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The Enneagram and Its Possibilities for Student Learning



The Enneagram primarily has been used as a tool to stimulate self-awareness and self-discovery. However, more recently it has migrated into the workplace as a management tool used in team building, hiring, promotion, and training. The purpose of this paper is to present the Enneagram overall as well as its history and the advantages and disadvantages of its use. In addition, the purpose of the Enneagram is explained in terms of Essence and character fixation. Thereafter, the nine fixations are presented in detail with specific tips for trainers and educators to use in teaching and motivating each particular type of student learner. This is followed by a discussion of how to know your fixation type and the potential advantages and disadvantages of using the Enneagram.
Dr. Kaylene C. Williams, Dr. Alfred R. Petrosky, and Dr. Edward H. Hernandez
Department of Management, Operations, and Marketing
California State University, Stanislaus
One University Circle
Turlock, CA 95382
(209) 667-3513/3507
Fax: (209) 667-3210,, and eh@hrmgt
Accepted by JBMC
for April 2008 Issue
Kaylene C. Williams, California State University, Stanislaus
Alfred R. Petrosky, California State University, Stanislaus
Edward H. Hernandez, California State University, Stanislaus
The Enneagram primarily has been used as a tool to stimulate self-awareness and
self-discovery. However, more recently it has migrated into the workplace as a
management tool used in team building, hiring, promotion, and training. The purpose
of this paper is to present the Enneagram overall as well as its history and the
advantages and disadvantages of its use. In addition, the purpose of the Enneagram
is explained in terms of Essence and character fixation. Thereafter, the nine fixations
are presented in detail with specific tips for trainers and educators to use in teaching
and motivating each particular type of student learner. This is followed by a
discussion of how to know your fixation type and the potential advantages and
disadvantages of using the Enneagram.
The Enneagram of character fixation divides people's behavior into nine distinct and
unique types. As such, knowledge of the Enneagram can enable one to understand
and predict a person's behavior, perceptions, interactions, communications, and
learning style in various situations. The Enneagram can be used to understand what
drives people to behave as they do. Also, an understanding of the Enneagram can be
used in practical applications such as team building, motivation, leadership,
empowerment, training, and student education as well as for self-discovery and
spiritual evolution. (Kale & Shrivastava, 2003)
The Enneagram primarily has been used as a tool to stimulate self-awareness, self-
observation, self-remembering, and the cultivation of spiritual knowledge. According
to noted Enneagram author Helen Palmer, the Enneagram is "a personalized road map
for spiritual experience." (Stocker, 1994, A.17) However, more recently it has
migrated into the workplace as a management and learning tool used in team building,
hiring, promotion, and training. Overall, it is a useful tool that can be used to find out
the root of what motivates individuals and makes them think, feel, and act as they do,
i.e., "a window into the Soul." (Dudley, 2002, 2)
The Enneagram represents nine basic personality or character fixation types. Each
type is a specific psychological strategy, worldview, or defense mechanism developed
early in life to avoid emotional discomfort (Colina, 1998; Palmer, 1989). As stated by
Eli Jaxon-Bear (1995b, 1), "In actuality, each is a strategy based on the idea of 'me,'
getting what 'I believe I need,' staying in control and protecting who 'I believe I am.' "
Each person is predominantly characterized by the goodness and obsession of one of
these types. That is, what motivates us can be apparently virtuous and also a vice.
However, being conscious of the vice and automatic patterning allows us to make
more conscious choices and to evolve as individuals. (Armstrong, 2001) As noted by
Goldberg, "The real winners [are those] who go with their natural personality flow and
don't waste a bunch of time and energy trying to be something (or someone) they're
not" (Bender, 2000, 310). It is said that those who work with the Enneagram will
break away from their ego or character fixation that traps them in suffering and
possibly reach the state of non-self or Self (Digging Deeper, 2004; Christian, 2005).
"If you keep trying to see something that is stuck to the back of your head, you turn
your head from side to side, straining to see what is behind you. You're able to see the
peripheral area, but because it's plastered to the back of your head, it's impossible to
truly see. The Enneagram proved to be a truly beautiful system to uncover, view and
transcend the egoic structure." (Wiener, 1995, 1)
The purpose of this paper is to present the Enneagram overall as well as its history and
the advantages and disadvantages of its use. In addition, the purpose of the
Enneagram is explained in terms of Essence and character fixation. Thereafter, the
nine fixations are presented in detail with specific tips for trainers and educators to use
in teaching and motivating each particular type of student learner. This is followed by
a discussion of how to know your fixation type and the potential advantages and
disadvantages of using the Enneagram.
Psychology and in turn the business and educational communities have had an
ongoing interest in personality. Personality is important because it indicates qualities
in a person above and beyond skills and qualifications, e.g., work attitude,
conscientiousness, level of commitment, how one deals with stress, and attitude
toward others. (New Zealand Herald, 2004) Some think that everything a person does
flows from personality while others believe that situation or environment predict
behavior. (High, 2002) In either case, it is believed that personality is fixed by age
21, and that trying to go against one's type takes an incredible amount of energy and
may even be futile. (Austin, 1995; Sukrung, 2004)
In truth, the Enneagram with its corresponding psychometric test can serve as a mirror
so that individuals see themselves clearly and make more conscious choices. (Fiely,
2002; Sukrung, 2004) According to the Enneagram, people are divided into nine
personality or character fixation types regardless of sex, race, age, or religion. Each
type is defined in terms of both negative and positive qualities, and one point is not
better than another. (Fiely, 2002; Murali, 2003) However, it can be difficult to decide
which Enneagram type an individual is. That is, sometimes people of different types
can be motivated and appear to behave in similar if not identical ways. (Murali, 2003)
In spite of this difficulty, psychometric tests have been used in hiring, promotion, and
professional development by a third of U.S. businesses. In particular, an increasing
number of companies are interested in using the Enneagram to assess the ten
competencies needed for job performance in the business arena, i.e., leadership,
strategy-building abilities, decision-making skills, change management skills,
delegation skills, communication skills, negotiation, influencing ability and use of
power, conflict management skills, and teamwork (Joseph, 2002). Executives and
staff from companies such as Motorola, Boeing, Toyota, Adobe, AT&T, and Marriott
have studied the Enneagram. At Silicon Graphics, for example, it is part of the
continuing education program. Even the CIA has held briefings on the Enneagram
behavior of world leaders. (Austin, 1995; Sukrung, 2004) As such, the $400 million
psychometric testing industry has grown significantly in the past five years. (Hsu,
2004) In fact, studies have shown that profiling results are three times more accurate
in predicting job performance than all of a person's previous work experience
combined. This high degree of predictability particularly is true of the Keirsey
Temperament Sorter, the Myers-Briggs Type Indicator (MBTI), and the Enneagram.
