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The Enneagram is a powerful tool for personal and collective transformation. Stemming from the Greek words ennea (nine) and grammos (a written symbol), the nine-pointed Enneagram symbol represents nine distinct strategies for relating to the self, others and the world.

Each Enneagram type has a different pattern of thinking, feeling and acting that arises from a deeper inner motivation or worldview.

The Enneagram is often best taught, learned, and experienced live and in-person. Witnessing individual and group interactions while carefully attending to one’s inner experience is paramount in fully realizing the benefits of the Enneagram. This tool is relational, expansive, and easily integrated into life via a narrative tradition of learning and teaching.

Benefits of Knowing Your Type

In theory, everyone emerges from childhood with one of the nine types dominating their personality. Knowing this type will show you:

  • Your blindspots and dominant tendencies,
  • How to take your health and fitness to the next level,
  • How to communicate more effectively,
  • How to deepen empathy and compassion,
  • Where you can expand and integrate elements of your personality to become more versatile,
  • How to be more effective in your career (see article about my work with start-ups)

Frequently Asked Questions

1. Why should I learn about my Enneagram type? How can it help me?

As we learn about our habitual way of being in the world, we can transform our habit from a stumbling block (albeit one that has aided us at times) to a great strength. In other words, we move from unconscious behavior to conscious behavior. We run our habit, rather than it running us. The most compelling reason is to become our best self, to live and love to the fullest of our abilities.

2. How does it help me to learn about the other Enneagram types?

As we learn about the different ways each types perceives the world, we deepen our respect for others’   point of view and become less judgmental. We gain tremendous compassion for all the ways of perceiving, including our own. We begin to experience others “as they are to themselves” and to see the tremendous beauty of each way of being. It’s almost like being in someone else’s skin for a short time.

Our relationships improve by leaps and bounds when we begin to listen carefully for a tune other than our own. Whether we “nail the point”or figure out someone’s Enneagram type is completely unimportant. We simply begin to truly hear other viewpoints and value them as we do our own. We all want to be heard and valued for who we are. The Enneagram gives us a framework for doing just that. We find a way to honor and love the diversity of ourselves and others.

3. Aren't we likely to start putting people in boxes, pigeonholing them, or sticking them in categories with the Enneagram?

Any system, even a good one, can be misused. However, we all categorize every day. Man/woman; small/large; quick/slow; athletic/sedentary. Of course, we try to look beyond our simple categorizations to the human being beyond. Categories are our way of making sense and order out of our world. But we need to hold them loosely, seeing them for the very incomplete picture that they are. So it is with the Enneagram.

No two people are alike in all ways, ever. At first, your enthusiasm for the Enneagram may cause you to “run rampant” typing people. Relax. Hold it lightly. It’s just a phase that will pass when you begin to learn more about the complexities of the Enneagram or look past the point to the individual. One word of caution: this phase of typing people or “speaking in numbers” can be extremely annoying to friends and family who may not share your enthusiasm.

4. How do I change my behavior to become my best self?

While there are exercises that are helpful for each type, change happens gradually as a result of activating and strengthening our inner observer. We become aware of our patterns and that very awareness changes them to their best expression. There is no effort involved. Psychological and spiritual growth cannot be forced or rushed.

It’s similar to Heisenberg’s principle of uncertainty ( I know you all have this on the tip of your tongues!) “The mere act of watching [subatomic particles] changes behavior. The observer changes the observed.” So it is with the Enneagram. By watching ourselves, our thoughts, deeds, feelings; we begin to unravel the mystery of why we do and see as we do. We open ourselves to a greater vision and a larger self. We move toward wholeness and fulfillment.

5. Which Enneagram type is the best to be?

No type is better or worse than any other. Like us, they are just different. And as you continue to explore, you find that there are many different expressions of each types, and subtypes, and on and on. 

6. Where did the Enneagram originate?

The Enneagram of Personality Types is a modern synthesis of a number of ancient wisdom traditions, with Oscar Ichazo as the creator of the system. Ichazo was born in Bolivia and raised there and in Peru. He then journeyed through Buenos Aires, Argentina, Asia and finally, again to South America where he developed the Enneagram. He founded the Arica School as a vehicle for transmitting the knowledge that he had received, teaching in Chile in the late 1960’s and early 70’s, before moving to the United States. The “Traditional Enneagram” only goes back to the 1960’s when Ichazo was first teaching it, although the philosophy behind the Enneagram contains components from mystical Judaism, Christianity, Islam, Taoism, Buddhism, and ancient Greek philosophy (particularly Socrates, Plato, and the Neo-Platonists).

7. What is a Wing?

Each type also accesses the energy of one of the two types next to it on the diagram. For example, a Seven may have a Six Wing or an Eight Wing. While they will still have primarily Seven views and behaviors, their personality will be flavored by Six or Eight and they will look quite different.

Throughout life one of the Wings is always a more dominate influence though they may switch at times. 

8. Explain the movement to Stress Line and Heart Line?

When habitual behavior is not effective in relieving stress or anxiety, we move to our stress line (the arrows on most Enneagram diagrams). This allows us to take action to alleviate the stress. Stress lines are not bad per se, as they help us by giving us other resources to deal with life’s issues. However, accessing the less desirable traits of our stress line can lead to unwanted consequences when we are totally unconscious of them. As we become more conscious, we may find ourselves utilizing more of the gifts of our stress line without being run by it.

When we are secure, we move to our heart line (the opposite direction on the diagram). Often we take on the more positive, beneficial traits of our heart line as we grow and evolve. It is possible to experience the “low side” of your heart line. Again, all we need do is notice. The inner observer makes it possible for us to live consciously and joyfully, with full access to our gifts and strengths.

9. What if I can't figure out what type I am?

Often, people can narrow it down to one or two, even three types they feel describe them. Take your time. Most of us have little experience with the inner observer in our culture (unless we are long time meditators). As you observe more, you’ll be able to identify patterns and come closer to your type.

It’s less important that you know your type right away than that you observe your feelings, thoughts, and habitual ways of acting and perceiving. You can also have a trained Enneagram teacher/counselor help by conducting a typing interview to help illuminate your type with you.

*Adapted from by Lynette Sheppard


Individual Assessment

During a 60min 1-on-1 session we can determine your type and go over typical tendencies and blindspots. I will also provide you with a basic overview of the other types as well as reading material if you’d like to dig deeper.


Join our dynamic and energizing Enneagram workshops. In the introductory workshops we cover fundamental information on all types with special attention for all participants to develop self-mastery. In the advanced workshops, we will have panel discussions for each type as well learn more about wings and sub-types. Advance workshops go beyond self-mastery and enhance external interactions in career, relationships and health.