The Enneagram and Organizational Culture

Culture (n.) the behaviors and beliefs characteristic of a particular social, ethnic, or age group: the youth culture; the drug culture.

Anyone that has worked in (or led) an organization knows the importance of establishing a positive workplace "culture." However, the ambiguity of that term often leaves leaders and workers a bit disenchanted. A bright eyed trainer may pop in to your job and do a quick training to help create more "cohesive workplace culture."

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Yep, You're talking to yourself again: The Enneagram and Self Tal

Working with the Enneagram is not merely the simple act of learning your type and all of its behaviors. Conversely, communication is not just talking to another person, or how you present yourself to the world. Communication encompasses a wide range of activities (both internal and external) that allow you to understand other people and yourself. We are in communication constantly with the world around us. The way we dress, the words we choose, how we move our faces during an emotional reaction, the things we tell ourselves about other people, the things we tell ourselves about ourselves, are some of the ways in which we are constantly in communication with the world around us and the world within us.

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The Value of the Enneagram

"Don't Put Me in a Box": One of the main questions that I tend to get about the Enneagram, is in regards to the value in "personality typing" systems like the Enneagram. There is a conception amongst some people that personality typing is limiting, as they perceive that it creates a schema that "puts people into boxes".

Indeed the Enneagram is categorical and tends to put people in categories, however in my opinion, this is an inherently human tendency and has a practical usefulness in understanding the world.


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Introduction to the 9 Types

This should serve as a basic crash course in the Enneagram types and provide newcomers and long time students with a refresher on the basic type and wing combinations of the Enneagram. The Enneagram system is separated into three triads which characterize the central concerns of the three types within each triad, each type underexpresses, overexpresses, and controls the energy of the center in a particular way. The types are influenced by the types on either side of them on the Enneagram. The influence of these types is referred to as a "wing". Most people have a dominant wing that influences their type but some find they are affected equally by the types on either side of their dominant type. For example some Twos are primarily influenced by Three on one side and thus are referred to as a Two with a Three wing, (written in this blog as 2w3) while others are influenced more by the One on the other side of the Two and are referred to as a Two with a One wing, or 2w1.

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Introduction to the Enneagram

We realized that some people may not be familiar with the Enneagram so many of these blog posts will be a little like reading a foreign language so we thought writing a brief intro to the system and the Nine types would be beneficial for those not acquainted with the system. 

History:

The Enneagram has unclear beginnings that can be traced back as far as ancient Babylon and ancient Egypt which makes theoretical attribution difficult due to its inherently oral nature. The word Enneagram is translated into “nine diagram” which points to the geometric figure that represents the system as a whole (see figure “a”). With nine equidistant points drawn inside of a circle, the symbols use as a theoretical model are likely mathematical and were discovered by mathematician Pythagoras (Riso and Hudson, p.12 1996). The symbol was thought of as a pictorial/geometric representation of the “process of renewal” and was likely passed down generationally from the Greeks to the Arabs and Moslems in the early 14th and 15th centuries (Riso and Hudson, p.12 1996).

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