Hooked on the Enneagram

Over the past year or so, I have become hooked on the Enneagram.  I’ve been intrigued by recently published books and podcasts on the topic and then two of my adult grandkids, Meghan and Sam, asked me, independent of one another, ‘gramma have you heard of the Enneagram?’. This led to me digging in a bit deeper and to some meaningful conversations with them. 

The Enneagram shows us there are 9 ways of seeing and importantly, of being motivated, and has potential for self growth and deepening compassion for others.  I appreciate how the Enneagram provides descriptions for what it is like to be healthy and unhealthy for your type, along with some other deeper ways of digging in, such as recognition of blind spots and suggestions for self-growth. 

In The Road Back to You, an excellent primer, Ian Morgan Cron and Suzanne Stabile, provide guidelines for finding your type. They suggest a self-discovery process, where you read short blurbs about each of the 9 types, easily eliminate some and then note which ones resonate or make you a bit uncomfortable! That’s a great narrowing down process. You can also read detailed descriptions of each of the 9 types on the Enneagram Institute site.

There’s also a free online test, but most practitioners I have been exposed to, suggest employing the self-discovery process first. 

Since that initial conversation with my grandkids, Meghan and I have had many conversations about the Enneagram.  She was certain early on that she was an Enneagram 3, often referred to as the Achiever or Performer  (which might explain her comfort being on stage when she was 3!)  and I landed on the 4, the Individualist or Romantic.  Explains my love for beauty, my sensitivity. On our deeper dives, we have explored implications of what is referred to as wings and stances.  We are clearer on our habits under stress and gained clarity on self growth actions we can take.

It’s a tool not a rule!

Meghan Bell Voogd

Meghan has now integrated use of the Enneagram into a College level Communications course and the students love it.  I am encouraging folks to explore the tool and working on some of my challenges, such as balancing reflection and action.  Well, that’s because I could reflect and vison all day! 

The Enneagram is an excellent tool for leadership development.  So if you are familiar with the Enneagram or know your type, you’ll enjoy Beatrice Chestnut’s The 9 Types of Leadership: Mastering the Art of People in the 21st Century Workplace and her descriptions of adopting practices that promote self awareness, social and emotional intelligence and contributing to a more conscious workforce.  And Sarajane Case’s Enneagram and Coffee feed on Instagram is a delight.

I’d love to hear about your experience with the Enneagram or host some conversations about the topic. Let me know if you are interested at linda@womeninleadershipforlife.ca

Interested in other tools for leadership development? These posts might be helpful: Morning Rituals, Listening, Self-Care for Leaders

We’d love to have you as part of our community. You can sign up for our WILL Newsletter to get inspiring articles and a copy of our ebook, “13 Practices for Brilliant Women: A guide for transforming intentions into action.” We hope you’ll follow us on Facebook to see what is going on in the Women in Leadership for Life world. Lillas Hatala and I facilitate an Empowering Women Leadership Program, through Edwards Execuitve Education at the University of Saskatchewan. We’d enjoy seeing you there!