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The Enneagram as a life & business coach

What is the Enneagram?

The Enneagram is a proven framework that offers deep insight into people’s motivations and behaviours. Although everyone displays certain behavioural aspects of all nine types within the Enneagram, one particular type will be dominant in everyone. But rather than just identifying one’s dominant type, the Enneagram provides a unique way of guiding people to transcend self-defeating behaviours through the interconnectedness of the nine personality types. This is what differentiates the Enneagram from all other personality type tests.

Watch and listen to what other Integrative 9 accredited coaches have to say about the Enneagram.

What makes you a certain number on the Enneagram?

Your dominant Enneagram type stems from your behavioural bias in your formative years, when you figured out the best modus operandi to survive, be noticed or make sense of the world. We run a number of on line Enneagram Learning programmes that will help you ascertain your dominant Enneagram personality type.

Why is it important?

Most people don’t question their own behavioural patterns, yet these could result in self-defeating or dysfunctional behaviours. In the workplace, behaviour can have a major negative impact in many spheres. The Enneagram enables awareness of self and others, and it’s often the first step towards a more conscious existence and a more fulfilling life. Importantly, it teaches compassion for self, which is a prerequisite for compassion for others. This all starts with knowing your Enneagram type.

Stop doing what hasn’t worked.

The Enneagram has a tendency of appearing on people’s radar when it is most needed. The founder of TEAM-WORK.PRO, Eugenio Leijten, explains it as follows: “The pattern of behaviour I kept relying on simply wasn’t working. The same behaviour time and again was achieving the same results time and again. It wasn’t until I was introduced to the Enneagram, entirely by chance, that I was able to identify what and why I was doing the same stuff for so long, essentially sabotaging myself and more importantly, others around me. Figuring out my dominant Enneagram personality type was just the start of my discovery. The real power of the Enneagram lies in the pathways to growth, allowing me to ditch self defeating behaviour and gaining awareness of others. Since those early days, the learning hasn’t stopped.”

What does the Enneagram have to do with business?

Understanding what motivates people and hence how they view your business can have great impact. This includes everyone from the CEO to management, employees, customers and suppliers. All of these people together give your business its unique personality. So, consider what could be possible in your business if people’s natural motivations and drives were matched to work tasks, standards and goals? For example, you would want a complex manual to be written by someone who is precise and pays attention to detail; for sales you’d want an extroverted, sociable person with focus and the ability to close a deal. These traits can all be interpreted through the Enneagram model.

Just nine personality types?

The Enneagram is a multi-facetted framework of nine personality types. However, each type has three sub-types, which are defined by their instinctual energies. The nine personality types then expand to become 27 types, and there are more intricate interpretations within each of these types too. Each Enneagram type can also take on characteristics of the type in either side of them, called the wings. The different Enneagram types are interconnected and display ‘stresses’ and ‘releases’ from the types they are connected to. As shown on the diagram, Type 7 will display behavioural aspects of Type 1 when stressed. Similarly, a 7 will get release from taking on aspects of the 5.

Also to be considered are the Harmonic Triad which shows how our type protects itself against misfortune and disillusionment, and the Hornevian Triad which addresses how people solve inner conflicts. Are you assertive, compliant or withdrawn in times of conflict?

The analysis, interpretation and application of the personality types are intricate and complex, but will be clearly revealed and understood through coaching.

How do I discover my Enneagram type?

There are a few ways to find out. Do an online Enneagram type test – the Integrative9 test is our choice, or take a test through the Enneagram Institute. When you have your result, read up on your type’s characteristics and see if they resonate with you.

However, a more reliable way of discovering your type is to learn the intricacies of the Enneagram with TEAM-WORK.PRO. This is because tests can still mistype you and lead to confusion. TEAM-WORK.PRO’s approach is to start by examining how the triads relate to you. The three triads are: Centre of Intelligence, Harmonic Triad and the Hornevian Triad.

Why TEAM-WORK.PRO uses the Enneagram for business consulting

Individuals will benefit from knowing their type and the corresponding guidance the Enneagram provides by:

  • Gaining awareness of one’s own motivation
  • Understanding one’s own behavioural patterns
  • Removing unconscious ignorance about oneself
  • Making sense of emotional blockages
  • Providing a pathway to freedom from the ego
  • Gaining compassion for self and others
  • Showing strategies to reach one’s essence
  • Increasing motivation
  • Leading one to an authentic version of self

Teams will benefit from working with the Enneagram by:

  • Becoming more tolerant of others
  • Less irritation being triggered by others’ behaviours
  • Getting on better with your team members
  • Improving communication
  • Valuing your own contributions to the team’s efforts
  • The team valuing your contributions
  • Improving productivity

The benefits for organisation benefits can be very impactful and will lead to change. These include:

  • Being less driven by politics, and more by pragmatism
  • Lessening the fear of organisational change and restructuring
  • Unleashing creativity in every aspect of the organisation
  • Inducing performance
  • Instilling organisational authenticity and values
  • Nurturing talent
  • Providing a definite return on investment
  • Increasing productivity

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