Ancient symbol. Modern psychology.
Powerful & Dominating
self-confident, authoritative, hard-working, strong-willed, confrontational, forceful, passionate, outspoken, independent, protective, abundant energy, persistent, maintain power & control, industrious, defensive, combative, "invulnerable", harsh, rageful, vengeful egocentric, boastful, demonstrative, tyrannical, omnipotent, angry
Calm & Self Effacing
receptive, reassuring, agreeable, considerate, quiet, easygoing, thoughtful, accepting, supportive, accommodating, dependable, routine, stable, hardworking, pragmatic, complacent, disengaged, emotionally indolent, indifferent, angry, stubborn, dissociated, numb, apathetic
Rational & Rigid
principled, purposeful, organized, ethical, fastidious, fair, objective, “sense of mission”, practical action, high standards, inner critic, highly critical, impatient, repressed, angry, controlling, perfectionistic, puritanical, resentful, emotionally constricted, scolding abrasive, punitive, inflexible
Loving & Manipulative
generous, empathetic, helpful, thoughtful, caring, reliable, compassionate, kind, overly considerate, people pleasing, seductive, intrusive, possessive, seeking validation, angry, resentful, hurt, manipulative, deceitful, flattering, demonstrative, angry, low self esteem/value
Successful & Deceitful
hardworking, dedicated, driven, ambitious, resourceful, impressive, motivated, highly skilled, distinguished, pragmatic, opportunistic, calculating, narcissistic, deeply egocentric, “imposter complex”, seeking validation & attention, social climber, arrogant, unprincipled self centered, conceited
Expressive & Melodramatic
emotional, empathetic, creative, unique, connected, deep, artistic, romantic, unique, authentic, eccentric, poetic, introspective, sensitive, moody, manipulative judgemental, self-conscious, tormented, dark, depressive, angry, lost, shameful, self-destructive, hopeless, despair, macabre, self absorbed
Innovative & Isolated
intelligent, cerebral, wise, highly skilled, well-rounded, eccentric, open minded, pioneering, complex, perceptive, expert, independent, inventive, visionary, competent, capable, secretive, withdrawn, antagonistic, cynical, argumentative, reclusive, intellectually arrogant, self-destructive, nihilistic, erratic
Responsible & Anxious
deeply loyal, reliable, secure oriented, troubleshooting, revolutionary, innovative, structured, hardworking, engaging, contradictory, dependent, indecisive, untrusting, defensive, reactive, fearful, insecure, neurotic, unpredictable, stubborn, suspicious, erratic, worst case scenario, panicked, paranoid
Spontaneous & Scattered
free, fun, happy, curious, joyful, optimistic, adventurous, fast learners, well-rounded, humorous, light hearted, bold, vivacious, “life of the party”, flaky, self centered, narcissistic, emotionally stunted, insensitive, impulsive, escapist mentality, erratic, moody, compulsive, panic-stricken, avoidance, “cold-hearted”, jaded
What is the Enneagram?
The Enneagram is an archetypal personality system that combines modern psychological practices with a deep foundation in ancient traditions, religions, cultures, and spiritual practices. It is a model of the human psyche taught as a typology of 9 Points and personality types. These Points are given names that are reflective of the energy of 9 different types. The Enneagram is inclusive and connects people across the many aspects of our humanity that are commonly used to divide us. Stemming from the Greek words ennea (nine) and grammos (a written symbol/map), the nine pointed symbol has a fascinating history that can be traced all the way back to the sacred geometry of Pythagorean mathematics. It is important to note that while the symbol has rich historical origins the modern use of the Enneagram as an archetypal personality system is more easily identifiable. This system is traceable back to the psycho-spiritual teacher Oscar Ichazo from the 1950s and the Chilean psychiatrist Claudio Naranjo in the 1970’s. Naranjo’s work was influenced by the earlier teachings of George Gurdjieff and the Fourth Way tradition.
The Enneagram is a model of the human psyche, and when applied as a way of doing our inner work it accelerates a cognitive shift into mindfulness at an individual level. This inner work uncovers the focus and patterns of behavior that subconsciously drive and motivate us to act in certain ways. In making these patterns and motivations conscious, the individual is able to transcend barriers and challenges to create deep and sustainable change in themselves and in their environment. By doing this work, we uncover the answers to many different challenges―answers that we didn't know were possible. The Enneagram is a useful tool to engage with as you begin the process of doing your inner work. As we look at any man-made construct we can utilize the power and wisdom of the Enneagram to deconstruct systems that have been created from our egoic driven patterns of behavior. This work can only be done from the inside.
How does the Enneagram connect with Inclusion, Diversity, Equity, & Anti-racism work?
The Enneagram invites you to explore your own way of being and opens the door to understanding many of the personal mechanisms behind the way that you function, such as “why” you do the things that you do. Understanding your own basic motivation, values, fears, and the strengths that you have to offer are gifts that keep on giving. At the same time, there are things that are intrinsic to our egoic structures that trip you up; preventing you from being a person who can operate from a place of wellness and love.
