Discovering the nine Enneagram Types helps to reveal your individual strengths and barriers to success, as well as the different ways people tend to interpret situations, events, encounters, and experiences. For the past 25 years, Transform has utilized the Enneagram to catalyze personal and professional success for our clients. We pioneered bringing this powerful, transformational tool into business where we use it to work with our clients in redefining organizational cultures and creating highly functional and effective leaders, work teams, sales teams and employees.
We have found that the study and utilization of the Enneagram in organizations significantly impacts both personal and organizational growth. The Enneagram describes nine distinct personality styles that have distinctive ways of thinking, acting and being. Each style has its own natural gifts, limitations, blind spots, and approaches to communication, decision-making, teamwork, leadership, and learning. More deeply understanding yourself as well as the style of co-workers and leaders in the organization dramatically increases communication, productivity, retention, employee morale and bottom-line results for the organization.
One of the values of this tool lies in its ability to give insight into the “why” behind behavior. While many of us might have difficulty with time management (the behavior), the reason “why” (motivation) each of us has difficulty is most probably different. The Enneagram helps us to go underneath behavior and reveal/understand motivation. Once an individual understands “why” they do what they do, then change is possible, perhaps inevitable.
The Enneagram teaches that there are nine different “lenses” or ways of interpreting the world in which we live and helps us to understand that in any dialogue there may be distinctly different points of view. Through our lens or style, each of us interprets situations, events, encounters and experiences with a limited view. Understanding this shatters our individual perceptions of other individuals’ intentions and reasons for acting. We realize how one interprets a situation may not truly reflect the intentions of others and one may make assumptions and take action based on limited information. The end result is often miscommunication, misunderstandings, and inaccurate assumptions getting in the way of communicating and working effectively and/or collaboratively with others.
Another value of the Enneagram lies in its ability to reveal individual barriers and blind spots to success and fulfillment. Uncovering and working with these supports our continuous learning, development, and growth. As we gain insight into our “lens” of the world, we understand what may be missing as we interpret situations and identify habitual, automatic and often unconscious responses we resort to on a fairly frequent basis.
It’s important to know that there are many gifts each style brings to the workplace in terms of relationships, communication, behaviors, energy, drive, collaboration, and the list could go on. Noticing, understanding, and honoring strengths creates an environment of possibility and increased teamwork.
How does knowing all this help the organization? When leaders and employees take responsibility for their reactions, understand their impact on others and are open for feedback, ask rather than assume the intentions of others, and engage in dialogue that is free from judgment and hidden agendas, imagine the level of collaboration and productivity that can occur amongst individuals and teams! Improving how employees interact and work together increases bottom-line performance results and creates a positive work environment that attracts and retains productive and highly motivated employees. A culture where leaders are growing and developing sets the stage for a bright future for the organization.
If you want to know how to use the Enneagram effectively and skillfully in your organization, we’ve got the experience to help. Give us a call.
Mary Anne Wampler
PRINCIPAL, TRANSFORM, INC.