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Growth and Transformation With The Enneagram

Updated: May 1

An Article by Wellness Contributor and TDC Developmental Coach Louise Walker

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Image by Kelly Sikkema, Unsplash

Applying the wisdom of The Enneagram is a transformative journey into heightened self-awareness.

Following on from our previous article introducing the Enneagram, this blog explores the powerful benefits of getting to know your Enneagram type and that of others. We’ll also be looking at how this wisdom can translate to your business and working with your clients.

Here’s some of the profound and far-reaching benefits you can expect from learning about The Enneagram:

Benefit 1: It helps you understand yourself on a much deeper level

When you discover what your dominant Enneagram personality type is, you also discover the “inner motivation” that compels you to think, feel and act the way you do. The inner motivation is different for each Enneagram type and is the reason behind your personality traits. Read of the list below and see which traits resonate the most, to steer you to discover your dominant personality type:

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Type One: The Reformer

Inner motivation: I want to be good, virtuous, correct and accurate

Type Two: The Helper

Inner motivation: I want to feel loved, wanted and needed

Type Three: The Achiever

Inner motivation: I want to feel worthwhile, accepted, desirable and praised

Type Four: The Individualist

Inner motivation: I want to be uniquely special, authentic and to find my significance

Type Five: The Observer

Inner motivation: I want to be capable, competent, well-informed and knowledgeable

Type Six: The Loyalist

Inner motivation: I want to be safe, secure, have support and reliability

Type Seven: The Enthusiast

Inner motivation: I want to be happy, free, content, unrestrained and satisfied

Type Eight: The Challenger

Inner motivation: I want to be independent, self-governed and to be able to protect myself and others I care about

Type Nine: The Peacemaker

Inner motivation: I want to be at peace, harmonious, untroubled, at ease

How this translates to your business and working with clients:

Once you have this deeper awareness of self via this new objective awareness of what the unique inner motivation is that drives you, you can wield this as a superpower at work. Rather than letting the inner motivation unconsciously drive you, you can notice its presence and catch it before it plays out.

Example: If you run a Peacemaker Type 9 personality - Consider, are you avoiding having a difficult conversation with your client in your quest for peace and harmony? The invitation is to catch this behaviour and choose to bravely step towards actively resolving these situations instead.

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Benefit 2: It creates more self-compassion

When you get to know your Enneagram type you also get to understand your trigger points, your gifts, your challenges, your fears, your desires and your habitual thinking patterns. With this new intimate knowledge of your Enneagram personality structure, you also naturally foster a deeper, more self-compassionate relationship with yourself.

How this translates to your business and working with clients:

Greater self-compassion automatically flows into your relationship with others, and you show up with more discernment and authenticity with your clients and colleagues, resulting in healthier working relationships.

Example: If you run a Helper Type 2 personality, and are driven by wanting to be loved and needed by others, can you lovingly catch this inner motivation playing out with clients? Are you trying too hard to build a close relationship with your client, when perhaps they are more interested in getting the job done quickly and on budget?

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Benefit 3: It builds better relationships with others

Learning your Enneagram personality type is a game changer for deepening your relationship with others. The key difference is the understanding that there are nine different points of view of the world (ie the nine different personalities) and that none of them are any better than the other. This higher awareness that we all experience the world differently, brings a deeper understanding and kindness for others, which creates better relationships. Eg: A Reformer Type 1 personality is driven by being “right and just” whereas a Challenger Type 8 personality is driven by being “independent.”

How this translates to your business and working with clients:

By learning The Enneagram you get to know yourself better and acquire a greater awareness of others’ personality types too. As you deepen your understanding of all nine types, you’ll be able to identify traits your clients may show that possibly indicate their Enneagram type.

For example, rather than being frustrated with a client for not signing off on a budget, instead step into their shoes and consider how they may be experiencing the world. Eg: The Loyalist Type 6 personality could be worried about being secure and safe in the future and may experience financial anxiety. The Observer Type 5 personality is driven by being well-informed, so they may need more information to feel comfortable before approving costs.

Even if you’re not accurate identifying your clients’ personality type, you’ll notice you’re listening differently to others, setting aside your own story and looking at where they may be coming from.

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Benefit 4: Greater flexibility and choice in how you respond to challenges and triggers

Discovering your Enneagram personality type provides deep insights to help you understand why you think and act in certain ways when triggered or challenged. ⁠ Each type has their own set of triggers. Once you know your type’s triggers, this creates flexibility for you as you can choose to respond rather than react from these old habitual ways.

For example, an Achiever Type 3 personality is challenged by trying new things they’re not good at, as they don’t want to look like a failure as their inner motivation is to be valuable and respected. The Individualist Type 4 personality wants to be uniquely special so doesn’t want to be seen as “normal” so this is their trigger.

How this translates to your business and working with clients:

You get to show up with more self-awareness when you experience challenges at work. You get to understand your trigger points, and with this you can choose flexibility in how you respond which will really benefit your working relationships, both with clients and with your colleagues.

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The Enneagram allows you to see what has so far been unseen.

A key piece of learning your personality type is that you get to see what has been unseen for you, what has been hidden from your conscious awareness. Once you can objectively witness some of the personality patterns running for your type, you then are also a step closer to fully awakening to your true potential⁠.

Are you ready to take a step forward into your developmental growth? I’d love to support you on your journey into discovering your Enneagram type, via 1:1 coaching or at the TDC Queenstown Retreat (October 14-20th) where I’ll be hosting two Enneagram experiential workshops called “Explore Yourself” and “Free Yourself.”. These sessions will be revealing and transformative, where you’ll get to learn and apply Enneagram wisdom, and dive deeply into your own personality type.

Article by Louise Walker, Developmental Coach at TDC.

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