What is the Enneagram and how can it help you?
The Enneagram is a powerful personality typing system to help you identify why you think, feel and act the way you do and help you understand these patterns in others.
Warning – this could save your marriage!
- Do you ever find yourself at a loss to understand why on earth someone just did what they did, either at home or in the office?
- Do you ever feel like you are having to put on a mask to fit in with others?
- Do you long for the confidence to reveal more of your authentic self?
- Do you yearn to manage people with greater ease and more impactful results?
- Is your partner / teenager / parent / co-worker testing you to breaking point???
It might sound a tall order for any course, book or system to solve all the above but working to better understand yourself as well as other people with the help of the Enneagram personality typing system can be truly transformational. The knowledge gained really can help save marriages as well as transform difficult working relationships.
One of the main features that separate the Enneagram from most other personality typing systems is that it is not owned by anyone. So there is a vast amount of information and study materials the public can access through books, websites, YouTube videos, and social media. The system dates from at least 2000 years ago and has its roots in the Middle East but was brought up to date in the second half of the 20th Century by psychologists and scholars in California.
Even a few years ago the system was considered quite alternative but having now been brought into the corporate world and more recently embraced by the millennial generation, there has been an explosion of interest in the topic. Problem is that more information doesn’t necessarily make a relatively complex topic more understandable!
The Enneagram is an archetypal map of 9 core personality types, plus wings, sub-types, triads, levels of development and instinctual variants, that collectively create a variety of lens through which we can discover the unconscious behaviour patterns that drive us to act in certain ways. As these patterns become conscious, it creates a pathway for self-discovery and greater personal awareness.
In short the Enneagram is a way to aid self-reflection, increase self-awareness and develop greater Emotion Intelligence, which together can increase our understanding, empathy and compassion for others as well as enlarge our capacity for leadership.
What is the Enneagram
“Ennea” is Greek for nine and “gram” means diagram, the Enneagram symbol is a circle with a 9 pointed star depicting the layout of the core personality types.
The type numbers are value neutral with all types in the healthy psychological range, having the capacity to be high functioning human beings and notably fantastic leaders.
It is important to note that we all have some traits from all of the types, but in our own unique combination, with one core dominant type which will remain “our type” throughout our lives.
Within each Enneatype there are 3 main categories, referred to as the “levels of development”. The top psychologically “Healthy”range points to the level of development where we are aware of our personality’s tendencies but have the choice whether to act on them or not. In the “average” range we act mostly on autopilot with our behaviour being driven by unconscious personality drivers, this is where most adults hang out most of the time. All types also have the possibility of dropping into the “unhealthy” range, below this level coaching is not suitable and coaches will refer people to other psychological professionals.
The purpose of working with the Enneagram is to use self-reflection to discover your cores type which may take some time. To that end we prefer to direct clients to a book such as the “Essential Enneagram” by Daniels and Price to discover their type rather than online tests. Tests such as the Enneagram Institute’s RHETI have a good reputation but in my experience can sometimes mistype people and rob the person of the valuable inquiry time – asking themselves “is that me or not?”
On the “Understanding Yourself and Others with the Enneagram” course, working together in a small groups, we collectively learn how these patterns operate in ourselves as well as other people too. Creating sudden “ah ha” moments as we recognise what is motivating the other people in our lives.
Through understanding ourselves better and adopting the self-reflection tools the Enneagram provides, we can transform our relationship with both ourselves and others.
Having studied under some of the world’s pre-eminent experts in the field and completed the Enneagram Practitioner Training Parts 1&11 with the Enneagram Institute, Michelle has put together a small group workshop experience which condenses the essence of her 20 years’ personal experience and learning with the Enneagram into something understandable, digestible and potentially life changing!
The Enneagram also provides an indispensable companion on the one-to-one coaching journey, enabling clients to increase their self-awareness and self-understanding at a much faster rate than by talking alone.
Check out the booking page for the next “Understanding Yourself and others with the Enneagram” course plus other follow on Enneagram course offerings or book a One-to-One Coaching session to explore your Ennea-type.