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Why I Take Enneagram Approach in My Coaching

I love working with the Enneagram because it is not fixed, which means you ARE NOT this or that type of personality. The Enneagram takes a developmental approach and only reveals how you typically show up, mostly as a learned defense mechanism, and it points to what things to look out for when you are displaying that type.

What I love most about the Enneagram is how it points to the shadow work you can do.

What Is Enneagram

The Enneagram is a model of the human psyche. This model is also denoted as a feedback and disclosure model of self-awareness. Its roots are in antiquity, which can be traced back to the works of Pythagoras. Principally, it is a personality typology that interconnects nine personality types.

Each personality type has a number, which is often used as a shortcut to referencing the type. Each type has ‘Core fears’, ‘Core motivations’, and ‘Core desires’. These things are usually hidden in our psyche - in the 'shadows' as it were.

The Johari Window is a model that can help understand why it is essential to develop the shadow self. American psychologists Joseph Luft and Harry Ingham developed this model in 1955 8n their work at the University of California. The name ‘Johari’ came from joining their first two names.

The most effective place to put your attention is the 'Unknown' area, and also good are the 'Blind Spot' and 'Hidden Self' areas. There is little opportunity to develop in the 'Open Self' area.

I'll explain each:

Open Self – Many aspects of your attitudes, behaviour, emotions, feelings, skills, and views are known by you and others. There is not much to learn or develop in this domain, but it is worth noting that the more this area is increased, the more the blind spot is decreased. The size of this area can be increased by revealing more of our known self to others.

Hidden Self – This is information that is known to you but is unknown to others. This can be any personal information that you feel reluctant or have overlooked to reveal. This includes feelings, past experiences, fears, or secrets. We tend to keep hidden some of our feelings and information.

The hidden area can be reduced by sharing our thoughts and feelings with others. This is good for improving the quality of our relationships. This is an area where learning and development can happen, but again, because this is an area you know, it is limited for further development. It is in the other two areas where most development can happen.

Blind Spot – Information about yourself that others know but you are unaware of. Others may interpret you differently than you expect, and knowing this reduces your blind spot.

The blind spot is reduced through seeking feedback from others. A 360 survey can help reveal blindspots, which I can arrange for you.

Unknown – There are aspects of your psyche that are hidden from you and others - in the shadows - things that neither you nor others can consciously be aware of and which cannot be observed. Things such as feelings, capabilities, talents, etc. Most of these are hidden in our unconscious.

This is the area that can be revealed through understanding your Enneagram type. Once revealed to you, they no longer lurk in the background, creating undesired results, but can come under your conscious direction. This is the essence of ‘Shadow Work’. If you are interested in this, I can help you identify your Enneagram type.