The Enneagram

The Enneagram is a powerful tool for personal and collective transformation. Stemming from the Greek words ennea (nine) and grammos (a written symbol), the nine-pointed Enneagram symbol represents nine distinct strategies for relating to the self, others and the world. Each Enneagram type has a different pattern of thinking, feeling and acting that arises from a deeper inner motivation or worldview (definition from Enneagram Worldwide)

Using the Enneagram, I help clients understand their distinct strategy and motivations and how they tend to relate to others as a result. The Enneagram  helps us understand our strengths and how we tend to get in our own way. I have found the Enneagram to be one of the most powerful approaches for helping leaders and teams understand themselves and others, leading to improved working relationships, better results and sustainable transformation.

I am a certified Enneagram Teacher in the Narrative Tradition. That tradition holds that we can learn the most about type by hearing people describe their experience of being that type. 

I conduct Enneagram typing interviews and/or administer assessments to help clients identify their type. In coaching work, I include the Enneagram as a tool to increase emotional intelligence and fulfillment.  I teach workshops on the Enneagram as a way to learn how best to collaborate; participants learn how to communicate, give and receive feedback, make decisions and resolve conflict while appreciating different worldviews. Ultimately, the Enneagram helps us have more compassion for ourselves and others. 

The Enneagram of Personality describes nine distinct patterns of thinking, feeling and behaving. These patterns determine what individuals of each type pay attention to and how they direct their energy and attention.

The Enneagram of Personality describes nine distinct patterns of thinking, feeling and behaving. These patterns determine what individuals of each type pay attention to and how they direct their energy and attention.

How It Works

The nine personality types of the Enneagram represent distinct worldviews that inform how we relate to ourselves, others and the world. As whole and complete people, we embody all Enneagram types. However, we each have one distinct "home" type which shows up in our thinking, emotional, and behavioral patterns. 

The types directly adjacent to our home type are called our "wings", and each of us tends to gravitate strongly to one or the other, or sometimes both.  The arrows in the diagram above represent types we access from our home type when feeling secure or under stress.

Finally, within our own home type, one of the three instinctual subtypes – self-preservation, social, and one-to-one (sexual)– influences what we pay attention to and stress about, what we are "normal" about, and what we do not think about very much and may have a blind spot around. The subtypes give our home type a "flavor", influencing our focus of attention given our preference for security and comfort (self-preservation), our need for belonging and membership (social) , or an intense (often romantic) relationship with another person (one-to-one).

The Nine Enneagram Types

Type 1 - The Idealist

Has an ideal view of how life should be and wants reality to conform to that view. Examines everything, including themselves, with an eye towards correction and perfection.

At their best: Conscientious, responsible, improvement-oriented, consistent, self-controlled, precise, high standards, clear, detail-oriented, caring
At their worst: Inflexible, opinionated, judgmental, resentful, self-judging
Type 2 - The Giver

Wants to help people as a way to be loved and accepted. Needs people to need them. A positive personality. Loves to give, but can lay on the guilt if unappreciated.

At their best: Caring, helpful, relationship-oriented, tuned to others’ feelings, optimistic, generous, likable, advice giving, responsible
At their worst: Prideful, intrusive, dramatic, often unable to say no, indirect regarding own needs, over-accommodating
Type 3 - The Achiever

Focuses on goals, success, accomplishments, and producing. Image is everything. Targets areas where they can succeed.

At their best: Industrious, fast-paced, goal-focused, results-oriented, success-oriented, efficient, confident, enthusiastic, energetic, caring through doing, ambitious, go-getter, optimistic
At their worst: Impatient, inattentive to feelings/relationships, competitive, rushed, self-promoting, driven, overextended
Type 4 - The Romantic

Nonconformist who works to cultivate individuality or specialness in order to be noticed and admired. Drawn to authenticity, beauty, individual self-exploration, and a search for meaning.

At their best: Idealistic, deeply feeling, sensitive, empathetic, caring, intense, specialness oriented, creative, authentic to self, introspective, expressive
At their worst: Dramatic, moody, changeable, self-conscious, unsatisfied, self-absorbed
Type 5 - The Observer

Tends to be private and engaged in thinking, observing, and making sense out of life, especially in gathering information, making theories, and integrating different aspects of knowledge and learning.

At their best: Self-sufficient, undemanding, quietly caring, knowledgeable, investigative, inquisitive, objective, systematic, analytical, thoughtful, good in a crisis, unobtrusive
At their worst: Withholding, detached, unassertive, remote, miserly with feelings, overly private
Type 6 - The Loyal Skeptic

Tends to question everything, particularly issues of safety and security. Worries, analyzes in depth, and tries to prepare for worst-case scenarios. Feels more secure in the truth, no matter how negative, than with positive images.

At their best: Trustworthy, loyal, responsible inquisitive, dutiful, caring, collaborative, analytical, persevering
At their worst: Overly doubtful or skeptical, uncertain, worrying, vigilant, sometimes challenging and/or fearful, either overly cautious or overly risk-taking, questioning to the point of blame
Type 7 - The Epicure

Sees the world in the best possible light. Likes positive thinking, fun, adventure, and newness. Prefers risk to repetition. Likes to be around people that are happy, ready for change, and can move on the spur of the moment.

At their best: Optimistic, upbeat, charming, caring, exuberant, spontaneous, versatile, joyful, possibility and pleasure-seeking, synthesizer of ideas, opportunity oriented, quick thinking, adventurous
At their worst: Pain-avoidant, inconsiderate, unfocused, uncommitted, impetuous, authority-rejecting, self-serving
Type 8 - The Protector

Likes to be in charge. Wants control of their own lives and often others' lives, too. Acts quickly and can't stand ambivalence. Prefers action, directness, and strength.

At their best: Justice-seeking, direct, strong, magnanimous, declarative, assertive, self-reliant, confident, intense, protective of others, take-charge, action oriented
At their worst: Heavy-handed, intimidating, excessive, demanding, impatient, dominating, impulsive
Type 9 - The Mediator

Prefers to avoid conflict. Tends not to initiate but "goes with the flow". Appears easygoing and likes comfort, constancy, and little change, unless they initiate it in stages.

At their best: Adaptable, harmony-seeking, pleasing, affable, comfortable, accepting, humble, accommodating, caring, inclusive, steady
At their worst: Conflict-avoidant, resistant, self-forgetting, stubborn, indecisive

How Do We Determine Your Enneagram Type?

I am certified to use and interpret the Integrative Enneagram Solutions questionnaire report.  In conduction with this report, I guide you through a series of powerful questions to help you uncover the essence of your personality, testing different hypotheses for which type best describes you. 

Next Steps

Landing on your preferred Enneagram type is the first step on an enlightened journey. You can use this newfound knowledge about yourself and how you relate to others to become a better leader, team player or professional. It can help you improve your relationships at work and at home. It can help you find a new angle on how you relate to your community and the world at large. All it takes is a little curiosity and a desire to be in the world as you truly are - the possibilities are truly boundless! Feel free to call me at (971) 645-9059 or send me a note at to set up an appointment to determine your type and explore the possibilities you will unlock.