to self discovery
and greater personal awareness
What is the Enneagram?
The Enneagram is a personality profiling tool that helps identify people’s characteristic behaviour patterns, grouped into 9 archetypal categories. The combination of its framework and arrangement facilitates in-depth insights, not only into the reasons why people with a specific personality type tend to behave as they do, but also into the way in which individuals interact with one another in groups and larger collectives.
The word Enneagram is built from the Greek words ennea (9) and gram (what is written or drawn). This refers to the 9 primary types of Enneagram personalities. Each basic personality archetype is given a number (1-9) based on a person’s general world view, how they tend to think, feel and act, as well as how they respond to their own experiences of themselves, other individuals and the world at large.
The 9 main personality types relate to one another in specific ways, and are arranged into three centres of intelligence.
With further subdivisions, secondary aspects of personality that influence one’s ‘core’ identity, and observations about how specific characteristics affect a person’s balance of motivations and drive their interactions with others, the Enneagram offers a rich map to personal development.
One of the reasons I find this profiling tool so useful is because of its open systems perspective. Instead of attempting to rigidly categorize people into 9 varieties, it presents a flexible, spectrum-like sliding scale which widens the horizon of self-discovery and illuminates meaningful self-awareness.
Far from being a limiting framework, the Enneagram is intended as a functional guide on the journey towards self-development, relationship building, conflict resolution and the improvement of team dynamics. It offers a practical way of mapping the complex and unique interaction of qualities that real people have, instead of simply labelling them as one ‘personality class’ or another.
How Do I Know My Enneagram Personality Type?
I use the Integrative Enneagram Questionnaire (iEQ9) with my clients, which was developed by Integrative Enneagram Solutions. At the commencement of your coaching engagement, you will receive a link to the iEQ9 questionnaire to be completed online, yielding a comprehensive report that is then forwarded to you.
This report provides highly detailed information that is invaluable for both my client and myself. Rather than being a final appraisal of a person, the report acts as a springboard for discussion.
I typically find myself referring to insights from the Enneagram report throughout a coaching engagement. The insights provided make it easy and efficient for me to tailor the coaching process, helping my client adjust both their process and their desired outcomes to avoid any potential pitfalls.
“The Integrative Enneagram Questionnaire draws on the collective body of knowledge and experience from many pioneers in the Enneagram field and as the developers of the iEQ9 we would like to acknowledge the experts, philosophers and practitioners for their contribution to the development and application of the model as we understand it today.” – Dirk Cloete, Founder, Integrative Enneagram Solutions
The report you will receive highlights the various implications of your unique combination of personality traits, including the talents with which you are gifted and the risks you are likely to face. The benefits and potential challenges of your profile in areas such as collaboration, relationships and group activities or teamwork are discussed in detail. This gives you the opportunity to conquer innate barriers to success that you may face, as well as overcome self-defeating behaviours.
Thanks to the way in which the Enneagram maps out your individuality, you are empowered to focus on key leverage points to implement meaningful and enduring change.
“I was staggered by the accuracy of my report. I knew I was a perfectionist but I had no idea how my personality type negatively and positively impacted every aspect of my life. It was and remains a powerful tool for me in my ongoing growth.” – Ange W
The Benefits of Using the Enneagram in Coaching
The Integrative report creates an opportunity for in-depth dialogue with my clients, highlighting development areas to focus on. For example, if I’m coaching a person with a Type 7 profile, and they are struggling to attain their goals, I know in advance that it’s probably because they love learning, but they get bored easily. Knowing what potential challenges a Type 7 is likely to face, I can prepare strategies to help them cope with obstacles such as procrastination, which is a common problem for this personality type.
Sections such as the ‘stress and strain profile’ provide important data, context and warning flags that help create awareness of potential areas that a client might need to focus on working through. I have used the iEQ9 successfully to help my clients address a variety of growth areas, including enhancing performance, improving focus and resolving conflict, as well as cultural change, personal and team limitations, boosting confidence, improving relationships, increasing creativity and so on.
While the Integrative Enneagram is, first and foremost, a tool for growth rather than a device for measurement or calibration, the information it provides can prove a very valuable compass on the journey towards self-discovery.
© Excerpts iEQ9. https://www.integrative9.com/enneagram/
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