Fifteen or so years ago, I sat through a dinner party where the discussion at the table went something like this…
“Well, as a three, I felt like I really needed to finish the 10k in less than an hour,” said the perky blond. The whole table cracked up, but I missed the joke.
“I’m a two, so my time was longer this race, since I of course had to stop and help the guy next to me — who was lost,” said the guy to my left. This also brought chortles from the group, but left me confused.
“My cousin Jim’s an 8, so he spent all his time complaining about how badly marked the route was, and how much better a job he could have done,” said the hostess as heads nodded in complete understanding. Ok, who the heck were these people and what kind of cult did they belong to?
A few hours later, I came to discover that the mysterious numbers they were throwing around with abandon represented the Enneagram — an ancient spiritual and psychological system that reveals nine different aspects of human consciousness and personality.
Since then, I’ve spent some time studying the Enneagram and found it a useful tool for personal growth, conflict resolution and even character development in acting.
The model itself is both simple and deeply complex (just like people) and has layers that make the Enneagram system worthy of decades of study. However, for a quick look at the system, I had a chat with Diana Redmond– a practicing Enneagram teacher and coach for the past ten years.
How can people use the Enneagram to better their lives?
By understanding your primary Enneagram type, natural gifts are fully appreciated and self-made limitations understood. People report that they are more able to find deeper satisfaction in their work, and in their relationships, when they more fully comprehend the natural way they and others think, process and respond, based on their type.
Return next week for quick two sentence descriptions of each of the nine types.
Please note that the information in this article is copyrighted by Karen Leland. If you would like to reprint any of it on your blog or website you are welcome to do so, provided you give credit and a live link back to this posting.
Karen Leland is the bestselling author of six books including Time Management In An Instant: 60 Ways to Make the Most of Your Day. She is the co-founder of Sterling Consulting Group, which helps organizations and individuals learn how to fight distraction and find their focus in a wired world. For more information please contact: [email protected]
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