(Greek Roots: Ennea ► Nine,
Gram ►Model/Points/That which is written or drawn)
Enneagrams have been around since about 600 B.C.
The Enneagram is an archetypal typology that gives an in-depth insight into
individuals. It is a way of looking at yourself and others from the perspective of personal development
consisting of 9 core Enneagram types, 27 sub-types, and wing influences. Coaching
with the Enneagram offers insight into levels of development and growth movement using the different
The Enneagram doesn't shove you into a box
When we take different personality type tests, we have a tendency to feel "boxed in" to a
type. That's not what the Enneagram does. The Enneagram is a tool that you can use
for self-knowledge. It's basically a sense making tool. Understanding yourself is key to your personal
transformation and journeys because it enables you to go beyond the ego to reach a higher state of
self-actualization and consiousness.
The nine characters do not simply make up a set of personality styles
Rather they are an organized set of character structures. The Enneagram is
a map of human nature. It can be seen as a set of nine distinct personality types, with each number on the
Enneagram denoting one type. It's really very common to see a little of yourself in each of the personality
types, but one of them will stand out as being "mostly you". (Riso & Hudson, 2006 )
The Enneagram describes nine different ways of relating
Each viewpoint is determined by different mental and emotional concerns. These types
describe high-functioning people rather than pathological trends. No type is better than the
other, and each type is effective in its own way while interacting in very different ways.
Each one of the numbers of the Enneagram reflect different styles of thinking, feeling and behaving, with each
style connected to a unique path of development.
Bottom line, why do I want to find my number?
- It's like a prescription for becoming a better version of yourself
- It allows you to peel back the layers (think of an onion) for finding who you
- Tells you why you do what you do, then what to do about it
- It's a great way of getting "out of your box"
- It's a way of learning to really thrive
- Helps to empower and engage
- It's a map of self-awareness
- Helps with effectiveness and productivity
You were born with a tune
But sometimes we get a little out of tune. The Enneagram and the report
that goes with it is like a tuning fork that gets you back in harmony with your "whole" self.
So, what's your number?
There's just not enough space on here to genuinely explain each type, but I'll explain the
basic types where you're at your best and also at your worst. If you want, go to http://www.integrative.co.za/ and take the
test. The link is at the top right of the site. It's free to get your number. But, if you're
looking for more, like your Enneagram type, your wing and your sub-types, you'll need to order a full report.
You can do that through me by emailing me at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Ones - The Strict Perfectionist
Ones are about improvement and making sure things get done correctly and properly.
This applies not only to what they personally do, but to the quality of what others do. They tend to be
principled, with clear distinction and definition of what its right and what is wrong which may seem
idealistic, self-righteous or fussy to others. They tend to organize and structure their world in a
functional manner, and value facts with precision and clarity. Through their efforts, hard work and
application they strive to take "the right action" and avoid mistakes.
At their worst, Ones are likely to be inflexible, rigid, dogmatic and
intolerant. They don't include themselves in their criticism and judgements. At the
higher levels, 1s are able to access tolerance, realistically evaluating themselves and others
before taking appropriate action. At this point, the absolutes of right and wrong tend to move from
absolutes to ideals that they live into a considerate, trusting and flexible way.
Twos - The Considerate Helper
Twos want to be liked and will go to extreme lengths to meet the needs of others while
being helpful, supportive and empathic. They tend to be very people-oriented and will build relationships
that provide them with opportunities for affirmation. As a result, twos tend to be over-involved in other
people's projects, lives and issues, at times without any request or permission for their involvement.
Although 2's are very giving and warm, they are also highly sensitive to not being appreciated or valued for their
contribution. When this happens they may become surprisingly angry.
At their lower levels, the 2 may be manipulative, playing on people's guilt and struggling
to see the destructiveness and neediness in their own behavior. At the higher levels, the 2's expression of
altruism becomes truly unconditional and free of ulterior motives as they become able to nurture themselves while
also being giving and loving.
Threes - The Competitive Achiever
Threes are competitive "doers" who live in a world where only winners are valued.
they are practical, task-oriented and are willing to make sacrifices to achieve their goals. They usually
have great physical stamina and generally show very strong "A-Type" behavioral tendencies. Their energy is
focused on winning and appearing successful which leads to them usually projecting a very polished personal
image. This persona will be adapted to fit the requirements of success in any given situation. As a
result, for many, when over-identified with their persona, this leads to the dilemma of having to sort
out the difference between outer success and inner satisfaction, the paradox of doing and being.
At lower levels, the 3's tendency to overextend themselves may lead to them having to
resort to deception to maintain their image as a "winner". Pragmatism becomes extreme expediency and the cost
of winning may become very high. Be that as it may, they may be quite focused and able to maintain the
illusion of success. At higher levels the 3 is able to connect to a strong sense of who they are, thereby
moving into the territory of inner-directedness, compassionate self-acceptance, authentic influence and a strong
connection between heart and hands that they do not have access to at lower levels of functioning.
