Working with the Enneagram in Business

January 23, 2017 Monday Morning Wake Up Tips

Skip Morris is the Executive Director, Corporate Integrity, for Greenville Health Systems in South Carolina and a Certified Enneagram Teacher in the Narrative Tradition. I (Mary Anne) had the privilege of being Skip’s supervising teacher for his certification internship in the Enneagram Professional Training Program, and I am thrilled by the transformational leadership work being done by Skip and his wonderful organization. Check it out.

Greenville Health System (GHS) is a 15,000 employee, private not-for-profit academic healthcare delivery system located in the northwest “Upstate” area of South Carolina.  GHS’s vision and mission are to transform healthcare for the benefit of the people and communities we serve by healing compassionately, teaching innovatively, and improving constantly. Underlying everything we do at GHS to accomplish this mission and vision is a culture of “Conscious Leadership”. Conscious Leadership has become a distinguishing feature of the GHS culture. At the core of Conscious Leadership is enhanced self-awareness and emotional or social intelligence.

The primary tool we use at GHS to grow in self-awareness is the Enneagram. Currently, in the GHS Academy of Learning and Professional Development, we have 25 Enneagram Faculty members. These Faculty members have assisted over 900 employees in selecting their Enneagram type. Once employees have participated in a typing session they are invited to a monthly session to explore an Enneagram type, center of intelligence, or feature. These one-hour “Exploring the Enneagram” sessions are a mix of presentation and panel discussions led by one of our three certified faculty members. Additionally, Faculty members work with individual departments using the Enneagram to improve that team’s communication, manage conflict or give constructive feedback. 

Now, it is a normal part of a conversation at GHS for someone to note their Enneagram type and provide some insight into a component of their character or to describe some self-awareness learning. I lead a department of 17 and in each staff meeting we take an actual personnel interaction (frequently one involving conflict) and explore our different reactions to that situation using our Enneagram types. Members of Senior Management have had the same type of Enneagram-based explorations around critical discussions/initiatives, like the annual budget.

We still have thousands of employees who have yet to participate in an Enneagram typing session. (Such participation is purely voluntary.) However, most of the 700 members of our management team know their Enneagram type so we feel like we have the “critical mass” to keep progressing in knowledge and use of the Enneagram to aid our growth in self-awareness and as Conscious Leaders.

Guest Contributor, Skip Morris

Greenville Health System
Greenville, South Carolina


Certified Enneagram Teacher, Narrative Tradition
Coached by Mary Anne Wampler ☺