As planned, I have officially begun a study program towards a certificate as an Enneagram Practitioner. This is a capstone project of sorts, topping approximately 20 years of exploration. The opportunity to study the human personality in more depth, along with the connection of personality patterns to human achievement and life satisfaction—well it is very empowering. At the end of the day, I hope to bring this valuable insight to clients and colleagues in a number of ways, coaching being the first that comes to mind.
What have I learned this week? Well, simply that personal growth and transformation are never complete! I guess I knew that, but it was interesting to be reminded once again!
The Enneagram is a powerful tool to unlock the secrets of how our personalities work to make us the unique and wonderful beings that we are in this life. It also shows us how by over-clinging to our preferred modes of behavior and habitual as of acting and reacting with life, experiences, and other beings, we make our lives more narrow, less rich and sometimes painful. The pain can happen when the personality style becomes a mask we wear or a persona that we “put on”, to the point that we cannot respond fully to life or to others. Sometimes we begin to feel that we are no longer whole, or that we don’t feel like we are being real in our lives.
The Enneagram, unlike many other personality typing programs, does not propose to put people behind a label, but rather shows a way to freedom—to be able to access the whole fabric of who we are, to operate at the higher side of our personality, to embrace the lessor familiar aspects of who we are, and to let go of habitual ways of thinking and behaving.
I see Enneagram as being even more useful as more knowledge comes forth regarding neuroscience and neuroplasticity in particular. Enneagram work is also extremely useful in spiritual direction, as it can be used to delve quite deeply into our inner life as a significant tool for transformation.
In my own understanding of the concepts of Leading from Within, through course work, individual study and on-the-ground practice, I see Enneagram being highly valuable as a leadership development tool. I see that typically it is only those few leaders with very deep self-knowledge that can effectively succeed at the demands of top leadership positions. The implications for Enneagram value in executive coaching, management, and team dynamics are especially rich. I hope to be sharing specific examples and case studies as things progress!