The Enneagram can help us to peel back the layers of our individual internal programming to do the work of releasing what no longer serves us for our individual growth and the greater good. Inner work involves waking up and becoming present to how you show up in the world. When you begin to pay attention to how your attitudes, behaviors, and beliefs have you trapped in a fortress of judgemental binary thinking you are beginning to do inner work. Inquiry without judgment and expansion of your heart space is the resulting awareness from this work. Learning about and understanding yourself in terms of what drives and motivates you is essential. Becoming more open and accepting that we do not all have the same way of moving through the world and how you relate with others based on what drives and motivates them is all part of doing your inner work.
The healing process for humanity begins with doing our own inner work as individuals and identifying and uprooting the origins of our divisions, divisions held at an individual level and sustained at a collective level. We must find a way to address where these divisions dwell within us, and how they have affected the way in which we navigate our world. This is where the Enneagram plays a key part in the reconnection of our Human race.
THINGS TO REMEMBER ON YOUR ENNEAGRAM JOURNEY
There are 9 Points on the Enneagram Map. We have access to all of the Points but we lead with one dominant energy. The numbers are not a scale, meaning no Point is better or worse than any of the other Points. Of the 9 Points, you will experience a stronger presence radiating from one of the Points than you do from the other eight points. When we talk about Enneagram "Type" we are referring to the Point on the Enneagram where you embody the strongest energy, but remember we have access to all nine points on the Enneagram. When you explore all nine Points of the Enneagram you may feel a sense of connection to many of the Points, however, the energy at one of the Points will be your dominant energy or what is referred to in Enneagram teaching as type.
inclusive & universal
No type or point is inherently gendered or dependent on dimensions of diversity (perceived race, socioeconomic status, education, age, religion, etc…). While the descriptions and energies of the Points are universal and are not dependent on certain identifying factors, it is important to note the way an Enneagram energy shows can vary based on cultural or environmental influences or psychological well-being. For instance, some cultures have certain gender roles or religious influences that color the Enneagram energy but these factors do not fundamentally change a person’s dominant Enneagram Point.
core operating system
Your dominant Enneagram Point does not change throughout your life or shift based on home or work life. You are born into your “type” and your experiences adjust how you navigate life, access your wing energy, travel with the “arrows”, and drop into the “levels of development”. The Enneagram energy residing within you is your Core Operating System.
FIND YOUR OWN PATH
No one can tell you where you stand on the Enneagram Map. You find your place by reading, researching, and exploring all aspects of all 9 Points. Tests can help you find a starting point, but they are not always the defining factor of where you stand on the Enneagram map. Just as we make choices about many things that do or do not work for us, you are free to think of yourself as a particular type or as standing at a particular Point from which you lead or start. Do what works for you while you are finding your way on this journey. Those of us who write about or teach the Enneagram are here as your guides and we cannot determine your type or Point. That is part of your journey and we are simply here to walk beside you as you explore a powerful way to do your inner work.
Many people mistype and thus spend years trying to find where they stand on the Enneagram Map, or try to “fit” themselves into whatever they want their dominant energy to be. Not every aspect of the Point may apply to you, this does not mean you are mistyping. You may mistype but there is wisdom in learning why you mistyped and what it means to connect to a certain energy that may not be your dominant Point within the Enneagram. Explore the core motivations and basic fears of the Enneagram Points to help you dive into the complexities of your own personality. The process of discovering where you fit within the Enneagram is a journey not a destination.
Explore Videos from Dr. E's work with The Enneagram
Exploring the Enneagram with Dr. E - Podcast Album
Listen to Dr. E and her guests discuss their journey through the Enneagram. Special guest include groundbreaking pioneers in the Enneagram community Bea Chesnut & Russ Hudson.
Dr. Egerton teaches the Enneagram in organizations across the country and has utilized it with her coaching, training, and organizational development clients. She brings her expertise in both individual & organizational development and IDEA work to create an experience that energizes the spirit and sparks a passion to participate in becoming a part of creating global solutions. She has studied the Enneagram for over 2 decades and among her many diverse and esteemed teachers are Don Riso and Russ Hudson completing Part I, II, III, Psychic structures, Master Teaching class, and numerous other Riso-Hudson workshops. Deborah has also studied Coaching with the Enneagram under Ginger Lapid-Bogda P.h.D. and was mentored for 2 years by Bea Chestnut P.h.D. Deborah has presented and worked with Bea teaching the 27 enneagram subtypes and is also certified with The Integrative Enneagram Assessment tool. She incorporates her work with Integrative Enneagram Solutions into her business practices and coaching methods— a technique that is unique to her particular qualifications and skill set. She teaches workshops and seminars to executives and leaders around the world and emphasizes her unique approach of using the Enneagram to address social injustice, personal bias, and socioeconomic inequality.