The Enneagram is different from more commonly known personality typing tools, like the Meyer’s Briggs, used in traditional work environments, because it provides more than a static snapshot or box that people fit into in terms of their tendencies and behaviors. The Enneagram is an ancient personality system which aims to capture the 9 personality types present in the human family. The types include The Reformer (1), The Giver (2), The Achiever (3), The Individualist (4), The Investigator (5), The Loyalist (6), The Enthusiast (7), The Challenger (8) and The Peacemaker (9). The names of the personality types come from the ways in which each type attempts to make its mark on the world, and respond to its need for love and recognition. Each type behaves in specific ways to gain approval and earn the love that we all seek as human beings, starting from a young age.
In addition to providing a current view of how a person is behaving, the Enneagram system is built upon the idea that personalities, and people, evolve over time. The more a person knows about him/herself and his/her behaviors, takes conscious action to untangle misconceived ideas about love and belonging, to become more fully self-accepting, self-realized and effective in the world, the more each type evolves to become their highest self.
I came across the Enneagram many years ago when I was figuring out what was causing challenges in a relationship and at work, in my dealings with other people, who often seemed to speak a different language than I did in their behaviors and assumptions.
At that time, my father had just passed away and I had just begun the arduous journey of becoming an inner city public high school teacher, so I was under stress and was typed as an Enneagram 4, the Individualist. I was withdrawn, focused on how different I was from others, how unique, and often assumed that no one else saw the same issues and problems that I saw in the same ways.
I came to realize when I began my coaching program two years ago, that I had been mis-typed during that time. Each Enneagram type not only has a type that they evolve to, but also a type that they go to under stress.
I am actually an Enneagram Type 1, the Reformer, who was under stress when I started teaching and behaved an awful lot like a Type 4. The Type 1, Reformer, is concerned with doing the right thing, serving people, and is very values and ethics-based in their decision making. It is absolutely the accurate type which describes my core values and behaviors; type 1 (and all types) has its wonderful qualities as well as patterns which can create problems, especially around self-criticism and perfectionism.
It is my self-development work to evolve to a Type 7, The Enthusiast, to overcome my patterns and assumptions about people and how to go about gaining love. In fact, when one evolves to their highest self/type, using the Enneagram system as a tool, life no longer is about approval and seeking love from the outside, but rather about being true to oneself, living from a place of deep authenticity, integration, peace and flow.
If you are curious to understand yourself, your behaviors under stress, how you can consciously act in order to evolve, assumptions which lead to patterns in relationships, communication and work-related issues, give me a call today for a free consultation! I provide my clients with Enneagram assessments and provide coaching programs which help to make this such an invaluable tool for self growth and realization.
I hope to hear from you soon!
All My Best, Kiran