WVA Enneagram

While the Enneagram today is recognized as a personality typology, it would be more accurate to think of it as a dynamic system. It draws from many sources, including ancient wisdom traditions and modern psychology, to help people understand their own values and unique survival strategies.


The Enneagram is a system of personality typing that describes patterns in how people interpret the world and how that shapes thoughts and behaviour. The Enneagram describes nine personality types and maps each of these types on a nine-pointed diagram which helps to illustrate how the types relate to one another.


Applied correctly, the Enneagram is a powerful tool for personal and group transformation. Each of the nine Enneagram types has a different pattern of thinking, feeling and acting that arises from a deeper inner motivation or way of seeing the world. Learning about these patterns fosters greater understanding through a universal non-judgemental language that transcends gender, religion, nationality and culture. The Enneagram does not try to ‘box’ you, rather, it is a springboard for development.


“I recommend treating the Enneagram like a new language you are learning. Begin with the basics. Learn the alphabet, the vocabulary, common phrases, and sayings. Every language has its own unique structure and use. The Enneagram is no different,” explains Dr Jerome D Lubbe: The Brain-Based Enneagram: You Are Not a Number.


How do we use the Enneagram?


We use the Enneagram as a ‘map’ to help individuals understand themselves better, and to understand their colleagues better through providing a non-judgemental language to explain their work preferences, triggers, reactions and communication styles.


Accredited practitioners and coaches use facilitated OD processes to help individuals unpack their own styles and then take that into the team context. Through understanding each other’s individual styles in the team, trust is built and healthy communication opens up. This sets the scene for further leadership and team development or focussed skills building such as Change Leadership, Delegation, Resilience, EQ, etc.

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The Meticulous Judge

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The Sensitive Maverick

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The Positive Dreamer

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The Supportive Cheerleader

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The Expert Observer

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The Tough Protector

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The Ambitious Taskmaster

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The Vigilant Questioner

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The Adaptive Diplomat

Why do we love the Enneagram?


At WorldsView Academy we prefer to use the Enneagram in strategy sessions, team development, personal mastery and leadership development work for the following reasons:


We all have a ‘default’ setting which impacts our thought patterns and how we make decisions, which is most often unconscious; understanding this about ourselves and about the team members creates space for safe debates, challenging each other and innovation (doing the same things in a new way and/or coming up with brand new ways of doing things). The Enneagram allows us to understand, about ourselves and others, how to get the best out of our teams by giving us a language to explain to others ‘how to get the best out of me’.


The team, made up of individuals, has certain strengths and weaknesses such as not being strong to move to action, being too focused on analysis, etc. This in turn influences how we make plans and strategies. Becoming aware of these areas has an immense effect on how the team work together towards a common goal. There could be strengths in the team that are not known and therefore not used; of course, the same is true for ‘blindspots’ in terms of weak areas.


In the current reality of the 2 + years we have been living through the Covid-19 pandemic, we are all under extra stress, faced with more uncertainty than before and dealing with loss. The Enneagram helps us understand why we react the way we do in these times, it helps us understand this about ourselves and our colleagues and it gives us tools to handle uncertain times in a more mature and healthy way.


From a Diversity and Inclusion perspective, the Enneagram is a powerful framework to use, helping team members to embrace and understand diversity in a much broader sense. The Enneagram reduces judgement and criticism of others while building understanding and tolerance and it provides a framework for making sense of team diversity and challenges.


The Enneagram helps individuals to move from the ‘Golden Rule’: Treat others as you would like to be treated (self-focused) to the ‘Platinum Rule’: Treat others the way they want to be treated (others-focused) and inherently increase emotional intelligencethrough this transformation.


The value for a leader to understand their own ‘default’ leadership style and the same about his or her reports is immense. It also enables leaders to understand the culture they are ‘authoring’ in their organisation and how they can influence that.