However, it still is advised that testing be used in conjunction with an interview as
well as skills and aptitude testing. (New Zealand Herald, 2004; Moorcraft, 2005;
Hayes, 2000; Shelf Life, 2007; Lapid-Bogda, 2007; Spayde, 2004)
While the Enneagram's history is largely undocumented, it is believed to have been in
use for over 2,500 years. Its roots are shrouded in mystery but believed to be from an
ancient wisdom tradition in the East. (Kale & Shrivastava, 2003) In particular, it is
believed to have originated in the Middle East in the Kingdoms of Babylon and the
wisdom school of the Sarmoun Brotherhood. In the 14th or 15th centuries it was passed
to Islamic mathematicians who incorporated it into their mystical teachings.
(Armstrong, 2001) It is generally attributed to Sufi's who once lived in the region of
Afghanistan. To the Sufi Brotherhoods, it was a secret oral tradition that was guarded
zealously so that it would not fall into the wrong hands. Other historic versions trace
it back to Taoism, Buddhism, Christianity, and ancient Greece. (Kotelnikov, 2004;
Digging Deeper, 2004)
No written records of it existed until it was brought to the West by the Russian mystic
Georges Gurdjieff (1866—1949) (Kale & Shrivastava, 2003). Sufi teachers initiated
Gurdjieff into the use of the Enneagram. He then introduced it to London at the turn
of the century. (Stocker, 1994) He used it to recognize his student's aptitude for
certain types of inner life training. However, Gurdjieff did not transmit the
Enneagram to his students in full. As the Enneagram came to the U.S., psychotherapy
picked it up sometime in the 1950s. (Kotelnikov, 2004; Bradford, 2001; Matise, 2007)
Today's Enneagram is attributed to a Chilean named Oscar Ichazo. He trained with
Sufi teachers in Afghanistan and incorporated it into his system of human
development. In the l960s, he developed a theory of nine personality types
corresponding to the nine points of the Enneagram. (Ichazo, 1982) In 1971, Ichazo
brought his teaching from Chile to the United States, where John Lilly and Claudio
Naranjo learned about it. Naranjo reframed the Enneagram in terms of modern
western psychology and called his system the Enneagram of Fixations. (Naranjo,
1990) Through Naranjo, a Jesuit priest named Bob Ochs used the "Sufi Numbers" as
a tool for spiritual development, prayer, and living in community. That is, the
Enneagram went public in 1972 when it was taken up by Christians and Californians.
(Stocker, 1994) In the 1980s, authors Helen Palmer and Don Richard Riso
popularized Naranjo's Enneagram of Fixations as a psychological profiling system.
(Palmer, 1995; Riso & Hudson, 1996, 2003) Today, the Enneagram is widely used in
clinical psychology, corporate America, and among Jesuit and Catholic priests. As
noted by Riso, "It bridges spirituality and psychology in a nice way. The Enneagram
is a universal spirituality: it brings people together from all religions." (Neff, 1995,
35) Its use in the business world is a relatively recent development. (Kotelnikov,
2004; Kale & Shrivastava, 2003; Colina, 1998) However, over the last 20 years,
scores of books and hundreds of executive development seminars on the Enneagram
have found their way into the business domain (Kale & Shrivastava, 2003; Matise,
"Those who mistake the appearance for the reality, the shadow for the substance, and
the true for the false, fail to attain the essential." Gautama Buddha from the
Essence is the truth of an individual. It is the fullness of one's strength, courage,
understanding, and love. Each individual typically has had times when this pure,
innocent Being and unmanifest possibility has shined through them and been
experienced as heightened awareness. "Soon the child's clear eye is clouded over by
ideas and opinions, preconceptions and abstractions. Simple free being becomes
encrusted with the burdensome armor of the ego. Not until years later does an instinct
come that a vital sense of mystery has been withdrawn. The sun glints through the
pines, and the heart is pierced in a moment of beauty and strange pain, like a memory
of paradise. After that day...we become seekers." (By Peter Mathiessen in High,
2002, 1)
However, these moments of feeling and expressing pure Essence seem fleeting.
Awareness seems to get covered over by the stress of daily living as well as egoic and
mechanical patterns that seemingly prohibit the direct experience of Truth. This egoic
covering is the core of character fixation. "The Enneagram of Character Fixation
describes the mysterious drama where Immortal Consciousness has crystallized into
the subtle form called the 'knot of ego.' This knot is the mistaken identification of
Consciousness with form." (Jaxon-Bear, 1996, 1) That is, the relationship between
Essence, character fixation, and personality can be portrayed by three concentric
circles. The core circle is Essence or Truth, the second layer is character fixation or
ego, and the third layer is personality or individual traits, habits, and behavior patterns.
(Jaxon-Bear, 1994; Kale & Shrivastava, 2003) That is, character fixation is even more
fundamental than personality.
The literature often portrays the Enneagram in terms of personality but this is a layer
displaced from the true purpose of the Enneagram. "The Enneagram of Character
Fixation as we now know it is the most precise description that we have of the knot of
ego that must be cut. It shows us that consciousness has crystallized itself in the
physical, mental or emotional body." (Jaxon-Bear, 1995c) That is, the purpose of the
Enneagram is to mirror and to discover what we are not the character fixation.
