Enneagram in Business



The Enneagram is effective in many business applications including team building, executive coaching, performance enhancement, communication skills, motivation, and time management. The Enneagram demonstrates different points of view, strengths, limitations and communication styles for each of the nine types. It also explains how to prevent and handle conflicts, communicate effectively and become more effective leaders.


Most businesses are demanding more accurate information about their clients and employees. They have recognized that by developing a more humane and person-centered approach to the workplace they can attract and retain valuable employees and achieve peak productivity. The costs of recruitment are such that it is essential that the right person is chosen for the right job.


A critical factor in any business is effective communication. By understanding personality types, real communication is possible, and we are able to deal more effectively with conflicts, ineffective work habits, office politics, and different management styles. This will enhance management’s ability to inspire, share your vision and goals, as well as to provide effective direction and to keep things on track. Yet communication is often difficult if personality type is not taken into consideration. If we want to maximize our effectiveness, we need to learn how to manage different types of people and how to relate to different types of clients.

When personality type is understood, communication becomes exponentially more effective.

Team Building

The Enneagram presents a detailed framework for understanding yourself, your colleagues, and the "personality" of your team or organization as a whole. Each type has its own way of relating to others, its own set of perceptions and preoccupations, its own values and approaches to life. Each relates to others in different but understandable and predictable ways.
Furthermore, the Enneagram helps us see our own personality dynamics more clearly. Once we are aware of different personality types, we see that our own style will not be equally effective with all types of people. Thus, one of the most profound lessons of the Enneagram is how to move from a management style in which others are expected to mold themselves to us—to a more flexible management style in which we act from an awareness of the viewpoints and needs of others. By doing so, we help others become more effective themselves—and as a result, harmony, productivity, and satisfaction increase.

The Enneagram is Useful in the Workplace because…

  • It is sophisticated, yet easily understood. The Enneagram is profound, but it is also easy for people to understand and use. It helps people gain clarity about themselves and gives them a non-threatening "common language" to describe issues and problems, discuss reactions, and investigate solutions.
  • It helps Human Resource professionals pinpoint problems and be more specific about solutions. Different people need to be managed differently. And yet, without an adequate idea of what those differences actually are, it is difficult to manage people as individuals. Once differences in type are taken into account, however, solutions grow out of insights about the nature of each type and its motivations. Furthermore, the Enneagram helps quickly identify underlying issues so that the focus shifts away from "problem bosses" or "problem workers" to the "problem behavior" itself. People in the workplace can be freed of unnecessary and negative labeling.
  • It helps people communicate. The Enneagram helps managers understand what their people really need. Underlying motivations and values become clearer to everyone. Managers can also learn to communicate in ways that make it easier to break through barriers and defenses of all kinds. They can also bring more focus to their staff members’ capacities and natural gifts. This can strengthen harmony and trust, as well as minimize misunderstandings and conflicts in the workplace.
  • It suggests specific action plans and is empowering to individuals. The Enneagram helps everyone have a clearer idea of what they need to do to improve their performance and increase job satisfaction and "bottom line" productivity. Thanks to the specificity of the Levels of Development, people can have a much clearer idea of what issues they need to change or improve. People can also be motivated by having a positive, healthy vision of their type and the high functioning person they can become.
  • It is dynamic, not static. Unlike most typologies, the Enneagram predicts growth and deterioration and specifies different pathways for each type. The Enneagram is open-ended and does not put people into a box. It is a "fulfillment model" that shows them the way out of the limitations of their personalities. Problems and limitations are seen as the person’s conditioning, thus helping people see themselves from a larger perspective.

Copyright The Enneagram Institute 1998-2007.    All Rights Reserved.

The Nine Personality Types at Work

Can You Recognize Yourself, Your Colleagues, & Clients?
As a growing number of organizations are discovering, the Enneagram approach to understanding human beings–their behaviors, motivations, values, thinking styles, ways of problem solving, and so forth—is the most effective method for improving individual and team performance available today. It takes individual differences into account and maps out the basic motivations of each personality orientation.

The nine personality types of the Enneagram are what we actually see in everyday business and organizational life. This system identifies the dynamics of personality with startling clarity, making applications precise and useful.


Type One
Reformers Principled, purposeful, self-controlled & perfectionistic
Dislike sloppiness and error, attracted to order and high standards for self and others
Type Two
Mentors Caring, generous, people-pleasing & intrusive
Dislike solitude and impersonal dealings, attracted to service and making personal connections
Type Three
Achievers Adaptable, self-developing, efficient & image-conscious
Dislike ineffectiveness and lack of ambition, attracted to success and recognition
Type Four
Designers Intuitive, expressive, individualistic & temperamental
Dislike uniformity and regulation, attracted to creativity and putting their personal mark on things
Type Five
Investigators Perceptive, innovative, secretive & detached
Dislike intrusions on their time and space, attracted to depth and learning
Type Six
Troubleshooters Committed, responsible, anxious & suspicious
Dislike unpredictability and rapid change, attracted to clear structures and foresight
Type Seven
Enthusiasts Spontaneous, versatile, talkative & scattered
Dislike limitations and routines, attracted to new possibilities and excitement
Type Eight
Challengers Self-confident, decisive, willful & confrontational
Dislike indecisiveness and indirectness, attracted to strength and strategic action
Type Nine
Peacemakers Calm, reassuring, agreeable & complacent
Dislike tension and conflict, attracted to harmony and stability


The Enneagram can help you work effectively with each of them!


  • The types are value-neutral: no type is inherently better or worse than any other type. Each type has assets and liabilities, qualities useful to an organization and qualities that impede harmony, communication, and growth.
  • Descriptions of the types are gender-neutral, applying equally to males and females. They are also universal and cross-cultural and are currently being taught and worked with around the world.
  • People do not change their basic personality type, although there is a wide spectrum of behaviors and motivations within each type which we call the "Levels of Development" (see below).
  • Not everything in the description of your basic type will apply to you all the time because you fluctuate through various healthy, average, and unhealthy Levels within your type.

Copyright The Enneagram Institute 1998-2007.     All Rights Reserved.

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