THE ENNEAGRAM SYSTEM
The Enneagram is a personality typing system that consists of nine different types. Everyone is considered to be one single type, although one can have traits belonging to other ones. While it is uncertain whether this type is genetically determined, many believe it is already in place at birth. The nine types are universally identified by the numbers 1 to 9. These numbers have a standard way of being placed around the Enneagram symbol. Enneagram authors have attached their own individual names to these numbers. They are:
- The REFORMER.
- The HELPER.
- The ACHIEVER.
- The INDIVIDUALIST.
- The OBSERVER.
- The LOYALIST.
- The ENTHUSIAST.
- The CHALLENGER.
- The PEACEMAKER.
People of a certain type have several characteristics in common, but they can be quite different. It depends upon, among other things, their level of mental disposition. Happy people can transcend a couple of Enneagram types but under stress an individual will tend towards their real personality type and act accordingly.
The single most important success factor for an Enneagram driven change within the business is that it is focused on the company’s real needs as well as the specific needs of managers, teams and employees. There is a wide selection of areas to choose from: Interactions, Leadership, Sales, Conflict, Change Management and Productivity, for example, but setting real measurable goals and achieving demonstratable results is the name of the game.
The system realises benefits for individuals both inside and outside of the business which is vitally important in today’s world. “There is a huge unmet need at home and in the business. In the business, the need involves empathy and creativity, flexibility and a greater acceptance to the need for rapid change in our style and approach to the market. At home, there is more stress, huge demands and increasing complexity. The Enneagram can help with all of this.”
A quick look at the nine personality types and their outstanding features:
Number 1’s are the people in the world who are striving to be perfect and they are often models of decorum, clear logic and appropriate behaviour. Under stress one’s feel that if they enjoy life too much, they may become irresponsible.
Number 2’s are always striving to be connected. They focus on helping others meet their needs. They are selfless, caring and nurturing. 2’s, when they are stressed, feel if they are not closely connected to others, they may become isolated.
Number 3’s stand out in the world by striving to be outstanding. They work hard to exceed standards and to be successful in whatever they undertake. When stressed there is a fear if they are not making great efforts to be successful, they will become mediocre.
Number 4’s greet the world by striving to be unique. They are generally creative and tend to look at things in a fresh and interesting way. 4’s, when stressed, will fear that if they do not put their own special touch on their world, their individuality will become repressed.
Number 5’s view their world by watching from a distance. They are observant, logical and generally reserved. They focus on problem-solving, innovative ideas and data gathering. Under stress they fear that if they do not remain detached and guarded, they will lose control.
Number 6’s are always striving to be secure. They are careful, responsible and protective of the welfare of their group. When stressed they fear that if they relax their guard, they will be vulnerable to possible dangers.
Number 7’s are constantly looking to be excited. They are optimistic, upbeat, enthusiastic and curious. They focus on possibilities and options and keeping others entertained. When under stress they fear if they do not keep their options open, they will miss out on something.
Number 8’s are action-orientated self-starters who love to be in charge. They are focused on getting things done. When stressed they fear if they become too connected to others, they may become dependent on them.
Number 9’s are constantly seeking to live in a peaceful world. They are calm, pleasant and likeable and are focused on maintaining a sense of inner harmony by addressing the needs of others. When stressed they fear that if they place too much importance on themselves, they will be attention seeking. The nine personality types are divided into three body areas which highlight where the individual tends to work from, for example 2’s 3’s and 4’s are heart people and are driven by their emotions. 5’s, 6’s and 7’s are head people and they use their brains to guide them and the 8’s, 9’s and 1’s are gut people who tend to shoot from the hip without always engaging their brain first.
In the wonderful world of the Enneagram we can begin to understand why we react to people and situations in so many different ways, but always there is a reasonable explanation. We can learn to use our personality characteristics to enhance relationships with family, friends and business contacts. We learn to understand where others are coming from and how best to relate to them in a meaningful way.
Come and join us on one of our courses and begin to learn how to use the knowledge of the Enneagram to harmonise your Management Team, drive your Sales Team and make your Company one of the most focused on achieving market share, while harnessing the loyalty and commitment of your team, as you harvest the available emotional intelligence to create a very special workplace.