So, what is the Enneagram?

There are nine personality types, but within each type are variations in behavior. We grow up in different cultures and countries – in different families and birth orders – and these external factors/events have a large influence on who we are. Regardless, our basic motivations will still be the same.

The Enneagram is a powerful tool for personal and collective transformation stemming from the Greek words ennea (nine) and grammos (a written symbol).

Following is a brief description of each of the Enneagram types. We use numbers as a shorthand designation, along with one- or two-word descriptors.

 

Type 1 – Perfectionist

 

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The Perfectionists want order in the universe. 1’s follow the rules and want others to do so, too.  They have strong super-egos and can be very critical of themselves and others. Read more…

Type 2 - Care-Giver

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The care-givers spend their energy in the service of meeting other people’s needs, sometimes to their own detriment.  The underlying motivation is to be valued by others for their unselfishness, but they frequently find themselves under-appreciated. Read more…

Type 3 – (Over) Achiever

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3’s are goal-oriented and hard-working. They value success even at the expense of important relationships. American society is a Type 3-oriented culture, and 3’s are frequently admired and rewarded for their behavior. Read more…

Type 4 - Individualist

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The Individualists want to be unique and special. 4’s are artists, and share their creativity with all of us. They want understanding from their family, friends, and partners. Read more…

Type 5 – Investigator

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The Investigators are motivated by the accumulation of knowledge even if there is no obvious practical application at the time. 5’s are found in the fields of science, engineering and technology. Read more…

Type 6 – Loyal Skeptic

ennegram-diagram-66’s are dutiful and responsible, and they look after their communities. 6’s are frequently in the military, in fire departments, or in law enforcement. They hold large organizations together and will work for the good of the group, as opposed to being self-promoting.  6’s tend to have a “worst-case scenario” outlook on life and can approach any situation with questions about what could go wrong. Read more…

Type 7 – Enthusiast

ennegram-diagram-77’s are playful, fun-loving, spontaneous and adventuresome. 7’s are optimistic and at times don’t allow duties and responsibilities to get in the way of their fun. Their fear is that they will be trapped in emotional pain and their frenetic activity serves to help them escape unpleasant feelings. Read more…

Type 8 – Challenger

The 8 is the most aggressive of all the types. 8’s are leaders and usually are the “big picture” guys. The challenge for confrontational 8’s is that, in their personal lives, the aggressive behavior is off-putting for children or partners. They do have a warm side but are reluctant to share it with others because they fear they will appear weak and vulnerable. Read more…

Type 9 – Peacemaker

ennegram-diagram-99’s are conflict-avoidant and will withdraw if a situation becomes unpleasant. 9’s are easygoing, sometimes indecisive, and slow to act. They have, to some degree, abdicated their own power and their anger. Reclaiming themselves is one of the difficult tasks of the 9. Read more…