The Enneagram

Do you ever:
  • Find it hard to understand why someone acts the way they do?
  • Wonder how to build better relationships with people – and how to get them going?
  • Come up against your own behaviour patterns and react in ways that you find unsatisfactory and/or ineffective?
  • Wonder whether you could have done things differently?
The Enneagram can help you ….
  • really get to know yourself and get as much out of yourself as you possibly can
  • gain a way of looking at the world which can help you in your private life and professional work with people.

The Enneagram is a model that describes nine personality structures.  We call these the Enneagram types, and they can be seen as nine different ways of perceiving the same reality. Often if people don’t agree, it’s because they look at things from different viewpoints. They actually pay attention to different things in any given situation.

The Nine Types

Type 1 – The perfectionist

Attention goes to what is right and wrong, and to being good. Energy goes into trying to improve.

Type 2 – The helper

Attention goes to the wants and needs of others, and to being appreciated. Energy goes into giving & helping.

Type 3 – The performer

Attention goes to what brings success and recognition. Energy goes into achieving goals, tasks and prestige.

Type 4 – The romantic

Attention goes to what is missing. Energy goes into searching for things that will be most unique, special and fulfilling.

Type 5 – The observer

Attention goes to the demands that others might make on them. Energy goes into becoming self-sufficient and acquiring knowledge.

Type 6 – The loyal sceptic

Attention goes to risks and worst-case scenarios. Energy goes into becoming vigilant, questioning.

Type 7 – The epicure

Attention goes to what limits and constrains. Energy goes into interesting ideas and experiences.

Type 8 – The protector

Attention goes to who needs protection, to power and control. Energy goes into being strong and direct.

Type 9 – The mediator

Attention goes to conflict and discomfort. Energy goes into other people and avoiding conflicts.

For more about each type, go to the detailed descriptions
What people say about the Enneagram:
  • it’s thorough and clear
  • it helps people
  • it works efficiently and is effective
  • it’s deepening and brings connection
  • it’s a wide-ranging model with a long history
  • it’s a reliable system
  • it’s fascinating and gives you options and choices
  • it’s powerful
  • it brings harmony between people.
How do you find and explore your type?

People can show the same behaviour but differ in what’s driving it. So we need to explore not only what we do, but more importantly why we do it – our motivation.  Finding out how our motivation works inside us is an important journey of discovery

We learn better from things that we discover ourselves.  In the Enneagram Narrative Tradition we have found that encouraging people to explore and self-type gives much more profound insight and growth than filling in a questionnaire.  Self-typing is a structured method of introspection, self-reflection and communication of the insights that you gain – and it’s usually great fun!  In the end, you are the expert in your own motivation; you are the guru, not someone else.

Reading books and talking to others

There are many good books on the Enneagram, but some of the ones you may find useful at the beginning are:

Baron R and Wagele E (1994) The Enneagram made Easy Harper Sanfransisco USA ISBN 0 06 251026 6

Daniels, D. and Price, V. (2000) The Essential Enneagram Harper, San Francisco, USA  ISBN 0 06 251676 0

Palmer, H. (1995) The Enneagram in Love and Work Harper Collins, USA, ISBN 0 06 250721 4

Salmon, E. (2003) ABC of the Enneagram, Institute for Outdoor Learning , UK ISBN 1-89555-08-7

Workshops and groups

There are lots of Enneagram Activities (workshops, groups) going on around the UK and Ireland, where you can get started on your self-typing journey.

Typing Interview

This is a diagnostic interview where a certified Enneagram professional helps you discover which Enneagram type might be your dominant one.  Rather than just filling in a questionnaire, during a typing interview the trainer/coach will ask questions which guide you to more self-insight, and you can start working with what you discover straight away.  A qualified professional will not “tell you your type” but will suggest possible types to consider, give you feedback and perhaps tips that you can work with.  If you think you’d like a typing interview, Contact Us. (There may be a charge for this service.)

Using the Enneagram for personal and professional development

There are many models, systems and methods that help to get to know yourself better, and they’re very valuable. The Enneagram is more than just a model. It also offers a method for development. Practising the Enneagram will give you better connection with yourself and with other people.

Read about Journeying with the Enneagram and Reconnecting to your true Self.
Contact us for information about Professional Development programmes for coaches and counsellors.