Enneagram Type 7 leaders are challenged when having to deal with negative situations and emotions.  Mariyah Jahangiri is a Type 7 leader who works with teams in trauma-informed spaces.  She has learned that to be effective in her leadership role, she must make space for conversations about feelings. She says, “society doesn’t curate a safe environment for emotions and feelings.”  Mariyah has overcome both her own Type 7 instincts and society’s emotional avoidance to tap into feelings that she uses to bond the team and motivate them to get to action and get things done.

Mariyah is Network Organizer for Climate Mobilization, an organization that provides policy toolkits and trainings to catalyze nationwide climate justice campaigns fighting for zero greenhouse gas emissions by 2030 and for a livable future for everyone. She also works with the Asian Pacific Environmental Network to build a presence in the Los Angeles area. This organization supports outreach to low-income Asian immigrant communities adversely impacted by fossil fuel operations.

Mariyah works to strike the right balance between engaging with emotions in her community while keeping focused on goals and taking action to meet those goals. We have a lot to learn from Mariyah and her insightful leadership.

 

Find Mariyah Jahangiri here: https://www.linkedin.com/in/mariyah-jahangiri-2313ba156/

The Climate Mobilization: https://www.theclimatemobilization.org/

 

#Leadership #Commitment #EmotionalIntelligence #EQ #climatechange

 

[Video Transcript]

Matt Schlegel:

Thanks for joining me in conversations with leaders who are using the Enneagram as a leadership tool and a tool for her personal growth and development. Joining me today is Mariyah Jahangiri, a community organizer focused on issues related to the climate crisis. She’s an Enneagram Type Seven and shares how she uses the engram as a tool for self-awareness. And now for the conversation.

Matt Schlegel:

Today, I’m speaking with Mariyah Jahangiri, network organizer for Climate Mobilization, an organization that provides policy toolkits and trainings to catalyze nationwide climate justice campaigns, fighting for zero greenhouse gas emissions by 2030 and for a livable future for everyone. She’s also working with the Asian Pacific Environmental Network to build a presence in the Los Angeles Area. This organization supports outreach to low income Asian immigrant communities adversely impacted by fossil fuel operations. Mariyah, thank you so much for joining me today and thank you for all the terrific work you’re doing.

Mariyah Jahangiri:

Yeah, thank you for having me, Matt.

Matt Schlegel:

Great. Well, thank you. So let’s start off and I’d just like to check in with you, how are you feeling now about climate change?

Mariyah Jahangiri:

Yeah, I think my feelings around climate change can be very much tied to my relationship to my feelings generally. Just like anyone else, I think like the world, society doesn’t create necessarily safe environment for emotions and feelings and everyone [inaudible 00:01:40] different degrees with their lived experience has relationship to like trauma and emotions. And so like for me personally growing up in a kind of not so safe environment I was kind of used to turning off my emotions generally, and so I kind of pin that as kind of an origin of being on the autism spectrum. Where my relationship to my emotions is a little bit detached and I’m not really sure exactly what my emotions are. And I’ve honestly always used that to my advantage, to lean into my Enneagram seven kind of vibe of like always being able to look on the positive side, being very scared of negative emotions and that kind of barrier to emotions has helped me like be detached in spaces, especially like organizing where there’s a lot of trauma informed work happening.

Mariyah Jahangiri:

So it’s definitely helped in terms of deescalating triggers and just like working in a space like climate organizing, which is so heavy and yeah, it’s just really sad. And so I feel like it’s been really helpful, my kind of detached to my emotions, my ability to kind of put away negative emotions. But I’m definitely recently working to challenge that because I’m realizing just like people say the Enneagram Seven that your healing can only happen if you kind of work through what’s actually real in front of you. I definitely feel that way about climate too, it’s very sad reality that we’re living in, but it’s worth processing and being aware of, and also being aware of how it affects everyone else, mental health too.

Matt Schlegel:

Right. Right.

Mariyah Jahangiri:

Yeah. As I’m kind of working through my own relationship to my emotions I feel like my emotional relationship to climate organizing is also evolving, and even though it’s becoming challenging in some ways there’s a lot more awareness of just the sadness that exists. There’s also a level of healing that happens when you’re more connected to your emotions. And so being in spaces where people care about the same issues as me, are very politically aligned, and even if it’s not structurally possible in the way that we want and create like small openings of like community and social justice and care for each other, it’s definitely been also very healing to be part of those communities too.

Matt Schlegel:

Right. Wow. That so beautifully said. It has always occurred to me that having more Enneagram Type Sevens in the climate movement would be so helpful because you bring an energy that just brings people together and networks and that’s exactly what you’re doing. But Type Sevens also tend to shun negative emotions. And the climate movement is inherently fraught with a lot of processing negative emotions. I think it pushes a lot of Sevens away in general, unfortunately because we need more of them. And yet your gift is that have this ability to compartmentalize and still engage with everyone as that Type Seven and bringing that Type Seven energy without letting those negative emotions turn you away from what we need to do. So you are the perfect person for this, thank you. You have found your perfect role in the world.

Mariyah Jahangiri:

Yeah.

Matt Schlegel:

So, tell me those feelings that you are having now, how are they informing your behaviors and your direction as a leader?

