The background of the Enneagram
The word Enneagram comes from Greek where the word ennea means nine and gramme means model. Thus, the Enneagram is a model consisting of nine points, drawn in a circel. One point for each Enneagram type.
It is thought that the model is an extract of the world’s big philosofical directions: Tibetan mysticism, christianity, the Jewish Kabbalistic thinking and of the Islamic philosophers of the Middle Age – the sufis.
Learning about the Enneagram was secret for many years until the Russian philosopher and teacher Gurdjieff brought it to the Western World. In the 1920’s, he founded his institute for the “Harmonious Development of Man” in France.
In the 1970’s, Oscar Ichazo founded courses in Arica in Chile where he among other things gave lessons in the Enneagram. This was the first accessible training in the Enneagram to the public.
What is the Enneagram
The Enneagram is a several hundred years old description of 9 personality types. It analyses the deep motives of human beings for their actions. It helps us understand our own and other people’s personality patterns and in this way helps us having a better understanding of ourselves and our surroundings.
At the same time, the Enneagram describes how we can move on and how we can let go of our patterns in order to get in contact with the inner core of our being.
First and foremost, the Enneagram shows its value as an outstanding tool for personal development, understanding of human beings, communication and cooperation.
The Enneagram – a tool for development
· Understanding our own patterns. Are there any patterns which repeat themselves indefinitely?
· Indicates other possibilities of development. When I have recognized and realised my own inappropriate patterns.
· Gives a deeper understanding of your own drive – what is really motivating/driving me?
A conversation- and training tool: Having a knowledge of your own and other people’s communication patterns, the Enneagram is a tool for optimizing your communication, conversation and training.
Self-insight and personal development: You get to know your own personal type and get tools to understand other people’s preferred action patterns, possibilities and potentials. And you get the possibility of building and developing competences within the area of your own weak and less developed sides.
Focus on diversities: The Enneagram puts the diversities of human beings into words and offers tools to appreciate and use them. And it provides a useful attention to the resources and strengths of different profiles.
Understanding and tolerance: The Enneagram gives you a knowledge and understanding of other people’s action patterns – that other people are “differently structured” than yourself and of course therefore act, function and react in a different way.
Change of behaviour: The Enneagram gives you a possibility of adjusting your own behaviour based on the knowledge of your own and other people’e types in order to improve the understanding and communication. Of course, you can only adjust your own behaviour, though J.
Activities and work: Knowing your own type of profile, it is natural to consider whether you use your competences and energy in the most appropriate way in relation to choice of work and working tasks, and whether you can increase your personal efficiency by changing some working conditions.
Interaction in teams: The Enneagram can give you a picture of a team. Which special competences does the team have, and what is the weakness of the team? Which roles do the different members of the team occupy? Does the team use its members constructively?
Organisation types: A company or parts of it can be described by using the Enneagram profile. In this way, you get a picture of the company in relation to organisation, focus, production, renewal, flexibility and relations.