Have You Heard of the Enneagram?

No? I’m not surprised.

The Enneagram is much overlooked in the world of business. Forbes first started writing about the Enneagram a few years ago, but only sparingly. The article commented on the “new” assessment, causing many to raise their eyebrows myself included! 

The assessment is hardly new. It’s been available for about 70 years, roughly the same amount of time as the MBTI personality assessment. Where the MBTI sheds light on our personality preferences - extrovert vs introvert, feeling vs. thinking, etc. - the Enneagram illuminates how those preferences translate into a way of being and doing, kind of an internal operating system, or what I refer to simply as our operating software. 

Just as the name itself implies (the word ‘enneagram’ derives in part from a Greek word, ennea meaning “9”), there are 9 unique systems or software packages that quite accurately reflect our patterns of behavior, even our thoughts and emotions. Everyone has a preference, what I like to call a ‘home base’, from which we will interact with others and response or react as necessary. I use the RHETI Assessment from The Enneagram Institute. It’s been validated for accuracy and relevance, and after ten years of using various editions of this test, it’s always proven to be insightful for my clients.  Even better, it costs $12, and is online. 

When I work with my clients – whether it’s Board members, leadership teams or individuals - this is the first port of call. How do you like to take in information, process it, and communicate out? Imagine how impactful it would be if you and all your colleagues knew just the basic differences in the 9 systems and could adjust your expectations and approach accordingly? 

Plus, it’s just darn fun! No matter who I’ve worked with, the outcome is the same: lots of laughing, ‘that’s why you do that!’, and “oh, that’s SOOO you!” 

Personally, I wish I’d had this information about myself at a much younger age – might have avoided a lot of miscommunication and frustration. His Holiness The Dalai Lama has consistently been urging all of us worldwide to get educated about our emotions. After Guy Winch coined the phrase ‘emotional hygiene’, his Holiness began using this phrase, equating its practice with nothing less than worldwide peacemaking. 

Not a bad ROI for an online assessment that costs $12!

Alexandra GreinerComment