leaving him, Peter said to Jesus, "Master, it is good for
us to be here; let us make three dwellings, one for you,
one for Moses, and one for Elijah" —not knowing what he
said." – Luke 9:32-33

Discipleship stance EIGHT stays awake to muscle flexing
opportunities. They can find themselves so focused on
being strong for those they perceive to be vulnerable that
they fall asleep to the fact that there is nothing
stronger than true gentleness and nothing gentler than
true strength.

"Three times I appealed to the Lord about this, that it
would leave me, 9but he said to me, "My grace is
sufficient for you, for power is made perfect in
weakness." So, I will boast all the more gladly of my
weaknesses, so that the power of Christ may dwell in me.
10Therefore I am content with weaknesses, insults,
hardships, persecutions, and calamities for the sake of
Christ; for whenever I am weak, then I am strong." – 2
Corinthians 12:8-10

Discipleship stance NINE stays awake to accommodation
opportunities. They can find themselves so focused on
going along to get along with others that they fall asleep
to the fact that there is something holy about stepping
out to stand out.

"Then one of them, when he saw that he was healed, turned
back, praising God with a loud voice. 16He prostrated
himself at Jesus' feet and thanked him. And he was a
Samaritan. 17Then Jesus asked, "Were not ten made clean?
But the other nine, where are they? 18Was none of them
found to return and give praise to God except this
foreigner?" 19Then he said to him, "Get up and go on your
way; your faith has made you well." – Luke 17:15-19

For more on the enneagram check out particularly the Spiritual
But Not Religious Tab