Reflections from the Introduction to the Enneagram

I very much enjoyed teaching the Introduction to the Enneagram workshop in London yesterday.  Thanks to those of you who joined during a gorgeous evening of sunshine.  It was interesting to reflect on the nature of the questions people were asking.  If you have done a lot of work on yourself, is it harder to know your type?  [preliminary answer – possibly, how you showed up earlier in life can be helpful in typing;  at the same time perhaps it is sometimes harder for receptive types to work out their type as they feel (with some accuracy) they show up differently in different situations?]  Do certain types have certain psycho-emotional issues they are more prone to?  [yes, the Enneagram has a great deal of predictive power in understanding which types are more likely to encounter issues, when in the unhealthy Levels of Development, such as depression, over-eating, OCD etc.]  Why do you help people?  [is it because you want them to help you back?  or for appreciation?  is it selfish helping?  is it to help you do something you are interested in?]  Relatedly, when I was doing Enneagram part 3 training, we discussed how having a strong social instinct can sometimes make people think, in error, that they are 2s.  We touched in briefly on the lines within the Enneagram:  it seemed that grasping this dynamism in the model was important for people, especially to avoid one of the issues we discussed upfront, namely putting ourselves and others in boxes.  We looked at the primary emotion each centre has issues with and it raised the question of whether you can use that in helping locate your centre and type.  Given, for example, 9s, in the gut centre, may not be in touch with the gut centre emotion of anger, it is not as simple as saying which do you experience more of, fear, shame or anger?  But noticing if one of those feels more apt to raise issues for you or you do not feel free to express it when it arises, can potentially be a useful orienting principle for identifying your likely centre, or distinguishing between two types which potentially have resonance.  Ultimately, there is one thing which yesterday gave me a renewed appreciation of – the Enneagram and knowing your type is starting point, not a final destination.  Happy journeying.

About Jack Butler

Jack Butler is a social entrepreneur, coach, workshop leader and speaker. His latest venture provides full spectrum human development through coaching, programmes and other development resources for leaders and entrepreneurs. He founded Future Foundations (www.future-foundations.co.uk), a leading youth personal development training organization. He is a professional member of the International Enneagram Association and a former fellow of the Royal Society of Arts. Jack was the IAB 2007 Young Entrepreneur of the Year runner-up and took a double first class degree in Social and Political Sciences from the University of Cambridge. Jack spends his time between London and Brighton in the UK and Boulder, CO and the Bay Area in the US. In his spare time, he enjoys physical challenges (3 Peaks Challenge 2010, Tresco Marathon 2006) and supporting The Simultaneous Policy Organisation (www.simpol.org.uk). He is a Partner in Passion and Purpose of the Grubb Guild, a voracious reader of personal, cultural and spiritual development, and likes to inquire, journal, travel and write.

One Response to Reflections from the Introduction to the Enneagram

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