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In this episode, Joel and Antonia talk about how our culture tends to resist maps and models of human development due to the threats it poses to our ideals.

In this podcast you’ll find:

  • Ability to handle feedback can be a personal growth challenge.
  • We objectify people in media.
  • The Graves Model (aka Spiral Dynamics) is a vertical model.
  • It feels like a hierarchy which is icky to some people.
  • Is it a bad thing to look at hierarchical models?
  • Graves Model podcast
  • Vertical and Horizontal Models
  • These are just lenses to see reality through.
  • The horizontal model assumes everyone is at the same level of development (MBTI).
  • A Vertical Model assumes everyone is at different levels of achievement (Maslow’s Hierarchy of Needs).
  • Clare Graves discovered the Graves Model.
  • Then there was an attempt to remove the hierarchical nature of it.
  • The numbered levels were changed to colors to make it feel less hierarchical, and it came to be known as Spiral Dynamics.
  • It is a hierarchical system, however.
  • A horrible human being can be at any level just like an amazing human being can be at any level.
  • Character isn’t related to Graves Level.
  • It is an attempt to see where we were and where we are going.
  • Are hierarchical models good or bad?
  • Enneagram attempts to create distinctions between how people show up within their Enneagram type.
  • Riso & Hudson Enneagram book had 9 point system within each type.
  • At the bottom of this 9 point system is suicide and homicidal tendencies.
  • At the top is transcendence.
  • That version of the system is hierarchical.
  • It is a good gauge for determining where you want to go vs. where you don’t want to be.
  • No one has arrived. There is no end game.
  • These hierarchical models are like a compass.
  • Be at peace with where you’re at and accept there is still a better version of yourself you can manifest.
  • This is the conversation of our time.
  • Lots of social causes today: memes, gender viewpoints, wealth distribution, nationalism, etc.
  • We tend to inject vertical models into horizontal models.
  • Even within Myers-Briggs, we try to create a hierarchical structure.
  • Zero to One Podcast
  • SPOILER ALERT: Star Wars The Last Jedi
  • The Force is available to everyone, which killed the hierarchy of the Jedi.
  • We get a massive pushback whenever we invoke a vertical model.
  • You are ultimately the person who navigates your healing and growth.
  • How do we get us all on a horizontal level, so we all have the same possibilities?
  • Personal empowerment is the birthplace of reform.
  • The more you work on your empowerment, the more the culture sees the need to change.
  • We oversimplify all this stuff which is why we like models because it gives us a simpler way of breaking down the nodes that contribute to the system.
  • As an individual, we are responsible for our personal growth and empowerment.
  • Models remind us that nobody has arrived. We are all on various paths.
  • Time and the universe aren’t going to stop to accommodate us.
  • Sometimes we have to start all over, and we don’t get rewarded for some of our hard work.
  • The universe rewards determination, persistence, and personal responsibility.
  • We cannot expect culture to do our work for us.
  • If you don’t want to be perpetually victimized you have to figure out how not to be a victim.
  • Our egos don’t do us any favors.
  • “All models are wrong, but some are useful.”
  • When looking at maps and models, the question isn’t ‘Is this wrong.’ It is ‘Is this useful.
  • Don’t abandon a model just because your ego gets triggered and you don’t like how it feels.
  • If that happens, that makes it a very useful model.
  • It is shining a bright light in a dark place.
  • “I don’t like this because I don’t like where I’m at.”
  • It is your job to figure out where you want to be.
  • A lot of systems have been democratized and there is an expectation that everything should be democratized.
  • Not everything can be democratized.
  • One of the best ways to understand our You Are Here dot as humanity is to look at long enough timelines.
  • Forgetting history is easy.
  • The world didn’t start when you were born.
  • We are on an exponential growth curve, but we haven’t arrived.
  • Human evolution is incredibly slow.
  • You can tell when someone is doing personal growth willingly and when they are doing it unwillingly.
  • When someone’s life has fallen apart, and they have to do growth work just to survive. They may approach growth kicking and screaming.
  • Versus someone who has taken on the mantle of personal growth and does it willingly. They have a zen-like approach to change.
  • Our collective egos are bucking against where we are really at.
  • We don’t like it when reality gives us harsh reminders of how much work we still have to do.
  • Isn’t it better to have a map even if you don’t like where your You Are Here dot is?
  • The only way to get to where we want to be is to acknowledge where we are at and carve a path to where we want to be.
  • If you have some definite ideas about how you think the world should be, grab a microphone and create a platform.
  • Create content that moves the needle.
  • Stand for something don’t just stand against things.