According to Jaxon-Bear (1994), character fixation is deeper than personality. It
arises out of ego and it makes us identify with someone other than who we really are.
That is, one's Soul and Essence get deflected in character fixation and in reverse
image. In Truth, we are Essence and egoic character fixation seemingly veils Essence
so that we think, feel, and behave as if we are the egoic character fixation. Personality
flows out of and is an expression of character fixation. So, using the Enneagram to
approach personality is far displaced from its deeper mirroring capacity. "In fact, the
Enneagram is describing character fixation. It is quite obvious that the same character
fixation can manifest as a wide variety of personalities. Character fixation is the
masking and imitating of true character or essence. By assuming the work to be at the
level of personality the crucial point is missed and pointless work follows. The true
gift of the Enneagram is not about transformation, nor mystical states, nor ego
reduction, nor working on the personality, but rather the end of the false identification
as a limited entity." (Jaxon-Bear, 1996, 2) That is, the Enneagram is a tool and
system of mirroring and understanding that points us in the direction of Freedom and
freedom from the ego. As noted by Naranjo (1990), essence is a process, an egoless,
unobscured, and free manner of functioning of the integrated human wholeness, or, we
are striving to become a living manifestation of the divinity that lies dormant in each
of us. The Enneagram explains the nature of ego and how the ego works in the nine
basic types of individuals on the planet. That is, if you can see the character fixation,
then you can use the right words, incentives, and behaviors in dealing with others and,
accordingly, in educating others. For example, if one could understand the character
fixation of another individual, then one could be more effective in relating to that
individual. Also, if we can see our own fixation traps clearly, then we can be free
from the ego and discover our full Essence. "The Enneagram is a mirror in which you
can see who you are not" (Jaxon-Bear, 1995c, 2). That way, we are not always
tripping over our own negative qualities and habits in our relationships and
environments with others. (Jaxon-Bear, 1994, 1995c, 1996, 2001a; Kale &
Shrivastava, 2003; Christian, 2005; Kale, 2003)
It should be noted that the ego or character fixation veils the Truth. As a result, the
truth about the character fixation may tend to be disappointing, reactivating, and not
very positive. As noted by Nietzsche, “One’s own self is well hidden from one’s own
self. Of all mines of treasure, one’s own is the last to be mined.” (Kale, 2003) It is
important to note that the promise of the Enneagram is to release people from the
character fixation rather than to make us better at being a particular fixation.
Listed below are descriptions of each of the nine Enneagram types. Each of these
descriptions provides a generalized depiction of the character fixation as well as
typical occupational areas, famous individuals and their fixation types, and the
generalized statements representing each type. Thereafter, specific educational and
training tips are presented for the purpose of improving student learning. As noted by
Goldberg, it also is important for student learners to recognize these traits within
themselves. The Enneagram is not simply an educational tool, but a collaborative
mechanism that allows teachers and students to realize their most productive
educational environment. (Alonzo, 2001a; Matise, 2007; Kamineni, 2005; Kale,
1. Type One: Perfectionist, Moralizer, Reformer, Ruler
(Jaxon-Bear, 2001a; Kale & Shrivastava, 2003; Morris & Cramer, 1996; Riso &
Hudson, 2003; Riso & Hudson, 2004; Maitri, 2000; Holubitsky, 1996; Wright,
1996; Whalen, 1995; St. Petersburg Times, 1994; Fallows, 2000; Wall, 1996;
Alonzo, 2000; Bhat, 2002; Pounds, 2002; Alonzo, 2001a; White, 2001; Clifford,
2003; Critchell, 2003; Thomson, 1993; Matise, 2007)
Type One individuals strive for perfection, systematic and methodical order, and
neatness. They are idealistic and feel morally and ethically superior in that they do
what they should, must, or ought to do. Ones can be conscientious perfectionists who
are intolerant of others' errors as well as their own errors and mistakes. Their inner
drive is to be always right, that is, morally right wherein any other opinion is wrong.
Ones feel that they must be responsible and in control doing everything themselves in
their own way. Their inner critic is worried about getting it right and is preoccupied
with details and correcting error. Due to this need for perfection and their criticalness
of self and others, they often are impatient and inflexible with processes and goals.
Their self image is to see and judge the world dualistically, e.g., black/white,
right/wrong, good/evil, love/hate, and my way/your way. That is, they have a refined
voice of conscience and a fascist superego. Hence, compromise is generally very
difficult because they try to make themselves and the world around them conform to
proper ideals. No task is finished until it is perfect. That is, if it is not perfect, it is not
any good. They are driven idealistically to do the right, worthy, or correct thing. In
general, they are serene and hard workers who work for the highest motive and the
satisfaction of doing the job as perfectly as possible. They earn love by overworking
to be perfect and this need to be perfect traps them. The problem is that they are never
quite good enough and never able to meet the idealized criteria. As a result, they
follow and even enslave themselves to rules and organization. They can become
resentful, prickly, edgy, and dissatisfied when things go wrong, micromanaging and
demoralizing everyone and everything. Because they are very serious and avoid
errors, they become upset with waste and tasks not being done properly and
unnecessary socializing that gets in the way of doing the job. In addition, when things
are not going properly, they can be preachy, pedantic, zealous, and procrastinate until
it is done right. In addition, they develop strategies to avoid criticism and punishment
for being wrong. For example, they may put off a project, task, or choice for fear of
making a mistake. Also, they may appear jealous of others who have it all and who
are not concerned or responsible about creating the needed result. Additionally, they
can become obsessed with improvement, finding out who is at fault, and with
controlling and ruling how things should be improved. While anger is avoided, they
often have interiorized, righteous anger and even repressed anger due to perceived or
real flaws in the system and being incensed about perceived insults to their values and
integrity in obeying the rules. In accordance, they can be harsh, punitive, and
negative. However, they have honorable intentions and can be very loyal and
conscientious advocates or reformers for the right person or cause. They will put aside
their personal interests and needs for the welfare of others, often feeling as if they
have a mission in life. That is, they see themselves as eager white knights saving the
world with their good judgment, wise decisions, and responsible behavior. In this
regard, they express energy, ambition, a vision of balance, and an overall striving for
excellence. However, this severe position of wanting to be right at all costs causes
them to be uptight as if driving through life with the brakes on. The hard-working,
self-controlled Type One individual tends to need to lighten up and have some fun as
well as be acknowledged regularly for his achievements and high standards.
