Culture (n.) the behaviors and beliefs characteristic of a particular social, ethnic, or age group: the youth culture; the drug culture.
Anyone that has worked in (or led) an organization knows the importance of establishing a positive workplace "culture." However, the ambiguity of that term often leaves leaders and workers a bit disenchanted. A bright eyed trainer may pop in to your job and do a quick training to help create more "cohesive workplace culture." Read More
Deeper Into Type Two (Part II)
This is part of our continuing series that delves deeper into the Enneagram Types.
Core Fears of the Two:
Fear of being worthless, being needy, unhelpful, unacknowledged, immutable, and inconsequential.
The preceding core fears have been identified by many Enneagram researchers through the years and were explored more deeply by Katherine Fauvre during her groundbreaking research on the Enneagram in 1995 and 1996.
Twos fear being worthless because it would undermine the core ego belief that they deserve love and are loving people. Thus being worthless typically crops up when the Two is not able to be helpful. Moreover the Twos fear of being worthless and unhelpful are often symbiotically tied to one another. Read More
Deeper into Two
Twos are motivated by a desire to be seen as invaluable in the eyes of the other. The Twos early interactions communicated that they needed to be indispensable, helpful, kind and generous in order to receive the love that they needed. Thus, early on, Twos learned to monitor the needs of others in order to be safe. Through the monitoring of others they could be sure to be seen as the helpful, kind or nice child and thus would often receive praise for their ability to anticipate the needs of those around them and meet those needs without asking. Twos love the praise from this kind of service and thus develop a pattern early on of tracking the desires, needs and wants of their loved ones. By the time the Two is an adult they become adept at reading people according to what is needed and responding to those needs. The Two however needs to be acknowledged for their unique ability to track the needs and wants of others and becomes despondent of others do not recognize their helpful nature. Thus the image of the Two becomes just as important as the giving itself as they become less consciously aware. Nonetheless, even healthy Twos report the need to be seen and recognized as a kind and helpful person. Read More
Core Fears of the Four:
The core fears are of being inadequate, emotionally cut off, commonplace, and abandoned.
The preceding core fears have been identified by many Enneagram researchers through the years and were explored more deeply by Katherine and David Fauvre during their groundbreaking research on the Enneagram in 1995 and 1996.
The Fours primary fears all center around the need to be seen as unique and special, thus feeling inadequate is the primary way in which the Four will be triggered into feelings of sadness and despair. To be inadequate would mean that they are indeed not special and that others see them just as they see everyone else. Being seen as commonplace is part and parcel to feelings of inadequacy because fours spend a great deal of time (whether consciously or unconsciously) seeking to be seen as unique. Feedback that they are commonplace would undermine the Fours psychic efforts to stand apart. Read More
Each Enneagram type possess archetypes that correspond to the type's psychic structure. There is typically a dominant archetype and supporting archetypes. Some people may relate to one or all of the archetypes. Nonetheless these are universal roles that human beings play regardless of culture, and seem to encompass both an energetic and anthropological pattern that can help us to understand ourselves on a deeper and more holistic level.
Type Four Archetypes
Any of the Enneagram styles can be artists, but the Four identifies most strongly with the artist archetype. The artist is not only a creator of beauty, but sees the world through aesthetic eyes. Thus the artist seeks to dramatize and record the world through a particular lens. Read More
Fours are motivated by a desire to be seen as authentic and unique. Being the last of the image types the Four takes the energy of the image triad (focused on validation, mirroring and image) and focuses this inward. The Four thus becomes strongly identified with their own self-awareness, and often identifies themselves as “deep”, “intuitive” and “insightful”. These adjectives all seek to reiterate the Fours belief that they must be special and authentic in order to be valuable and adequate. Self-searching thus becomes a tool the Four uses to bolster their self image, so rather than going out into the world (as the Three does) or toward others (as the Two does) the Four retreats into the self in order to see whether they match their own ideal of what they should be like. Read More
Working with the Enneagram is not merely the simple act of learning your type and all of its behaviors. Conversely, communication is not just talking to another person, or how you present yourself to the world. Communication encompasses a wide range of activities (both internal and external) that allow you to understand other people and yourself. We are in communication constantly with the world around us. The way we dress, the words we choose, how we move our faces during an emotional reaction, the things we tell ourselves about other people, the things we tell ourselves about ourselves, are some of the ways in which we are constantly in communication with the world around us and the world within us. Read More
The Enneagram type Six is motivated by a desire to avoid danger and gain certainty. Sixes are loyal, engaging, vigilant, and can be endearing and brave, or provocative and fearful. This is the Enneagram system’s "Loyal Skeptic" or "Cautious Defender". Sixes often receive a bad rap because of their attention to what might go wrong. However, it’s important to remember that without the Sixes attention to danger we might be less likely to notice problems in the future. This habit of attention is misunderstood by non-sixes as being negative, however it is really an expression of the Sixes caring. By paying attention to what could go wrong the Six hopes to prevent possible catastrophe, by essentially heading it off at the pass. Read More
The richness of the Enneagram is never lacking. The system is so dynamic and complex that once we understand the basic aspects of the system we are a step closer to understanding the complex human personality. The instinctual subtypes (or instinctual variants) are such a major aspect of The Enneagram they deserve a solid understanding as it strongly influences the type in a way that can drastically change the presentation of a particular style.
