This complex and powerful tool is a perfect complement to life coaching. It allows us to understand ourselves better in our daily behavior, reduce stress, and encourage growth.
You can discover the Enneagram at different levels, alone or in a small group. Find out how it can be helpful for you and your relationships, at home or at work.
The Enneagram is an outstanding system for understanding human nature. Enneagram describes 9 different personalities: groups of traits (such as behaviors, attitudes, perceptions, thoughts, emotions and feelings) which can be understood as a coherent character derived out of a principal motivation. We can all have within us the motivations of all the 9 types, but we do have one primary motivation which conducts us along our lives. In studying the Enneagram we learn to see ourselves from external eyes. We always find comfort in learning our type. We realize that we are not alone in the way we see the world and we feel ‘normal’. At the same time, we see that we have our very own combination of motivations, qualities and talents, that we are unique and that we have a unique gift to contribute to the world around us.
The clarity with which the personalities are described made the Enneagram take an ever-growing interest among people who look for a coherent and accessible method for self-development. This analysis of the personality, unlike the analysis in other personality tests, is not confined to the classification of categories and it avoids labeling people. For this reason, the Enneagram rather calls the types by a number and not by a name. It avoids the impression that we immediately know the type. The numbers do not represent hierarchical order. They are organized in a circle in which they all are at the same importance and value. The organization in the circle represents their relationships and their similarities.
The Enneagram puts emphasis on the interaction between the different types, strengthening the qualities of the individual in self-development. It is a dynamic model that insists on the movement as an essential human quality. In learning the Enneatype in depth, we become conscious of our functioning under stress, and the area of growth that we can follow if we intend to do so. Most people I worked with liked it so much that they quickly started to use it to facilitate the growth of their relationships, whether with their loved ones or at work.
Each personality type has undoubtedly a valid point of view, yet this viewpoint is limited. When we study all of the personality types (or at least a personality type of someone close to us), we become aware of the manner in which others conceive the world. This understanding helps to accept the other and show compassion. At the same time, we become conscious of the limitations of our view of the world and the way it might limit our interactions. Revealing this to consciousness brings out our potential. In embracing new possibilities we experience growth.
To completely understand our behavior or that of others we have to shed light on the context of the psychological functioning beneath the surface. It is important to understand that people from the same personality type can be very different in their behavior, and while sharing the same motivation it may be expressed in different ways. At the same time, people from different personality types can behave in the same way for different reasons. It is therefore not surprising that while experiencing growth we may evolve in our behavior although our personality type stays the same.
The first step in entering the Enneagram is rather simple. I strongly recommended to start with an intuitive analysis and to be accompanied in the interpretation of the result. I use the Riso and Hudson intuitive guideline which takes only a few minutes. Do not hesitate to ask me to accompany you.
Once you know your type you can read a one-page insight on your type. I recommend that you consult the summaries on the site eclecticenergies.com. It will also give you an explanation of common mistyping at the end of each type. The site also offers a free test. However, I am not comfortable with the term test which implies success or failure; all personality types are equally good. The different qualities are not better, and the different risks are not worse. Moreover, there is a degree of accuracy in this kind of test (or possibly inaccuracy) and it is sometimes difficult to interpret the result if you are not an expert. If you do take the test, I recommend saving the entire result (by taking a photo). People tend to lose their result when turning impulsively to read about the personality which seems to be dominant. However, the combination of the personalities that the test show can give you a deeper understanding if you choose to have a professional personalized analysis. Finally, learning all 9 types and trying to find yours and others is obviously a good way to understand the Enneagram in a whole. Yet, this method demands quite a lot of effort to understand it all, which is why I offer you to go on this journey with a guide.
Having worked on the translation of the 9 Types to French of this site I find it particularly accessible. The demand for free adequate information is met on this site in a few languages. Having found it on the first page on Google research I quickly discovered that it is one of the best sites on the topic. I am, therefore, happy to participate in making it as accurate and clear as possible for my fellow French speakers. This is a very useful door opener to the work of Riso and Hudson and other Enneagram researchers.
I hope that having been exposed to this writing, you might want to take a next, more personalized step in your self-development and the development of your relationships together with a coach who is specialized in the Enneagram.