The enneagram is a complex, ancient system of nine personality types that is often
helpful in figuring out how you and your friends, lovers, colleagues, bosses, and
national leaders operate. While enneagram experts claim that it is not possible to
change which "point" you are, all acknowledge that under optimal circumstances,
you operate much like one of the other points, and under stress, much like another.
The following overview of each type is a short resume synthesized by The Sedona Practitioners
from many sources. A bibliography is included for those who are interested in further
The Reformer, The Inspector, The Perfectionist:
This type focuses on what's right and wrong. Ones are responsible, organized, punctual,
moral. They want to make the world a better place, improve it. The virtue they seek
is serenity while they have a propensity to anger.
The Helper, The Assistant, The Giver:
Twos focuse on other people's needs. They are caring, compassionate, generous, friendly.
They want to be needed and expect to be appreciated for their help (even unconsciously).
The virtue they seek is humility and they have a propensity to pride.
The Motivator, The Administrator, The Performer:
Threes focus attention on the goal they want to accomplish to be successful. They
are ambitious, productive, self assured, and often admired. They want to be recognized.
The virtue they seek is honesty and they have a propensity to hypocrisy.
The Individualist, The Author, The Tragic-Romantic:
The four focuses attention on what's missing and on feelings. Fours are artistic,
romantic, original, melancholic, often moody and sensitive. They want to know who
they are and to be recognized for their uniqueness. The virtue they seek is equanimity
and they have a propensity to envy.
The Investigator, The Sage, The Observer:
This type accumulates information, wants to understand the world. Fives are analytical,
detached, independent, private, and conceptual. They want to know how it all works.
The virtue they seek is detachment and they have a propensity to avarice.
The Loyalist, The Facilitator, The Devil's Advocate.:
People of this type focus their attention on what can go wrong in a situation. They
are anxious, committed, dependable, prudent and skeptical. They want to feel secure.
The virtue they seek is courage and they have a propensity to fear.
The Enthusiast, The Optimist, The Epicure:
The seven focuses attention on what's pleasant in life and tends to deny suffering.
Sevens are curious, extroverted, playful, proactive, optimistic, and social. They
want to keep their options open and make sure they won't get stuck. The virtue they
seek is sobriety and they have a propensity to over indulgence.
The Leader, The Champion, The Boss:
This type's focus of attention is to be in charge, to control. Eights are courageous,
direct, powerful, risk taker and active. They want to be just and respected. The
virtue they seek is innocence and they have a propensity to lust.
The Peacemaker, The Negotiator, The Mediator:
The focus of attention of the person of this type is on others' positions. Nines
seek a common ground between differing parties. They are accepting, calm, humble,
undemanding and content. They want to be comfortable. The virtue they seek is right
action and they have a propensity to laziness.
The propensity in each type is usually unconscious. For example, ones are not in
touch with their anger. How could they be! They judge anger as wrong, therefore they
cannot allow themselves to feel and express it. Most of the time this anger burns
from the inside. Many ones admit having high blood pressure and ulcers. Twos do not
see themselves as proud. Their pride is demonstrated by the fact that they perceive
other people as needy. They often are not in contact with their own basic needs.
The propensity of each type, not being recognized by the person (or not allowed)
is therefore projected outside. Most of the time, ones are confronted with people
whom they see as needing to be corrected; twos see needy people everywhere; threes
see people as potentially dishonest; fours see other people having what they desire;
fives perceive others as withholding information from them; sixes tend to see others
as lacking caution; sevens see everyone as too serious; eights see everyone as lacking
leadership ability; nines see others as unnecessarily hyperactive.
The Enneagram Made Easy
Renee Baron and Elizabeth Wagele
Harper San Francisco publishers
(This book is fun and easy to read. Almost everything you need to know
is in there)
Don Richard Riso with Russ Hudson
Houghton Mifflin publishers
(In depth information on each type)
Getting Your Boss's Number
Michael J. Goldberg,
Harper Collins publishers
(Good application for business relationships)
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