Because Ones like orderliness and clearly defined systems, they learn and work well
in technical or public service occupations and as project leaders, judges, lieutenants,
managers, sales managers, teachers, librarians, and coaches. The animal depicting the
One would be the eagle. Examples of Type One fixations include Martin Luther, Clint
Eastwood, Jerry Falwell, Mahatma Gandhi, John Lennon, Mary Poppins, King
Solomon, Al Gore, Nelson Mandela, Dianne Feinstein, Martin Luther King Jr., Emily
Post, Ralph Nader, Diane from Cheers, Abraham Lincoln, the Amish, and
Switzerland. In a nutshell, the One can be typified as "I believe I have to be perfect
before others can love me or approve of me. I easily see what is incorrect in situations
and how to improve them. I put continuous pressure on myself while at the same time
resenting the conditions of that strain. I do what I should do rather than what I want to
do." (Pounds, 2002, 3.D.) Their summarizing statement would be "I am right and
good. What's wrong with this picture?"
Managing the Type One Student Learner
Service is first.
He checks his assignments and paperwork twice to make sure that each item is
complete with no missing data. The assignment and any orders are completed
to perfection.
When another individual or student learner makes a mistake, the One often
chastises that individual immediately and severely.
Help him be more patient and flexible with learning processes and goals.
Give him a learning plan and clearly defined procedures to follow, i.e., well-
communicated criteria and incentive plans.
A TQM management style would be appealing to this individual and bring out
his strengths, i.e., this individual’s learning style would flourish with the use of
TQM principles.
Regularly acknowledge him for his achievements and principles.
The self-righteous and honorably intended One student may need to be told
that he is wrong while leaving the correct answer open-ended.
Do not ask him to compromise his ethics or principles.
Help him lighten up and have some fun.
2. Type Two: Helper, Giver, Mother Goddess, Mentor
(Jaxon-Bear, 2001a; Kale & Shrivastava, 2003; Morris & Cramer, 1996; Riso &
Hudson, 2003; Riso & Hudson, 2004; Maitri, 2000; White, 2001; Colina, 1998;
Getting Results, 1997; Holubitsky, 1996; Austin, 1996; Whalen, 1995; Condon,
1994; Fallows, 2000; Wall, 1996; Brugha, 1998; Alonzo, 2001a; Clifford, 2003;
Critchell, 2003; Bhat, 2002; Alonzo, 2000; Schulze, 2000; Wright, 1996; Matise,
Type Two individuals need to be needed and to be seen as indispensable. They will
go the extra distance to please others at the cost of taking care of themselves. That is,
Twos are exteriorized image points dwelling on who they are with and how they look
to others rather than being loved for themselves. Because Twos are relationship
oriented, they prefer one-on-one relationships rather than standing out in front of the
group. Twos work for the person rather than the product, so reassurance, appreciation,
clarity, and warmth are important. They like to be right behind the leader or principal
target of interest, emotionally supporting the targeted leader yet dependent on the
leader for acknowledgement, approval, and extravagant gifts. They want to hear "I
could not have done this without you." Hence, they will aggressively seduce the
power of the thrown or the targeted principal in order to get image, love, and
adoration. In conjunction, it is difficult for Twos to know and express their own
needs. They avoid their own needs with the trap of service. But, they happily please
and serve others with their excellent rapport, sensitivity to the needs of others,
friendliness, and kindness. However, their service is a double-edged sword in that
ruthless Twos strive to come out ahead in the bargain. That is, they only give if they
can get more in exchange. On the other hand, Twos are empathetic, devoted,
relational, caring, generous, and can give with true altruism. They are compassionate
and expressive about causes such as the underprivileged, the environment, and animal
rights. They embody the perfect mother and their unselfish nurturing qualities are
unparalleled. Their warm hearts and sincerity bring them needed approval and a wide
circle of appreciative friends. The well-adjusted Two meets people easily and
becomes good friends quickly, remaining in touch with old friends and remembering
birthdays and anniversaries. They introduce people to each other. But, Twos can
become disappointed when their giving is not appreciated or reciprocated
appropriately. While they are proud of their selfless giving and stainless steel exterior,
they often have repressed strings attached. That is, they give in order to meet their
own needs for love, approval, and admiration. In particular, they seductively work on
others who in turn make the environment and life the way the Two wants it to be.