 In this episode, Joel and Antonia talk about how our culture tends to resist maps and models of human development due to the threats it poses to our ideals. #podcast #personaldevelopment #personalgrowth #gravesmodel #spiraldynamics

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  • Kylie Stedman Gomes
    • Kylie Stedman Gomes
    • May 31, 2018 at 12:17 pm

    Antonia & Joel – just wanted to leave a quick comment to thank you for introducing me to Spiral Dynamics several months ago via your podcasts. :)

    I’ve been interested ‘long time’ in both MBTI and the Enneagram, and when I found your podcasts, found I got a real kick out of listening to you both as Ne-doms (like me) exploring the models and applying them to different questions. You always seem to explore a slightly different angle than I’d previously considered, and that was more than good enough for me to keep you on my podcast walking list.

    Antonia & Joel – just wanted to leave a quick comment to thank you for introducing me to Spiral Dynamics several months ago via your podcasts, and to add my voice to those who are saying, “Ignore the haters. Keep doing what you’re doing.” :)

    I am saddened — though even more sadly not surprised — to hear that you have received criticism regarding your approach to talking about the Graves model. In this podcast #233, you’ve handled that criticism in your usual thoughtful and graceful manner, even if Joel’s passion (as he put it) did peek through somewhat towards the end. ;) That’s not a criticism, either. I’m glad it did peek through, because in this case I think you erred on the side of being “too kind” to your critics.

    These people need to grow the !$%@ up.

    And you two … please don’t apologise for telling the truth.

  • Matej Ferenc
    • Matej Ferenc
    • May 11, 2018 at 12:42 pm

    Alright, I have just gotten the Wisdom of the Enneagram from library, so I shall take a look at it later. Thank you, and thank you for the podcast – it’s been very helpful.

  • Antonia Dodge
    • Antonia Dodge
    • May 8, 2018 at 2:36 pm

    Thank you! Good to know it wasn’t in a podcast (I’m more forthcoming in our programs as a rule).


  • Ann Marie
    • Ann Marie
    • May 7, 2018 at 8:57 pm

    Hey, Antonia and Joel:

    In response to Antonia’s inquiry, “Let me know when I said I was Graves 7”:

    I haven’t listened to any of your previous podcasts regarding the Graves Model, and vertical models do not bother me (I’m just interested in what is “true”); but I do have some information that pertains to the question, although it does not come from a podcast.

    I recalled Antonia referring to her Spiral Dynamics “position” in a section of my Personality Starter Kit called “Transcending Type”.

    From the slide entitled, “Ways ‘Interdependence’ Manifests”:

    A non-exhaustive look at my (Antonia’s) personality. I “am”

    - An ENTP in Myers-Briggs…
    - Entering 7 in Spiral Dynamics…
    - 38 years old at the time of this recording (time stamp)

    You may only be looking for when you said it in a podcast; and “entering” 7 doesn’t necessarily mean the same as “at” 7. I’m just passing on the information — (I’m an INTP ;)

  • Antonia Dodge
    • Antonia Dodge
    • May 7, 2018 at 4:49 pm

    I know Riso-Hudson break down the nine levels in Personality Types: Using the Enneagram for Self Discovery, but I want to say it’s also in The Wisdom of the Enneagram. You can find their resources here:


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