If you could imagine yourself as an animal with specific traits and characteristics, you could understand yourself better, and improve your personal and workplace relationships tenfold.

Says Juanene Frydman, Johannesburg-based international executive coach and first-time author, “Getting to know thyself is often a daunting and scary task from which many people shy away. But if you liken yourself to a horse or an ant essential inner work becomes much easier and loads more fun.”

Frydman recently published The Stories We Tell, a personal development book based on a personality typing system called the Enneagram. She put her own spin on this popular model of the human psyche by choosing animals to describe the different personality types.

“The idea to use animals came from a conversation that I had with a dear friend. She once mentioned how stinging I could be. I thought of the bee and that set me down a path to thinking up animal archetypes for each of the nine Enneagram types.”

She fervently believes that the Holy Grail of healthy relationships is knowing thyself first. “When we know who we are and understand our triggers and fears, the world becomes our playground. Instead of being controlled by our patterns, emotions and other people’s behaviour, we become the master of our universe.”

Having facilitated several virtual workshops for corporate teams worldwide both prior to and during the COVID-19 pandemic, Frydman has concluded that the only certainty in the unknown future is how well we know ourselves and how to use this knowledge to build lasting and healthy relationships with others so that we thrive irrespective of our current circumstances.

Juanene Frydman

Juanene Frydman

Author | Behavioural Architect | Storyteller

Juanene Frydman is a behavioural architect and storyteller. Drawing on her own broad and extensive experience in corporate life, her sound business knowledge and her solid understanding of behavioural science and sociology, she operates as an executive coach and facilitator, working with individuals and global organisations around the world. “I’m passionate about a lot of things (thanks to my Italian heritage) and one that really lights up my world is storytelling and more specifically the impact of the stories we tell. #TheStoriesWeTell: shift your story, shift your sh#t is the title to my book launched in 2020. It speaks to the nine core narratives that we are exposed to and the interplay of these stories on our actions, emotions and language.” www.juanenefrydman.com