Mariyah Jahangiri:

Yeah. Well kind of, I guess, following up to what you were saying as in terms of that Type Seven leadership. I think also not just like being kind of averse to processing negative emotions, but also being very problem solve-y in a very quick way is definitely one skill that I think I have, which I bring to my leadership. I think that’s really helped me be a leader. Like for example, as a network organizer constantly just being able to problem solve and be very quick on my feet. So I think that has helped, but I think it’s also been, I think, a pitfall also, if that is kind of expecting others to be on the same rate of putting aside their emotions to do work. I think in my earlier organizing as a leader, I don’t think I was as effective because I wasn’t able to see past that as much and kind of was expecting people to be on the same da, da, da, like get it done, problem solve. Let’s just move along constantly and also not making as much space for emotions, honestly, in my organizing and not really understanding why other people wanted to.

Mariyah Jahangiri:

That was kind of a few years ago, since I’ve been organizing for like six years now. So now recently I think the most kind of healing spaces that I’ve been in have been once that recognize the importance of healing in organizing spaces. And so I’m definitely trying to bring more of that into my leadership. And just like any spaces that I’m facilitating, be more aware of the feeling that others are having, make space for that and connect those feelings to why people are drawn to organizing. Because I honestly think like the core of why people organize is a desire to be in community and desire to heal. And so if you can tap into that, then I think you can be like really [inaudible 00:08:06]-

Matt Schlegel:

Right. And all of that is really feeling based, right? So, that is some great advice and it’s just remarkable your journey of self discovery. And self-awareness brought you to that point of recognizing how important feelings play. It’s like the glue that brings us all together around a common cause. Yeah, that’s great. That is great. You found that as you engage with people’s emotions, they do tend to engage with more enthusiasm, is that what you’re finding?

Mariyah Jahangiri:

I think so. I think there’s a balance that I’m trying to kind of tread around engaging people’s emotions, but then also like moving along processes. Just given that the critical decade of organizing that we’re in, at the same time they’re working on a slow timeline, we’re also working on a very intense timeline. So I think that’s the biggest thing around if we do slow down, I think sometimes I find myself kind of questioning like the slowing down itself and like how much to slow down. Especially in leadership, how much do you facilitate that. Especially with my own relationship with emotions and being a seven and trying to move past that, how much do I lean into each of those sides? Or how much do I like say no, like let’s put this processing aside and let’s do some other work. Right, right. So I don’t know. Yeah. I think it’s just a balance that I’m trying to figure out.

Matt Schlegel:

Yeah. Yeah. Absolutely. Well, now what advice would you give to leaders and aspiring leaders who are starting to have their own feelings about climate? From your perspective, from the perspective of a Seven or just in general?

Mariyah Jahangiri:

Yeah. I would say I think the one thing I’m really noticing is that I actually meet a lot of people who have feelings about climate change. Like, most people that I meet, especially my age, I think it’s like one of the most, I don’t know, significant things affecting the whole like generation Z. So it’s kind of hard to be a young person and not have emotions around climate change, which makes sense. But I do think like most of those people aren’t organizers or aren’t necessarily taking action on those feelings. So I definitely get confused between the gap between having such strong feelings around it, sadness around it, but then not being tapped into like community spaces that can like help with processing that and healing that and being with people who are very aligned. Instead of kind of like suppressing it, or just like kind of being apathetic because there’s no way to solve climate change.

Mariyah Jahangiri:

That definitely makes sense to me, that apathy makes sense. I think it’s like a defining characteristic of Gen Z, honestly, to be a little bit apathetic because of just not believing that things are going to change, which is honestly super valid. But I do think that kind of stunts your emotional growth as a person. So even if you don’t think something is going to change, like kind of putting that aside and suppressing it or being like, yeah, I don’t care, or I don’t want to be in community people, it’s not going to help you kind of heal or process or grow from those emotions.

Mariyah Jahangiri:

So I guess my advice would be even if you don’t believe in the power of organizing or like structural wins around climate change, still making sure you set aside time for that processing to be in community with people who are aligned with you and to make those like small pockets of change that you can locally. I think it just brings a certain amount of joy and healing that I think would be really good for most people.

Matt Schlegel:

Yeah. Yeah. That’s so well said. It’s carrying around the climate reality while you’re living a lifestyle with people around you that don’t seem to care, it kind of creates this cognitive dissonance that starts to weigh on you. And I think you rightly point out that the best way to overcome that is start to move into communities that are aligned with your values and are starting to take actions so that it satisfies both of those outlets. Not only are you now aligned with people with your values, you’re doing something about it. And it’s, like you said, very healing, very healing.

Mariyah Jahangiri:

Exactly.

Matt Schlegel:

Yeah. Well, thank you so much. And I just so appreciate all the work you’re doing and all your organizing and leadership and your remarkable insights and self-awareness as a leader is just such a delight to talk to you. I hope that we can continue the conversation in the future as you progress and you learn more about what’s working well, and what’s not in your organizing efforts. So thanks again.

Mariyah Jahangiri:

Yeah. Thank you so much.

Matt Schlegel:

Thanks for watching. Wow. I really loved how Mariyah explains so well, her ability to engage in the emotionally fraught climate movement. While Type Sevens tend to steer clear of emotionally challenging work, Mariyah has a gift that allows her to compartmentalize those emotions and bring her wonderful Type Seven energy to developing active caring communities. She also strikes a balance of making space for emotions while still actively problem solving, getting to action and getting stuff done.

Matt Schlegel:

If you found this conversation helpful, please click on the thumbs up button and subscribe to the channel to get notifications of future episodes. If you have any questions, please leave them in the comments section and I’ll respond as soon as I can. Thanks again.

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