enneagram symbol
More than a personality typology, the Enneagram is actually a profound map that illuminates the nine different architectures of the human personality. It is also the most powerful and practical system available for increasing emotional intelligence, with insights that can be used for personal and professional development.

Emotional intelligence is a combination of two factors: intrapersonal intelligence, which is the ability to understand, accept, and manage oneself, and interpersonal intelligence, the capacity to work effectively with a wide variety of other people. Emotional Intelligence (EQ) is fast becoming the single greatest predictor of success in every occupation and industry across the globe, outdistancing IQ and on-the job experience. The reason traditional IQ is not an effective predictor of success is twofold: in most occupations, a certain minimal level of IQ is needed, but IQs higher than that bear little relationship to professional success. In addition, there are many individuals who have high IQs but lack the social skills and ability to adapt to their circumstances that are required in every occupation.

On-the-job experience matters, but only to a certain degree. Again, most occupations require a certain level of experience – often determined by number of years in the profession – to be proficient or masterful, but after the minimum is met, there is little relationship between years on the job and professional success. For example, computer programmers may need a minimum of three years of experience while surgeons may need six years, but after that time period, professional effectiveness and success cannot be measured by years on the job. What matters more is what someone has learned from the experience he or she has had. Some individuals have thirty-five years of work experience but do the same thing day after day. Others in the same profession with five years of experience are continuously reflecting and learning from their successes and mistakes. These latter individuals usually have a far higher degree of EQ.

tree Some believe that EQ cannot be taught, that we either have it or we don't. However, the Enneagram system can help people develop EQ, illuminating our patterns of thinking, feeling, and behaving, helping us to become more aware and responsible for our own reactions, and showing us how the styles different from our own are equally valid. Most important, the Enneagram is a developmental system that gives us specific development activities that work best for our style that allow us to enhance our EQ and to also develop specific skills in areas such as communication, feedback, conflict, teamwork, decision making, strategic thinking, and leadership.

Because the Enneagram is cross-cultural and highly accurate, with many work-related applications, it is currently being used by organizations worldwide to help employees and leaders in the following areas: communication, conflict, feedback, teams, leadership, strategy, decision making, self-mastery, coaching, and more. Fundamentally, the Enneagram helps individuals develop greater self-awareness and self-acceptance and take personal responsibility for their behavior. This changes the pattern of holding others accountable for their problems and difficulties, and instead creates a pattern of individuals taking responsibility for the consequences of their actions. This enables employees at all levels to become actors in their environments rather than passive recipients. Further, the Enneagram provides specific development paths and activities tailored to each Enneagram style so that development time is spent more efficiently and results are clear and long lasting.

The word enneagram comes from the Greek words ennea ("nine") and gram ("something written or drawn") and refers to the nine points on the Enneagram symbol. The nine different Enneagram styles, identified as numbers One through Nine, reflect distinct habits of thinking, feeling, and behaving, with each style connected to a unique path of development. Each of us has only one place, or number, on the Enneagram; while our Enneagram style remains the same throughout our lifetime, the characteristics of our type may either soften or become more pronounced as we grow and develop. In addition to our core Enneagram style, there are four other styles that provide additional qualities to our personalities; these are called wings and arrows.

The Enneagram's ancient history is uncertain, although the system first appeared in both Asia and the Middle East several thousand years ago or longer. Since that time, it has evolved in various parts of the world, and the Enneagram's modern usage has been heavily influenced by three individuals. Two philosophers began working with the Enneagram on different continents: G.I. Gurdjieff in the 1930s in Europe, and Oscar Ichazo from the 1950s to the present in South America. Claudio Naranjo, an American psychiatrist born in Chile, initially studied the Enneagram with Ichazo and brought it to the United States the 1970s. The contemporary use of the Enneagram has grown from the work of these three individuals and has been advanced by other teachers, among them Helen Palmer, Don Riso, David Daniels, Russ Hudson, Theodorre Donson, Kathy Hurley, Tom Condon, and Jerry Wagner. Currently, the Enneagram is being used in a continuously growing array of practical applications.

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Enneagram Centers of Intelligence
enneagram centers of intelligenceEach Enneagram style is rooted in one of three Centers of Intelligence: the Head Center, the Heart Center, or the Body Center. The idea of these centers, which stems from a long Eastern philosophical tradition, refers to the ways in which we typically react to events and process information. While we all have heads, hearts, and bodies, our personality is organized around one of these three centers or modalities. Each center contains three of the nine Enneagram styles, with one of the three styles being the core style of that center and the other two styles being variations of the core style.
    Three Personality Styles Formed as a Response to Fear
    The Head Center contains Enneagram Styles Five, Six, and Seven. These three mental styles share a tendency to engage first in elaborate analysis as a reaction to their common emotion, fear. Fives respond to fear by withdrawing, retreating into their minds in order to understand. Sixes react by anticipating worst-case scenarios and devising plans to prevent what could go wrong. Counterphobic Sixes may not be aware of feeling fearful because they run headlong into risky situations as a way of assuring themselves that they are not afraid. Sevens take a different route, quickly moving from fear into pleasurable possibilities. Although most Sevens do not appear to be fearful, they are actually running from fear and pain—an avoidance reaction. Enneagram Style Six is the core style of the three Head Center styles, with Styles Five and Seven being variations of Enneagram Style Six.

    Three Personality Styles Formed to Create an Image
    Your Enneagram style may be in the Heart Center – Styles Two, Three, and Four. Individuals with Heart (Emotional) Center styles work hard to project a particular image, and they use their emotions to perceive how others are responding to them. Twos try to create an image of being likable, and they look to others for affirmation of their self-worth. Threes work to project an image of success, and they seek the respect and admiration of others for what they accomplish. As the most inwardly focused of the three Heart Center styles, Fours try to create an image of being unique or different, and they use their emotional sensitivity to defend against rejection. Enneagram Style Three is the core style of the three Heart Center styles, with Styles Two and Four being variations of Enneagram Style Three.

    Three Personality Styles Formed as a Response to Anger
    Your Enneagram style may be in the Body Center, also called the Gut Center or the Instinctual Center—Styles Eight, Nine, and One. There is anger in the emotional substructure of these three styles. Eights tend to express their anger frequently and directly. Their anger, which begins in the gut and moves rapidly upward and outward, can be stimulated by an injustice done to someone, weakness in others, someone taking ineffective control of a situation, and someone lying. Nines tend to avoid direct anger and conflict, preferring a feeling of rapport and comfort with others. Their anger, which is so deeply buried that it has been called the "anger that went to sleep," surfaces when they feel either ignored or forced to do something, in which case their anger may turn into passive-aggressive behavior. Ones' anger is often manifested as frequent irritations followed by flares of resentment. Ones also tend toward self-criticism, which is anger turned inward. Enneagram Style Nine is the core style of the three Body Center styles, with Styles Eight and One being variations of Enneagram Style Nine.

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