Also, they give to avoid rejection. They avoid conflict and anything that may take
away love or approval. They are concerned and even possessed with personal
relationships and want to know that they are indispensable, particularly to their
principal power, interest, e.g., boss or mate. Their unending requirement for flattery
and the constant emotional neediness and hunger for affection and approval can be
seen as very intrusive and manipulative. That is, Twos help those in trouble but their
attentions can be very smothering and prideful. The co-dependent Two can overdo, so
appropriate limits must be set particularly regarding personal contact. It is hard for a
Two to set limits and uphold rules or boundaries. As a result, Twos find it hard to say
no. Hence, communication can be ambivalent. Because Twos have difficulty
expressing and meeting their own needs directly, they often appear chameleon-like
and angry because they are stressed by trying to help others so much. For example,
they have an incessant need for warmth, stroking, and feedback. When they do not get
their way, however, they can dwell on the disservice accorded them and even become
vindictive about it. In addition, the receiver of the service or help can never make up
for or pay enough for services rendered. The work area is often seen as a family rather
than a group of unrelated co-workers. The Two wants to feel at home, be called by his
name, and greeted cheerfully. However, the Two emphasizes how his actions will
help others and will nurture good workplace relationships. To prove his helpfulness,
the Two is likely to display tokens of thanks from the staff. Disruptions to routine
matters can be taken very personally and very hysterically. Leaving and changes are
seen as disloyal and require apologies and assurances. Refusing friendship with a
Two will be considered and long remembered as enemies. Friendship is valued over
guidelines or procedures. Inefficient business practices and errors may occur because
Twos do not want to hurt, sadden, or inconvenience anyone, particularly, the principal
power interest. The Two also can be the martyr/saint who has no needs and focuses
on earning love by giving and becoming indispensable to others. In that way, they
even may end up managing others' lives. While Twos believe that they have no needs,
they go out and help somebody else altruistically. In turn, this helps the Two to feel
better about himself and to get his needs met. Because they earn love by being
helpful, they can help even those who do not want help. That is, helping has ceased to
be a choice and has become an obsession to get love and to reduce the deep feeling of
self-hatred and lack of self worth. However, the evolved Two can be genuinely caring
and supportive by responding to the heart rather than the head or gut.
Typical work areas for the Two include customer service, networking, assistant,
confidant, guide, executive secretary, sales, recruiting, over-working mothers, self-
sacrificing wives, and the idealized woman in Western society. The animal depicting
the Two would be the house cat. Examples of Type Two fixations include Elvis
Presley, Mary Magdalene, Dolly Parton, Mr. Rogers, Mia Farrow, Leo Buscaglia,
Nancy Reagan, Jerry Lewis, Elizabeth Taylor, Coach and Woody from Cheers, the
movie Fatal Attraction, Our Gal Friday, Betty Boop, and Thailand. Their
summarizing statement would be "Who am I with? I am helpful. I am taking care of
you. No one knows how to take care of you better than me. I am free to serve you.
They know me there."
Managing the Type Two Student Learner
This student is very image and relationship focused. He may view errors as
unimportant and may give up good learning success or business practice in
order to maintain relationship or image.
Support the Two in his need for fulfillment and his diminished sense of value
and self worth.
Acknowledge and appreciate him as the power behind the thrown. The Two
will bend over backwards to get what he wants from the principal power
interest. He will do anything to make his person look good.
The Two can be absolutely ruthless in getting the best deal or price because he
only gives if he is getting what he wants in return. That is, he can drive a hard
bargain and is not going to give the organization away.
Because this student is solicitous and friendly, direct his talents, business
skills, and learning capabilities appropriately in customer service and in
building interpersonal team connections.
The Two can overdo, so set appropriate limits particularly regarding personal
Be sure to tell him "I could not have done this without you."
Motivate the Two with approval and awards such as student/employee-of-the-
month recognition.
3. Type Three: Performer, Achiever, Producer, Organizer, Magician
(Jaxon-Bear, 2001a; Kale & Shrivastava, 2003; Morris & Cramer, 1996; Riso &
Hudson, 2003; Riso & Hudson, 2004; Maitri, 2000; White, 2001; Alonzo, 2001a;
Clifford, 2003; Critchell, 2003; Alonzo, 2000; Banks, 2000; Schulze, 2000;
Colina, 1998; Wright, 1996; Holubitsky, 1996; Whalen, 1995; St. Petersburg
Times, 1994; Bhat, 2002; Condon, 1994; Hardin, 1995; Stoeltje, 2000; Getting
Results, 1997; Lattin, 1994; Fallows, 2000; Wall, 1996; Alonzo, 2001b)
Threes seek to be loved for their achievements. They want to compete, win, lead, and
be seen. While work is all in all, these Type-A individuals are highly concerned with
demonstrating competence and over-achievement in all areas of their lives. They are
pragmatic and hard working individuals who need to succeed in meeting their inner
standards even if they are somewhat unattainable. Often, they are competitive,
workaholics driven by the need for status and personal advancement. This results-
oriented focus avoids failure at all costs. The Three is the prototypical competitive
American business type who loves to get to the finish line first. They want to be
productive and make the world a more efficient place to live. They are industrious in
that they are optimistic, energetic, self-assured, and driven to see alternate ways to
solve problems and achieve goals. To the Three, time not used is wasted and will
never come back. They are good at getting a lot done in a little time with efficiency
and productivity uppermost. Because they want to project a consistent image of
excellence and confidence, they can be hard to get to know. These go-getters have
difficulty in asking for help and are critical of incompetence and inefficiency.
Because of their drive to bottom-line success, they have learned to be adaptable and
accomplished team builders and motivators. Mentoring, networking, and status are
important to them. As an organizer, they seek to manufacture a picture-perfect
existence based on a long list of activities, goals, and achievements. However, they
are motivated mostly by winning and may minimize the human element in their
interactions, e.g., they can be superficial and crass leaders wherein a hostile takeover
or firing someone is no problem. Because other people contribute to the success of a
project, Threes need to see others' input as invaluable to the bottom-line. However, as
a practical and enthusiastic winner, the Three has a hard time just hanging out with
people and taking it easy. They may become mechanical with a pattern of success and
identify with what they do rather than who they are. For example, the Performer gets
depressed when facing a loss but can put up an impressive facade. Because of the
high degree of identification with role or performance, they may lean toward vainglory
or be tempted to deceive in order to get ahead. They even can suspend experiencing
their emotions when deceiving themselves or others. That is, when they fear failure,
they may change their personality to suit the need for winning or for meeting the
expectations of others. This means, no hysterics and no falling apart allowed. Threes
value public recognition for their accomplishments in that they like to display their
success and achievement to others. Beautiful decorations and clothing are important
to their obsession with image and status. The typically attractive Three focuses on
appearance and style over substance and often ignores taking care of deeper,
emotional needs. Communication with Threes needs to be efficient while motivation
needs to be tangible, regular, systematic, and lead to image enhancement. That way,
they enthusiastically can align their competitive spirits and impressive
accomplishments and means with the goals of the organization. High-spirited and
multi-tasking Threes can get the job done. However, they can appear to be more
productive than they actually are, cutting corners to stay ahead of the game.