The instinctual subtypes can be understood as the dominant arena of life in which we focus our personality styles. They are the primal hard-wiring that can be seen as a sort of tribal, anthropological energy supporting the human ego. It seems that before we developed a complex personality structure we developed our instinctual styles. These are underlying coping strategies that allowed for tribal cultures to survive in which each individual was striving to maintain the equilibrium of the tribal society in a particular way so that overall human survival was ensured. Read More
"Don't Put Me in a Box": One of the main questions that I tend to get about the Enneagram, is in regards to the value in "personality typing" systems like the Enneagram. There is a conception amongst some people that personality typing is limiting, as they perceive that it creates a schema that "puts people into boxes".
Indeed the Enneagram is categorical and tends to put people in categories, however in my opinion, this is an inherently human tendency and has a practical usefulness in understanding the world.
This should serve as a basic crash course in the Enneagram types and provide newcomers and long time students with a refresher on the basic type and wing combinations of the Enneagram. The Enneagram system is separated into three triads which characterize the central concerns of the three types within each triad, each type underexpresses, overexpresses, and controls the energy of the center in a particular way. The types are influenced by the types on either side of them on the Enneagram. The influence of these types is referred to as a "wing". Most people have a dominant wing that influences their type but some find they are affected equally by the types on either side of their dominant type. For example some Twos are primarily influenced by Three on one side and thus are referred to as a Two with a Three wing, (written in this blog as 2w3) while others are influenced more by the One on the other side of the Two and are referred to as a Two with a One wing, or 2w1. Read More
Some may not be familiar with the notion of tritype. The term "tritype" was coined by enneagram research team Katherine and David Fauvre who took the original idea of Oscar Ichazo, who previously postulated that individuals used 3 fixations (two in conjunction with the dominant type) but didn't really expand much past that original hypothesis. However as the Fauvre's differentiated their research from that of Ichazo they renamed it as "tritype" to distinguish their findings from that of the original Arican concept. Tritype states that we posses one type in each center. One of those types is our dominant type, while the other two are employed as necessary when the strategies or defenses of our dominant type are no longer effective. What the Fauvre's say about tritype: http://enneagram.net/tritype.html Read More
The Enneagram and how it relates to communication is one of the most useful applications of the personality system. Finding effective ways to communicate with fellow human beings is a skill that will help us to reach our interpersonal and professional goals more effectively. Through observing people over the years and studying the Enneagram personality system and communication theories of some integral teachers such as Katherine Fauvre, Tom Condon, Don Riso and Russ Hudson and Elizabeth Waegle we have compiled a succinct overview of the types communication styles that can be incredibly useful in both typing others at work or in your personal life as well as understanding your own personal communication style and how you may be presenting to those around you. Read More
We realized that some people may not be familiar with the Enneagram so many of these blog posts will be a little like reading a foreign language so we thought writing a brief intro to the system and the Nine types would be beneficial for those not acquainted with the system.
The Enneagram has unclear beginnings that can be traced back as far as ancient Babylon and ancient Egypt which makes theoretical attribution difficult due to its inherently oral nature. The word Enneagram is translated into “nine diagram” which points to the geometric figure that represents the system as a whole (see figure “a”). With nine equidistant points drawn inside of a circle, the symbols use as a theoretical model are likely mathematical and were discovered by mathematician Pythagoras (Riso and Hudson, p.12 1996). The symbol was thought of as a pictorial/geometric representation of the “process of renewal” and was likely passed down generationally from the Greeks to the Arabs and Moslems in the early 14th and 15th centuries (Riso and Hudson, p.12 1996). Read More