This short primer is an update and expansion of a series of articles by Mario Sikora on the Awareness to Action Approach to the Enneagram. It is a unique approach to this powerful system specifically developed for business and other pragmatic audiences.
From the Introduction:
The Enneagram of Personality is actually two models in one:
- A model of personality “types” (called Ennea-types) that identifies nine different kinds of people. (By Ennea-type, I mean a person who displays one of nine specific habitual patterns identified by the Enneagram model.)
- A model of the dynamics of the individual mind.
The first model helps us understand why Tom is different from Mary and both are different from me. It helps us make sense of people and why they sometimes do the strange (to us, at least) things that they do. This is its most simple use, and the one that is fraught with danger—people are unique and they are endlessly complex; any simplistic attempt to categorize them and put them into easy boxes is sure to lead to stereotyping and overlooking the richness and depth of the individual.
At the same time, these patterns of habitual behavior that fall into these nine broad categories are real and it can help to see the habitual patterns that plague us as long as we remember to also step back and see the complexity and variation beneath the simple labels. Assuming that all Ennea-type Nines, for example, are exactly alike is like assuming that all Europeans or all basketball players are exactly alike. Thinking about people in terms of their Ennea-type should be the start of our attempts to understand them, not the end.