The Three wants to run his own show. Hence, he often excels and graduates quickly
to higher levels of leadership. Excellent career areas for the Three include public
relations, volunteering, salespeople, people jobs, debutantes, captains of the winning
team, positions of prestige, and anyone who interacts with people such as good
"packagers" and competent promoters. Retirement will probably be very difficult for
the Three. The animal depicting the Three would be the peacock. Examples of Type
Three fixations include Donald Trump, Arnold Schwarzenegger, McDonald's, Cindy
Crawford, Anthony Robbins, Werner Erhard, Tom Cruise, Rebecca from Cheers, Bill
Gates, Michael Jordan, John F. Kennedy, Bob Hope, Washington D.C., Tiger Woods,
Mary Tyler Moore, Doris Day, Will Smith, Ken and Barbie, the movie Wall Street,
and Shirley Maclaine. Their summarizing statement would be "I am successful and
efficient. I am what I do. You're fired."
Managing the Type Three Student Learner
This student needs to be successful and seen by others as successful.
He wants to lead, so let him lead.
He likes to get to the finish line first, so motivate him with admiration and
public recognition, e.g., office leader board or verbal praise in front of others.
Use MBO to motivate this student.
Encourage his team building and motivational skills. Let him be an inspiring
role model to others.
He values image, beautiful offices and decor, beautiful clothes, and stylish
prominence. Support and acknowledge this propensity to beauty and style, i.e.,
incorporate it into his learning activity and environment.
Provide flashing memorabilia or merchandise that will help him display his
learning success to the general public.
4. Type Four: Dreamer, Individualist, Tragic Romantic, Artist,
Designer, Connoisseur
(Jaxon-Bear, 2001a; Kale & Shrivastava, 2003; Morris & Cramer, 1996; Riso &
Hudson, 2003; Riso & Hudson, 2004; Maitri, 2000; Critchell, 2003; Clifford,
2003; Alonzo, 2001a; Schulze, 2000; Colina, 1998; Wright, 1996; White, 2001;
Alonzo, 2000; Getting Results, 1997; Holubitsky, 1996; Whalen, 1995; Stocker,
1994; Lattin, 1994; Condon, 1994; Fallows, 2000; Matise, 2007)
Fours consider themselves to be very special people who are full of artistic and
innovative ideas. They gravitate toward what is authentic, beautiful, and unusual.
They have a lot of style and strive for the best in all situations. The Type Four
individual is creative, emotionally charged, self-absorbed, introspective, melancholy,
and attracted to the unavailable, missing, or flawed. Fours also are individualistic,
intuitive, withdrawn, private, and able to experience the highs and lows of deep
emotions. Their sense of supercharged emotional intimacy and drama expects and
wants a series of peaks. They often are flamboyant, passionate, and sensitive to
beauty and meaning, as well as wallowing in self-pity. That is, they may turn cold
when the plains and valleys show up and they see life as half-empty and bittersweet.
As special dreamers, they avoid ordinariness and crave self-expression and emotional
depth. Given their unreachable ideals, they may feel inadequate or feel like they live
on the edge of a black hole, and become depressed and envious of others who have
what they are missing. Temperamental Fours often feel like they are out of place,
verging on hysteria. As a result, they dream of heightened connections, warm
experiences, and have a high degree of longing and tragic romance. The complex
Four is motivated by the recognition that his uniqueness, depth, and aesthetic sense
contribute to quality and the organization's success. In that, they often develop unique
approaches to problems identified by others. Also, they often do what they want and
have special activities, interests, and hobbies, e.g., they may creatively personalize and
privatize their space. Their defense mechanism is the sublimation of the expression of
their feelings through other means such as art or music. They may appear eccentric,
snobbish, or cryptic. However, standing steady during the emotional tides, helping
them feel that they make a special contribution, and allowing them a good deal of
personal interaction will keep them satisfied. They focus on quality as well as elegant
and refined presentation of self and product. While very creative, they may become
frustrated by the process. In particular, they may justify only doing the parts of their
jobs that they see as important, useful, or interesting. Evolved Fours can help other
people through their pain. They are committed to a passionate life including birth,
sex, intensity, and death.
Fours work well as exhibit creators, designers, personalized service providers, writers,
professionals, and researchers. The animal depicting the Four would be the panther.
Examples of Type Four fixations include Judy Garland, Orson Welles, Joan Baez,
Winona Ryder, Patsy Cline, Oscar Wilde, Miss Piggy, Marlon Brando, John Keats,
Neil Young, Vincent van Gogh, Frasier from Cheers, the movie Out of Africa, Steve
Martin, Johnny Depp, Michael Jackson, Michelle Pfeiffer, and Japan. Their
summarizing statement would be "I am special and no one understands the depth of
my feelings. I am different. I am elite."
Managing the Type Four Student Learner
The Four student often feels unusual or out-of-place in some way.
He can add creativity and artistic flair to the training or work environment.
Recognize that his uniqueness, depth, and aesthetic sense contribute to the
organization's success and learning environment.
He can be hypersensitive to criticism and deteriorate into moodiness and
erratic work habits.
Allow him a good deal of personal interaction and stand steady for him during
the emotional tides.
