The Enneagram

The Enneagram: A Guide to Understanding Yourself and The People Around You

Posted: 7/16/11 11:15 AM ET

Have you ever looked at the people you know and work with and wondered why they behave the way they do? Why one person would give you the shirt off their back if you needed it, and another person would argue the importance of having a shirt at all? Why would yet another type of person be chronically over-committed, habitually complain about it and yet persist in cramming still more things into their already-overflowing calendar? What do these very different kinds of people want and how can they be reached? The answer to these questions can be found by using a 9-point system called the Enneagram.

In the study of human behavior there are many ways of identifying and discussing it, and most of them involve diagnosing pathological behavior, using terms such as schizophrenic, anti-social personality and so forth. While identifying pathology is an important part of understanding human behavior, it certainly does not explain it in its entirety. Humans, being what they are, present with an often confounding array of behavioral traits and emotional states. The Enneagram gives the user a “road map” and a system of language with which to understand and talk about them.

What Does The Enneagram Look Like?

There are nine basic types in the Enneagram system, and they are as follows:

  1. The Perfectionist
  2. The Giver
  3. The Achiever
  4. The Romantic
  5. The Observer
  6. The Doubter
  7. The Dreamer
  8. The Leader
  9. The Diplomat
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