About the Enneagram - History, Description, Uses
The Enneagram model is an inspired teaching of nine personality styles and their interrelationships, which dates back in concept to ancient Egypt. The Enneagram refers to the nine points on the Enneagram model. It’s derivation is from the Greek words ennea ("nine") and gram ("something written or drawn"). It is a rich and practical tool for recognizing the lens through which we as individuals view the world, and that our point of view is not the only point of view. Accepting this fact, understanding and acknowledging other viewpoints expressed in this model, enhances our ability to communicate effectively and resolve conflicts, personally and professionally. The Enneagram is dynamic and does not stereotype or limit, but rather encourages us to ultimately embrace the good in each of the nine points of view and explore those sensibilities for ourselves. It is an invaluable tool for all relationships, self-mastery, team building, successful leadership, conflict resolution, and for growing emotional intelligence. The Enneagram has innumerable applications, among them business, sales, psychotherapy, medicine, education, law, spirituality, writing, and entertainment. Back to Top
The research is mounting to confirm what many people have known intuitively for a long time -- Emotional Intelligence (EQ) is a greater predictor of professional success than either classic IQ or on-the-job experience. The Enneagram is the single most powerful tool available to help you develop your emotional intelligence.
–Ginger Lapid-Bogda PHD. author of Bringing Out the Best In Yourself At Work- How to use the Enneagram System for Success.
Enneagram for the actor, performer and public speaker
Authentic, Intentional Holistic
The Enneagram is a model of nine core personality styles. Learn and explore the nine personality types, their psychological, physical, emotional, and energetic tendencies, and how to own each of those sensibilities in us without judgment. Understanding our core type and its virtues and vices reveals to us how we unconsciously present ourselves to the world. Utilizing these tools and awarenesses in the art of acting and performance has unfathomable value for auditioning, character building, choice making, and persona projection. How do others perceive me? How do I perceive myself? Am I accessible? Am I clear? How am I protecting myself? How am I limiting myself? What patterns am I creating in my offstage scenes and my on-stage scenes? What moves me? What holds me back? All of these questions have a personal application and apply to understanding a character in a text as well. Back to Top
Enneagram in Executive Coaching
Creating and sharing an authentic vision and presence
The Enneagram is a model of nine core personality styles. As we learn and explore the nine personality types, their psychological, physical, emotional, and energetic tendencies, we can become acutely aware of how our filter or lens is informing each moment of our lives, in relationships and in our careers. As we begin to accept, without judgment, and own each of the sensibilities in us we become clearer about what we are projecting on the world (in our perceptions of an event) and to the world (how we communicate and react from our filters). Understanding our core style, its virtues and vices, reveals to us how we unconsciously present ourselves to the world. Some questions that may arise through our work are: How do others perceive me? How do I perceive myself? Am I accessible? Am I clear? How am I protecting myself? What am I afraid of? How am I limiting myself? What patterns am I creating in my interactions from my limited point of view? Are there other valid ways of seeing this challenge and how to solve it? What moves me? What holds me back? The Enneagram offers us possibilities and ways of seeing things that may never have occurred to us. Our limited point of view may cause unnecessary conflicts and limitations in our choice making. The Enneagram is an invaluable tool for growing emotional intelligence (EQ), enhancing self-awareness and social competence, and self-mastery. The Enneagram helps us identify our distortions as they arise. We can then embrace a clear vision and move toward it with a full presence. Back to Top
The Enneagram and Body-centered Psychotherapy
Enhancing emotional intelligence and expanding awareness
The Enneagram is a model of nine core personality styles, their psychological, physical, emotional, and energetic tendencies. It is a dynamic system in that we move from our core lens or filter to a different lens during stress and yet another during stability. Identifying our core motivations, value and belief systems, and moment-to-moment perceptions through the rich wisdom of the Enneagram, helps us become acutely aware of how our filter or lens is informing each moment of our lives, in relationships and in our careers. The body never lies. We can use our body data to move from oblivious to aware, confusion to clarity. Since emotional reactions arise in us automatically, based on our predisposition toward an Enneagram style, as well as our life history, and neurological programming, it is valuable to explore how we might intercept those automatic reactions in the moment. Having a depth of intellectual understanding can help us interpret our emotional reactions after the fact. We can expand our awareness and emotional intelligence (EQ) by using our body cues to tune in on an emotional reaction as it is arising, and take care of ourselves, before responding to a challenging situation. We can therefore potentially interrupt our habitual reactive response with self-care and self-acceptance, without repressing or over-riding the initial emotional response. From this “whole” place we may also be able to see the situation from a broader, more neutral perspective and be more receptive to others and their points of view.