To insure his best performance, help him with his personal choices or
Allow him some spark in his job description, environment, and learning
5. Type Five: Observer, Wise Person, Sage, Thinker, Investigator,
Mystic Philosopher
(Jaxon-Bear, 2001a; Kale & Shrivastava, 2003; Morris & Cramer, 1996; Riso &
Hudson, 2003; Riso & Hudson, 2004; Maitri, 2000; Alonzo, 2001a; Clifford,
2003; Critchell, 2003; Jaxon-Bear, 1994; Alonzo, 2000; Banks, 2000; Schulze,
2000; Colina, 1998; Getting Results, 1997; White, 2001; Holubitsky, 1996;
Wright, 1996; Whalen, 1995; St. Petersburg Times, 1994; Fallows, 2000; Wall,
1996; Hardin, 1995; Brugha, 1998; Matise, 2007)
Fives value wisdom, knowledge, and learning. They are intellectually perceptive and
able to integrate information in new ways. A Five loves mastery in his own domain
and usually is unexcelled in his field. They can be very private and solitary
individuals who are emotionally detached in that they like to work with ideas and
intellectual seeking rather than seeking out people for warmth and intimacy.
However, they typically are curious, inventive, thoughtful, gentle, and polite. They
are not very expressive and do not like surprises, emotional bonding, or rah-rah
motivation. Typically, they like to work alone and not be interrupted. They will focus
and ration their time, manage their energy, withdraw, and observe. That is, they
protect their personal resources and can be tight with money. Fives are driven by the
sense that something is missing and that there should be something there. As such, it
is important to honor their intelligence and incessant need for intellectual seeking.
They gain and analyze knowledge as a way of making sense in the world, i.e., they
want to understand the world and make it a more reasonable place to live. They need
opportunities to express their ideas and to expand their knowledge base. They are
dependable, self-motivated, and enjoy working alone on their own projects. Because
they are very measured and overly self-controlled individuals, their boundaries need to
be respected. They need to be given advance notice with regard to deadlines and
changes, that is, they need some sense of predictability, parameters, and the bottom
line. To feel safe and defend against difficulties, they tend to retract and go into
isolation or compartmentalization. They like to work on their own and observe rather
than participate. When around people, the Five has a very flat effect and typically
would like to disappear into the background. They are deeply sensitive people without
much of a defense against the outside world. They withhold themselves and have a
rich inner life of fantasy. They watch remotely as the world unfolds and have an
excellent capacity for learning, faultless logic, and insight. They observe life from a
safe distance while accumulating knowledge. Being preoccupied with privacy, they
are dependent on routine and predictability. They can be eccentric and greedy for
knowledge, ideas, and collections. Fives are unusual in that they can collect essence
or the story behind the story. However, they hoard what they have rather than take
from others. Their greed is for their own little private world, keeping their own things
in the way that they want them. They find business and social interactions and
commitments to be very depleting. Because they feel that they have no space, they
often retreat into their minds. The Five views the world from the head and not the
heart, i.e., an intense cerebral type. While Fives are very steady in crises, they have
difficulty conveying their deeper emotions. They are driven by the fear of not
knowing enough. They avoid emptiness and interiorized fear by filling themselves
with ideas. Security is their trap in that Fives cover true peace by trying to create
peace through the exclusion and compartmentalization of the outside world. They
reduce life to manageable proportions with small, tight, and well-defined limits. For
example, they are nonconforming rebels hiding in the head or intellect rather than
marching out on the streets. Fives are often silent and disengaged observers who
avoid the internal emptiness by filling it up with thoughts. At their best, they are
visionary pioneers while at their worst they can deteriorate into arrogance, non-
communication, intellectual bickering, and one-upmanship.
Possible Five occupations include researcher, administrator, investigator, decision
maker, analyzer, commentator, investigative reporter, monk, ivory tower intellectual,
scholar, thinker, architect, rare book collector, inventor, accountant, and performer.
The animal depicting the Five would be the owl. Examples of Type Five fixations
include The Buddha, Greta Garbo, Emily Dickinson, Thomas Acquinas, Howard
Hughes, Bill Gates, Kurt Cobain, John Lennon, Meryl Streep, Ingmar Bergman, J.D.
Salinger, Jeremy Irons, Franz Kafka, J. Paul Getty, Stephen King, Johnny Carson,
Jimmy Stewart, Jerry Brown, Lillith from Cheers, W.C. Fields, Dick Cheney, and
Data from Star Trek. Their summarizing statement would be "I know. I am smart. I
am knowing. I see through. If I just know enough, then I will gain acceptance and
love from others. A man's house is his castle."
Managing the Type Five Student Learner
Let this student work with ideas and intellectual seeking rather than human
contact. Acknowledge him for this contribution.
Use him in highly analytical work wherein he can discover new things.
Let him work alone in his education and respect his need for boundaries and
Due to his flat demeanor and need for predictability, avoid giving him
surprises and rah-rah motivation.
Use his steadiness in any crisis.
Put his observational skills to good use in the learning environment.
