The Enneagram

Enneagram (main page)“We see from where we stand.” Haitian proverb

The Enneagram helps you see the place where you stand.

It is a powerful portal into understanding yourself and others. It maps out the mental structure, the patterns of emotional energy and the distinct dynamics of 9 personality patterns.

I got into the Enneagram to understand my kids who made their way through the world differently from me. I thought if I could understand them, I could change them so they could see things MY way. (If you’re a parent, you know where that goes).

I learned that I needed to face my own patterns and dive into my own stories so I could be open to theirs. It created an entire new way of parenting and I saw my kids in ways I’d missed when I was blindly trying to create Mini-Me’s. Understanding my patterns and theirs was a revolutionary awareness that changed our ways of relating to one another.

Now that they’re adults, I have an honest relationship with three wonderful, unique human beings who continually forge their own distinct trails.

Honesty at work and at home takes courage and will. It means we don’t hide from the hard stuff and pretend things are okay when they’re not. It means we turn towards the truth and face it even when it’s uncomfortable, sad or annoying.

As parents, honesty means we don’t jam one another into a family box so we can hide from the pain of relating or convey an image where we’re safe, comfortable and impressive to the neighbors.

As a leader, honesty means we look in the mirror and face what we’re putting out there to the people who are counting on us for direction and vision.

The paradox of honesty and facing our vulnerability is that we free up all sorts of energy for the good stuff because we’re not wasting so much energy pushing the hard stuff down.

Honesty takes courage and the willingness to engage. It CAN be taught and it’s never too late. I am convinced the most generous gift parents and leaders can give to their children and teams is to help them understand their feelings and to encourage them to be curious about the patterns and stories from which those feelings spring.

We can no longer afford to “off-load our feelings” onto our kids, partners, clients and employees as we’re dying from the stress it takes to numb our feelings, harden them and shove them out of the way.

Any emotionally intelligent leader will also tell you it’s a bad business plan to off load your feelings as it eventually gets dumped onto your team and your clients.

I use the Enneagram as one portal of entry into seeing how we can use awareness of patterns as a way of engaging and working with more courage and connection.

Since my first Enneagram training, I’ve listened to the stories of hundreds of people. None are alike. Yes, their Enneagram patterns are remarkably similar. Yes, I never fail to be moved by the wisdom of the Enneagram patterns for managing life’s slings and arrows.

Many say that as they read about the type patterns, listen to panels of people speaking from their point of view and learn the gifts and compulsions of their type, they see themselves and others with greater awareness and compassion.

Yet, that’s only part of it. There’s more to you than your Enneagram patterns. As you relax the patterns and become more willing to show up with courage and honesty, there’s a sweet spot where you discover something more that may surprise you.

So start here. Click on the 9 types and read the descriptions, listen to the video on each page and begin the process of discovering the natural gifts and liabilities your patterns. You can also find more of my videos on YouTube.

Type One: The Perfectionist (The Standard Bearer)

Type Two: The Giver

Type Three: The Performer

Type Four: The Individualist

Type Five: The Observer

Type Six: The Loyal Skeptic

Type Seven: The Epicure

Type Eight: The Protector

Type Nine: The Mediator

I am trained in the Enneagram in the Narrative Tradition which simply means we ask people to share their own personal stories and speak from their own experience while being interviewed by trained facilitators.

We help you identify and transform your:

Your mental habits (Head)

Your emotional habits and the patterns of energy in each emotion (Heart)

Body: Your body’s reactions and responses to your habits. This includes your breathing, your sensations and your energy levels. This is called “somatic awareness.”

Somatic awareness is something children feel naturally but adults often forget. When you become aware of the physical responses in your body, you learn how you can get curious about them.

As you become more curious, you can relax and be less reactive and more receptive in relationship with yourself and others.

We also teach you to observe your patterns with an “Inner Observer” which can notice the patterns and make choices that are less habitual and more conscious.

 

 

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