As we begin to accept, without judgment, and own each of the sensibilities in us we become clearer about what we are projecting on the world (in our perceptions of an event) and to the world (how we communicate and react from our filters). Understanding our core style, its virtues and vices, reveals to us how we unconsciously present ourselves to the world and how we interact with others. Some questions that will arise through the work are: How do others perceive me? How do I perceive myself? Am I accessible? Am I clear? How am I protecting myself? What am I afraid of? How am I limiting myself? What patterns am I creating in my interactions from my limited point of view? Are there other valid ways of seeing this challenge and how to solve it? What moves me? What holds me back? The Enneagram offers us possibilities and ways of seeing things that may never have occurred to us. Our limited point of view may cause unnecessary conflicts and limitations in our choice making. The Enneagram is an invaluable tool for growing emotional intelligence (EQ), enhancing self-awareness and social competence, and self-mastery. Back to Top
The Enneagram and Organization Training
The Enneagram builds communication skills
The Enneagram helps create alliance and alignment in teams
The Enneagram encourages successful leadership at all levels of the organization
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Each Enneagram style communicates in a unique way. The Enneagram helps us identify how we may perceive things through a distorted filter and how we may react through that distortion. With this self awareness participants of the training can practice listening through a more neutral presence, and respond with full knowledge of what they want to say and the most effective way to say it. Participants will examine how their Enneagram style informs their body language and voice. Participants will learn how to communicate effectively with co-workers with diverse Enneagram types and who are coming from their own point of view and possible distortions. We will practice giving feedback in a way that their co-worker can receive. Back to Top
Team Alliance and Alignment
The Enneagram is highly compatible with models from organization development. We can identify the diverse points of view and see how they each contribute to the wholeness of the team. We identify common goals for the team and use the Enneagram to inform how best to work together and how to manage conflict that may arise as each member views a situation from their own lens. We examine how to work through the four stages of a team's life cycle (Forming, Storming, Norming, and Performing), using the Enneagram as a primary resource. With self-awareness and knowledge of the other points of view we can minimize conflict scenarios, work with the conflict if it should occur, and optimize the self-learning from the conflict, realizing the peace that can come after a well-managed storm. Back to Top
Encouraging the inner leader to emerge in all levels of an organization, through self-awareness and self-motivation, maximizes an organization’s resources. Being able to make informed and intuitive decisions that grow from the ability to see a wide range of possibilities from a clear field of perception is a gift of a strong leader. With the use of the Enneagram model we can understand our core style, its virtues and vices, how we lead and how we follow. What kind of a leader am I? Am I accessible? How am I protecting myself and how does that interfere with how I lead? What are my fears and can I acknowledge them to dissolve them, so that I can lead in a non-defensive way? How am I limiting myself? What patterns am I creating in my interactions from my limited point of view? Are there other valid ways of seeing this challenge and how to solve it? What moves me? What holds me back? How do I impact others and how do I model good leadership? The Enneagram offers us possibilities and ways of seeing things that may never have occurred to us. Back to Top
About Ruth Landis
Ms. Landis has conducted workshops throughout the country for such clients as Miller Brewing Sales Executives, ABC Network Television Sales Executives, Illinois Mediators Association, Illinois Association of Public Speakers, and the Chicagoland Bicycle Federation working with issues such as presentation skills, imagedevelopment, teamwork, sales and communication techniques, leadership, creativity and performance. She works as a coach/ consultant to executives and CEO’s of major corporations, public speakers, newscasters, lawyers, and professors.
Ms. Landis trains and coaches actors, performing artists, and public speakers. Ruth is an actress, writer, director and teacher who has performed at all of the major professional theatres in Chicago, and in Regional theatre. She has worked extensively on-camera and as a voice-over artist for radio, TV, and film. She has taught at Northwestern University, Roosevelt University, Columbia College, and Victory Gardens Training Center.
Ms. Landis is also a certified Body-Psychotherapist with a successful private practice, utilizing body/mind techniques and hypnotherapy for greater awareness, presence, relaxation, and stress reduction. She integrates all of her skills to create greater joy and ease in performance, public speaking, and group dynamics. In her teaching and in her private practice Ms. Landis works creatively and dynamically with individuals, couples and groups. When working with public speakers and presenters she focuses on spontaneity, ease, and authenticity. With all clients and groups, she focuses on safety, trust, non-judgmental evaluation and conflict resolution. Her work is highly experiential; it is a “hands on” approach and is non-academic, and participants leave with valuable techniques for self-direction.
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Enneagram Links, Articles & Recommended Readings
- The Enneagram In Business website with learning portal and international consultants
Eclectic Energies easy on-line test
Two Articles by Ruth
and the Enneagram
the Woman Behind the Mother: A Journey Back to Self
Not long after
the recent U.S. presidential election, Michelle Obama sent a mass
e-mail inviting people to contribute to their communities. Because I
collaborate with a friend -- a social worker by profession -- to
develop innovative workshops that integrate the Enneagram with
creativity, nature, the body and other self-awareness approaches, we
decided to brainstorm how we could be of service and what population
might best utilize what we had to offer. Ultimately, we decided to
focus on mothers and caregivers, offering support to those who spend
their lives supporting others. We now call the series “Reconnecting
with the Woman Behind the Mother: A Journey Back to Self.” ©
For a year we
offered free, two-hour workshops, every month at the public library,
and the programs were attended by women who would not normally spend
money on themselves for personal growth. We explored topics they may
have previously avoided – for example, loneliness, self-worth, and
re-learning what it means to receive. The demographic for these
programs span multiple age groups and roles and includes young or
pregnant mothers; empty nesters; grandmothers and women in their
seventies; and nurses or women who have no families but who function
Most of the
women who attended have never heard of the Enneagram, and we began
by teaching them about the three Centers of Intelligence, a concept
few of them have ever considered. For example, during one of our
workshops which focused on self-worth, we introduced the Enneagram
styles Two, Three, and Four, and their underlying feeling of
unworthiness. At each session we would first work with the mind
through questionnaires and group processing, the body, with body
awareness techniques, and the heart with a variety of innovative
exercises, so there is a balance in the learning and a holistic
integration. In upcoming workshops, we will explore anger and
assertiveness, while introducing Enneagram Styles Eight, Nine, and
One, and Confidence and Courage, introducing Styles Five, Six, and
We linked the
Enneagram to a specific monthly theme or topic rather than focusing
initially on Enneagram typing. This has aroused their curiosity
about the Enneagram and increased their desire to learn more.
