Looking at the man in the mirror

Imagine, you have just started your new job as a graduate. Everything is exciting, everything is new, and after the first few days you’ve just managed to find your way to the coffee machine, the canteen and the very helpful people in the secretariat (you’ll need their help often, trust me).

But don’t get too comfortable just yet. Before you know it, you’re off on a trip to the other side of Denmark with the other graduates, each carrying a 30-page report on your specific personality, your strengths and weaknesses, and your deepest fears. And you’re about to share it all.

Don’t worry, this is not a scary story. It’s the story about the first few days of our graduate retreat to Hjerting on the west coast of Denmark. Here we stayed in a beautiful old wooden seaside hotel, where we spent two full days learning about personality types, based on ‘the Enneagram’.

We were introduced to the full spectrum of types in the Enneagram, their typical behaviors, ways of interacting, and their motivations and fears. The goal was to reflect on and better understand our own personality and that of people around us. Really quite interesting! Even though in my experience there is never a perfect match between a test result and reality, the insights we got were very valuable and directly applicable at work and in our personal life.

We were also put to work ourselves. Based on our learnings from the first day, we each created a poster for presentation on the second day with our key personality traits, including talents, challenges, interaction style, and what others should be aware of when working with us. I’ll share a picture of my poster with you below –although it may not make much sense without the context.

At the end of day two, we wrapped everything up into personal development plans, which we have since used for personal reference and in our talks with our mentors and managers.

Now, what I have failed to mention, is that these days in Hjerting were also the warmest day of this year’s summer. This made for some very relaxing lunches on the hotel’s sunny sea-view terrace, refreshing pre-dinner swims, and a trip to the –so they say– best ice cream shop on the west coast. Ahh, the wonderful life of a graduate at Falck!

Remember to also read Helene’s post on wind, waves and fire to see how we spent the third and last day of this trip.

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