Enneagram Business FAQs

1.  What can the Enneagram do for my organization?
The Enneagram makes explicit the fact that people are different, and different personality types need to be managed differently. The idea of "personality type" must be taken into consideration in every area of the workplace if organizations are to be as effective and productive as they could be. The Enneagram helps everyone understand that there are nine different points of view, nine distinct sets of values, nine different communication styles, nine ways of solving problems–and so forth–that are all equally useful and valid. All of the types have something necessary to contribute to a thriving, balanced work environment.

2.   How is the Enneagram different from the Myers-Briggs system?
The MBTI is a useful tool for indicating a person’s mental preferences: it addresses how a person is likely to approach a problem. While this is useful, the Enneagram goes beyond the MBTI to provide invaluable information on core motivations. The Enneagram addresses not only how each type approaches problems, but why they take a particular approach. It also makes clear what drives each type of person, how each type goes after different goals, how each type reacts to stress and conflict, and how best to communicate with each type. The Riso-Hudson approach to the Enneagram also helps managers recognize when each type is getting more stuck–or when they are becoming more high-functioning. In short, the Enneagram is a more complete and more in-depth approach to the human component in management than any other system for dealing with personality styles and issues.

3.   In what specific areas can the Enneagram be used?
The Enneagram is a dynamic tool for enhancing communication on every level of an organization. It "lubricates" all interactions throughout the workplace. Moreover, it helps retain valuable employees by increasing job satisfaction and productivity. It can be used for executive search to find the right person for the job–and for executive coaching to help people work at the highest level of their capacities. The Enneagram is particularly valuable for team building, team development, conflict resolution, negotiation, and leadership development.

4.   How do people find out what type they are?
They can take an in-house course on the Enneagram from a Riso-Hudson trained consultant and read the descriptions of the types. A shorter method is to take the Riso-Hudson Enneagram Type Indicator (RHETI, Version 2.5) online or in booklet form. The RHETI is the only independently scientifically validated Enneagram-based test available. It is a questionnaire composed of 144 forced-choice statements, and is the most reliable Enneagram test now available. The person’s basic type is almost certain to be one of the top three scores. Further, beyond indicating the person’s basic type, the RHETI produces a full-spectrum profile of all nine types, showing the relative strengths and weaknesses of each type in the person.

5.   What is the Riso-Hudson Insight Approach®?
The Insight Approach® emphasizes clarity, specificity, comprehensiveness, and depth of Enneagram information. Don Riso and Russ Hudson feel that the power of the Enneagram lies in the ability to bring precision and insight to management problems, not vague generalities. The Insight Approach® also describes healthy, average, and disruptive level attitudes and behaviors for each type, an extremely useful feature that is not addressed by the MBTI or by other approaches to the Enneagram. The Insight Approach® is available only through professionals certified through The Enneagram Institute.

6.   What are some businesses that have used the Enneagram?
The following organizations have used the Enneagram–Adobe, Amoco, AT&T, Avon Products, Boeing Corporation, The DuPont Company, e-Bay, Prudential Insurance (Japan), General Mills Corporation, General Motors, Alitalia Airlines, KLM Airlines, The Coalition of 100 Black Women, General Mills, Kodak, Hewlett Packard, Toyota, Procter & Gamble, International Weight Watchers, Reebok Health Clubs, Motorola, Prudential Insurance, Sony, American Press Institute, Coca Cola (Mexico), Young & Rubicam, Aventis, and Conoco-Philips.

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