The Enneagram System of Personality is system of human personality that helps explain why people behave the way they do. It has been referred to as the GPS of wisdom and a tool for compassion.
Stemming from the Greek words ennea (nine) and grammos (a written symbol), Enneagram represents nine distinct strategies for relating to the self, others and the world. Each Enneagram type has a different pattern of thinking, feeling and acting that arises from a deeper inner motivation or worldview.
Introduction to the Enneagram: Learn about the 9 Enneagram Types in this video.
The Enneagram is used in business and in management training to improve interpersonal skills and communication. It can be used as a team building tool or a tool for individual professional growth. The Enneagram System of Personality directly addresses the five elements of emotional intelligence: self-awareness, self- regulation, internal motivation, empathy and people skills. Called the “GPS of wisdom,” a 2011 study by Enneagram in Business covering 72 companies, including Best Buy, Daimler-Mitsubishi, Toyota and Avon, found that using the Enneagram led to better communication and collaboration, rising sales and increase in employee engagement.
The Enneagram is also used as a personal growth tool as a way to understand yourself and the other people in your life. It helps to cultivate the self-observation skill set and often acts as a tool for compassion–when you understand why people are acting the way they are, it is easier to feel compassion and understanding for them.
What are the Nine Enneagram Types?
Type 1: The Perfectionist/Reformer
The Enneagram Type 1 is called the Perfectionist or the Reformer because their attention automatically goes to what needs improvement and correction. They tend to see things in black and white, either perfect or imperfect, with very little gray in between. Learn more about Type 1 here.
Type 2: The Helper/Giver/Lover
Enneagram Type 2 Helpers/Givers/Lovers are typically warm, concerned, nurturing and sensitive to the needs, preferences and desires of the people around them. They proactively look for ways to be helpful, useful and likable. This is a very “other” referencing person whose attention easily and naturally goes out to other people. Learn more about Type 2 here.
Type 3: The Achiever/Motivator
Enneagram Type 3 Achievers/Motivators are typically energetic, optimistic, self-assured and goal-oriented. Gifted at focusing on goals and achieving them, the Achiever 3 personality personifies the “human doing” rather than human being. Learn more about Type 3 here.
Type 4: The Individualist/Artist
Enneagram Type 4 is called the Individualist, the Artist, and the Romantic because of their focus on individuality, authenticity, and full expression of their emotions. This type owns the emotional spectrum—they’ve been up, they’ve been down, they’ve been everywhere in between, and they often are on a regular basis. Learn more about Type 4 here.
Type 5: The Investigator/Observer
Enneagram Type 5 Observers/Thinkers/Investigators are typically introverted, curious, analytical and insightful. These are the owls of the Enneagram with a very boundaried approach to life. This person is quite observant and curious but generally likes to observe from a distance, slightly out of the group. Learn more about Type 5 here.
Type 6: The Loyalist/Skeptic
Enneagram Type 6 Loyalists/Doubters/Skeptics are typically responsible, reliable, trustworthy and value security and loyalty. These are the African gazelles of the Enneagram—scanning and on high alert for danger at all times. Learn more about Type 6 here.up. Learn more about Type 5 here.
Type 7: The Enthusiast/Adventurer
Enneagram Type 7 is called the Enthusiast, the Adventurer, and the Generalist because of their enthusiasm for almost everything (especially new things), their adventure-seeking focus, and their wide range of interests. Upbeat, high energy and curious, this is an action-oriented type who places a lot of focus on enjoyment, being happy, and future planning. Learn more about Type 7 here.
Type 8: The Leader/Boss
Enneagram Type 8 is called the Leader, the Challenger and the Protector because of their keen awareness of power dynamics: who is in control, who might need protection, who needs to be challenged. Leader 8s are usually blunt, direct, “what you see is what you get” people with forceful, big personalities. Learn more about Type 8 here..
Type 9: The Peacemaker/Mediator
Enneagram Type 9 is called the Peacemaker or the Meditator because of their focus on harmony and their mellow, go-with-the-flow attitude. Peacemaker 9s are naturally able to understand multiple perspectives and are exceptional listeners. They offer a non-judgmental environment that allows others to be heard and often deescalate highly-charged situations. Learn more about Type 9 here.