Fours - The Intense Creative
Fours never accept anything at surface value and have a compelling desire to search for
meaning, depth and authenticity. They are generally very sensitive at an emotional and aesthetic level,
being attracted to beauty. They will express themselves in very individualistic ways. Their emotional
sensitivity means that they are generally very attuned to their environment, with a specific attraction to the
darker emotional tones. At times 4s become dramatic, moody, impractical and depressed with an over-emphasis
on what is lacking in their lives. They can be quite intense and quite withdrawn and generally have strong
At lower levels, 4s seem emotionally tormented, self-indulgent and angry at themselves and
depressed. They easily feel that everyone has let them down and that there is no hope, which can lead to them
extracting themselves from groups and society to live on the fringes while lamenting that the world does not accept
them. At higher levels of integration, 4s are in touch with their inner voice but have transcended
self-consciousness. They are able to put distance between their identity and their emotions, enabling them to
say "yes" to live in an integrated way.
Fives - The Quiet Specialist
Fives are deeply private individuals who live most of their lives in a mental space.
They enjoy exploring how the world works and are able to deconstruct reality before putting it back together.
They often position themselves in the role of observer but are mentally quite active while in this role. They
may struggle to share and translate their thoughts to the rest of the world, and can come across as socially
awkward or disinterested. They have a tendency to compartmentalize and separate aspects of their lives and
At lower levels, 5s may be antagonistic towards the world. They tend to
withdraw into isolation and cut themselves off from the world in an extreme way, burning bridges while aggressively
defending their isolation. At higher levels, 5s are able to transcend rational thought to reveal objective
reality. As intellectual pioneers they are at peace and at home in the world, with the ability to bring their
gift of wisdom unselfconsciously and perceptively.
Sixes - The Loyal Skeptic
Sixes easily tune into the potential for untoward happenings, hidden danger and
risks. When looking at behavior, it is particularly difficult to recognize 6s because of the phobic and
counter-phobic behavior patterns being so different. At an energy level, the 6 is however
acting upon, and reacting to a sense of trepidation and anxiety that they experience. Sixes may project
themselves as skeptical. They are attuned to issues of trust, responsibility and loyalty and have an inherent
need to feel that they are safe and they belong. Their internal mental processes tend to have a "yes, but..."
and "what if..." inclination.
At lower levels, the 6 tends to be paranoid with a tendency to over-react from a
point of insecurity and self-disparagement. Loyalty degenerates to dependency, accompanied by a complaining,
whining and over-sensitivity to their environment. At higher levels, healthy 6s are self-reliant and
grounded. They give confidence and courage to those around them, and have the resilience to cope with what is
unexpected and threatening without becoming reactive and fearful.
Sevens - The Enthusiastic Visionary
Sevens are always enthusiastically in motion. They are generally really good at
"winging it" and seek variety, stimulation and fun in life. They tend to tackle challenges with optimism and
are generally entertaining and charming to be around. They are future-oriented, engaging in life by
asking "what's next?" Their spontaneity enables them to take on a variety of challenges - however, this may
lead to others experiencing them as impulsive, distractible and hedonistic. Since the 7 lives life to the
fullest, their choices may seem insensitive or irresponsible to others. They can be inspirational and
receptive team members, enhancing the level of creativity, energy and optimism in the team.
At lower levels, the 7's excess is likely to catch up with them. While the 7 may be
quite unhappy, they choose to not recognize this, hiding rather in escapism, hyperactivity and the
impulsive pursuit of pleasure. They may be quite rude and offensive, with others experiencing them as
selfish and indulgent. At higher levels, the 7 is able to stay present to their experiences, finding joy
in the fountain within rather than in escapist and externalized activities. Grateful and connected to a rich
inner life, they exude optimism and being grounded.
Eights - The Active Controller
Eights are forces of nature. Even when they are physically small they tend to be
large in stature, reputation, energetic presence, and personality. They value being in control. Taking
a follower role can be difficult for an 8 when there is no leadership or bad leadership. They find
it difficult to let down their guard, yet are often quite sensitive, caring and protective of individuals they have
taken under their wing. Eights pursue the truth relentlessly and mask their vulnerability with a tough,
certain and no-nonsense exterior. Their energy is powerful and often quite raw.
At lower levels, the 8 may be extremely intimidating and confrontational, bearing a
chip on their shoulder. At higher levels of integration, 8s combine their force, directness, and action with
compassion and are able to collaborate with others while serving the greater good.
Nines - The Adaptive Peacemaker
Nines are receptive and generally find it easy to listen, understand and accept the
perspectives and ideas of others. They generally position themselves as facilitators, mediators, or as
approachable and diplomatic group members. Nines may struggle to take sides, connect to their own position
and take firm, decisive action. Often they will say "yes" when they mean "no". As approachable
individuals who enjoy building strong rapport with others, they run the risk of merging energetically with
people who enjoy building strong rapport with others and things they like. Nines enjoy the rhythm of their
lives and may find great comfort in simple living. They may struggle with procrastination but once they shift
gears, will generally be persevering. When pressured by others they tend ot react in passive-aggressive ways
to avoid being controlled by others.
At a low level, 9s run the risk of being seiously neglectful of self and of
responsibility. They may struggle with low self-esteem and will generally repress anger to the point of
inaction and living in illusion. At a high level of integration, the 9 is able to express independence while
combining the paradoxical energies of serenity and vitality. They display self-respect and are comfortable
with themselves, enabling them to act with awareness and autonomy.
Want to read more about the Enneagram?