Attendance has been remarkable – both in numbers of participants and
enthusiasm -- and word about the program is spreading rapidly,
creating an interest in personal development that comes from tasting
something new, fun, and applicable in their daily lives.
We spent as much
time preparing for these pro bono offerings as we have for our paid
seminars and workshops. We have found that we have a freedom in our
design process because we don’t feel compelled to please an
individual client or give them their money’s worth. Consequently, the
designs have been inspired and magical and have offered us, as
facilitators, more gifts than we could ever have imagined. Each
month we delve more into our own personal work as we teach what we
need to learn.
The Enneagram as a Powerful Tool in the Field
of Educationby Ruth Landis
The sooner a person
is introduced to the powerful tool of the Enneagram, the better. We
test kids for IQ and for academic benchmarks, but how are we
developing their character and emotional intelligence (EQ)? The
fact that the Enneagram has endless applications and can inform
almost any topic (sports, the arts, learning styles, teaching
styles, communication, conflict resolution, to name a few) makes it
a rich and flexible resource to use in schools. And kids really seem
to “get it”.
The Enneagram is beginning to be used in
some primary and middle schools:
· Ginny Cusack is using the Enneagram in teacher training,
parent education, and middle-school classes at the Princeton
· In Vineyard Haven, Massachusetts, Amy Zoll has brought
Enneagram work to Vineyard Montessori School.
Encouraging children to understand what moves them as individuals is
fundamental to the Montessori educational process.
· At Ashland High School, in Oregon, there is
course using the Enneagram.
At the university level, the Enneagram
appears in various departments:
· At Southern Oregon University, Jennifer Joss Bradley teaches
a course in the Masters in Management curriculum called “Developing
Emotional Intelligence and the Enneagram.”
· MBS students at USC and UCLA study the Enneagram in
· Sonoma State University’s Master’s program in OD uses the Enneagram.
· St. John Fisher College in Rochester, NY and Stanford University, in
Palo Alto, CA also offer courses in Enneagram and Leadership.
Theology or Pastoral Studies:
· At Loyola University in Chicago, Jerome Wagner, Ph.D. teaches
a course in theories of Learning, including Learning and Teaching
Styles. He introduces the 3 centers of intelligence as a way of
educating the whole person. He also offers an Enneagram
· Claremont School of Theology, Claremont, CA, Iona College in New
Rochelle, NY, and Xavier University, Cincinnati, Ohio offer
Enneagram courses in Spirituality.
· Georgetown University offers an elective course in the School of Medicine, a general
introduction to the Enneagram elements.
· UCLA Medical Center uses the Enneagram in their Spiritual Care Department for personal and
University, Los Angeles, CA and John F. Kennedy University, Pleasant
Hill, CA are using the Enneagram in Clinical Psychology.
Mary's College of California, Oakland, CA describes their Enneagram
course as an
approach to meeting the needs of a diverse student population,
enhancing instructional effectiveness and exploring teaching and
and the Arts:
· I have
taught Master classes using the Enneagram in acting, playwriting,
character development, facilitation skills and public speaking at
the University level and professional training schools in Chicago.
This brief summary
shows some of the ways the field of education is utilizing the
myriad gifts that the Enneagram offers. If we can introduce reasons
behind our thinking, feeling, and acting at an early age, we can
only imagine how our world can become a more informed, inclusive and
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The Wisdom of the Enneagram Russ Hudson and Don Riso
The Enneagram Spectrum of Personality
Styles by Jerome Wagner Ph.D.
The Enneagram by Karen Webb
Bringing Out the Best in Yourself at
Work by Ginger Lapid-Bogda
What Type of Leader are You? by
Bringing Out the Best in Everyone You
Coach by Ginger Lapid-Bogda
Enneatypes in Psychotherapy by
Claudio Naranjo, MD
The Enneagram by Helen Palmer
The Essential Enneagram by David
Out of the Box Coaching by Mary Bast
and Clarence Thomson
The Enneagram Made Easy by Renee
Baron and Elizabeth Wagele
The Literary Enneagram Characters from the Inside Out by Judith Searle
Enneagram Movie and Video Guide Thomas Condon.
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