The Enneagram is a system of nine personality types that describes people’s core motivations. These are something we don’t think about too often, but underneath the hubbub of everyday life, they’re running the show.
The Enneagram forms an integral part of my writing coaching, as a powerful tool for gaining insight into yourself and navigating the creative process. We all have all nine types within us–access to the gifts and the challenges–but one of them is dominant. That type provides us with a particular viewpoint, complex psychological profile, personal gifts, and a wonderful strategy for dealing with the world.
Like a skilled chess player, we can use this strategy when it’s appropriate and draw on others when it’s not. But when we become too reliant on this strategy, we slow our progress and get stuck in old habits. We find ourselves living out only a small sliver of our potential. Learning the Enneagram helps us see beyond our usual way of being and discover what else we’re capable of.
What’s more, learning the Enneagram types of people around us helps us understand their point of view like never before. As we discover what they’re looking for and what they need, we’re in a better position to be on the same page. Communication becomes clearer, and problem-solving more possible. We get more profoundly in touch with the stories that shape our lives, and are able to engage with others’ stories in a grounded, balanced way.
In addition to using the Enneagram in my writing coaching, I offer Enneagram Institute® Authorized Workshops, and am available for teaching, training, coaching, and typing interviews.
The Enneagram strategies in a nutshell:
- Type One, The Reformer: Seeking perfection, I hold to a set of standards
- Type Two, The Helper: Seeking closeness, I work to meet others’ needs
- Type Three, The Achiever: Seeking validation, I adapt to become successful
- Type Four, The Individualist: Seeking identity, I delve into emotional subjectivity
- Type Five, The Investigator: Seeking mastery, I accumulate specialized knowledge
- Type Six, The Loyalist: Seeking guidance, I commit to something bigger
- Type Seven, The Enthusiast: Seeking experience, I look for options and possibilities
- Type Eight, The Challenger: Seeking impact, I exercise strength and power
- Type Nine, The Peacemaker: Seeking harmony, I patiently go with the flow
Which type are you? For an in-depth overview of the nine personality types and the Enneagram system, check out my book, The Modern Enneagram, available in paperback and Kindle editions. You can also download my free e-book, Nine Paths to Creativity, which explores the creative process through a quick tour of the types. You can also take a test to help determine your type at The Enneagram Institute®’s website, or schedule a typing interview (available through our online store).