He does not pay attention to time constraints. Support him in meeting learning
6. Type Six: Guardian, Team Player, Questioner, Troubleshooter,
Doubter, Devil's Advocate, Trooper, Loyal Skeptic
(Jaxon-Bear, 1995a; Jaxon-Bear, 2001a; Kale & Shrivastava, 2003; Morris &
Cramer, 1996; Riso & Hudson, 2003; Riso & Hudson, 2004; Maitri, 2000; Alonzo,
2000; Colina, 1998; Holubitsky, 1996; Whalen, 1995; Lattin, 1994; Condon, 1994;
Fallows, 2000; Wall, 1996; Alonzo, 2001a; White, 2001; Clifford, 2003; Critchell,
2003; Banks, 2000; Getting Results, 1997; Wright, 1996; Stocker, 1994; Dudley,
2002; St. Petersburg Times, 1994; Matise, 2007)
Sixes are loyal, engaging, friendly, and serious optimists. However, they are hyper-
vigilantly self-doubting, indecisive, and fearful. As such, their loyalty is coupled with
plaguing doubt and a questioning nature. The internal questioning, intellectual
figuring it out, and continual dialog of the Six allays fear and is an attempt at security
and certainty rather than an impediment. That is, in an attempt to avoid unconscious
fear and doubt, the upbeat Six generally can hide out in the illusion or fantasy of a
rosy future. On the other hand, Sixes are cautious and examine possible future
problems and obstacles. It is good to reassure Sixes before moving forward. Going
one step at a time and not arbitrarily changing the rules helps the Six know what is
going on and to not imagine the worst. The Six needs a leader who allays his fears
and can be trusted. They mistrust and rebel against authority while identifying with
the underdog. That is, they are ambivalent about authority. A new boss and
inconsistencies in administration can stimulate serious discomfort and make them feel
like they are being discriminated against. Being very stubborn, they may generate
complaints based on a feeling of bias. Because they are insecure, they need
reassurance constantly. The fear of not being accepted motivates them to tell others
what must be done to accomplish a task and how to keep it manageable. They have
good reasons for maintaining the status quo that can help others keep a reality check
and see the ramifications of change. Even though Sixes are thoughtful and rational,
they have worry, concern, and negative expectations under a positive veneer. Their
quick and over-examining minds can become paralyzed by all that is seen. Because of
this, they tend to like written routines, rules, procedures, and guidelines that have the
effect of turning unknown fear into a mentally known fear. While they can be
questioning, they are excellent troubleshooters. Sixes are responsible and know what
to do in emergencies. They have good endurance and leadership qualities with crises
and disasters, and are able to plan and develop contingencies for potential difficulties.
However, they need to be secure and free from fear. Their trap is to be free from fear
and this motive is hidden in them. In stress, they can become workaholics and use
overwork as a strategy to gain safety. To avoid being seen as different or deviant, they
defensively try to blend in allowing no chaos. These hyperconscious paranoid
individuals are suspicious and are always looking for concealed motives, threats, and
hidden dangers. Once found, they project these negative or pessimistic motives onto
others. Hence, they often have indecision, skepticism, procrastination, unfinished
projects, and pessimistic outlooks. They do not see a safe world and can get trapped
in a lack of security as well as any available false sense of security. Their caution of
the world makes them responsible, loyal, and thoughtful. That is, one strategy of the
counter-phobic Six is to look for danger and change in order to prepare for it, e.g.,
firemen and policemen. Ultimately, danger is sought out so that it will be known,
known change and fear can be dealt with. When stressed and worried, however, Sixes
need to have trust and believe in themselves. They are committed, cooperative,
reliable, warmhearted, and full of wit. The likable Six is fiercely loyal and dependable
toward those he loves. Because friendships are very important, they can become very
dependent and can find relationships to be very draining. In addition, the Six can
quickly turn on you if he senses betrayal. The Six often is afraid of change and prefers
things to stay as they are. Because they are afraid to try new things, they may develop
elaborate rationales for the status quo and remaining unchanged. To avoid change, big
decisions may get denied or delayed. However, if all of the details are spelled out,
then the Six does not become paranoid. That is, if there is no clarity, then the fear gets
triggered and runs amuck. Sixes express themselves passionately and may react out of
proportion to the incident. Belonging to a team can motivate them and move them
from thinking about all the things that can go wrong, to simple decisive action. They
love being a self-sacrificing team member loyal to the cause and fighting the good
fight against the bad guys. Loyalty and duty keep them functioning, particularly when
they are given the task of looking preventively for danger. They are effective at
building alliances and partnerships in order to meet goals. That is, they can assess the
motivations and relative merits of others and call a group back to its root values. They
have an ability to understand, sense, and feel out people really well. To reduce the life
pattern of behavioral stutterings, a sense of danger and an organizational structure
need to be present. Unexpressed frozen terror compels the Six to adopt strategies that
create a perception of safety. They try to figure out the world in their head, hiding
from fear in the mental body. As a result, fear never comes up.
Possible Six occupations include management, administration, loyal soldier, great
team player, professional sports, chess player, good friend, consultant, middle
management, ambulance driver, policeman, and forest fighter. The animal depicting
the Six would be the deer or wolf. Examples of Type Six fixations include Woody
Allen, Billy Crystal, Jane Fonda, George Lucas, Sherlock Holmes, Hamlet, Oliver
Stone, Janis Joplin, Sigmund Freud, Sylvester Stallone, Britney Spears, Princess
Diana, Julia Roberts, Oliver North, Adolf Hitler, Cliff from Cheers, Richard Gere, and
the movie What About Bob? Their summarizing statement would be "I need to feel
secure. I am loyal. I do my duty. I have to do it myself. I think therefore, I am.
That's interesting."
Managing the Type Six Student Learner
Reassure the Six learner constantly.
Introduce change gradually and methodically.
Give him precise instructions, written routines, rules, procedures, and
Because loyalty and duty keep him functioning, he does well as a team player.
Encourage him to act decisively with group authority.
He is motivated by demonstrations of the trainer’s or company's loyalty to him.
A team-based incentive program is highly motivating for the Six.
Allow the Six to build alliances and partnerships. He is good at finding
potential problems and assessing the motivations and relative merits of others.
Support the Six in trusting and believing in himself.
7. Type Seven: Dreamer, Enthusiast, Entertainer, Adventurer,
Epicure, Visionary, Generalist, Magical Child
(Jaxon-Bear, 2001a; Kale & Shrivastava, 2003; Morris & Cramer, 1996; Riso &
Hudson, 2003; Riso & Hudson, 2004; Maitri, 2000; Alonzo, 2001a; Critchell,
2003; Clifford, 2003; Wright, 1996; Hardin, 1995; White, 2001; Alonzo, 2000;
Banks, 2000; Colina, 1998; Wall, 1996; Getting Results, 1997; Holubitsky, 1996;
Whalen, 1995; Stocker, 1994; Condon, 1994; St. Petersburg Times, 1994; Fallows,
2000; Matise, 2007)
Sevens are fixated on the upside, exploded, or fun loving side of the Enneagram.
They like impulsive, stimulating action and have gluttony for experience and cosmic
travel. The Seven seeks to avoid the pain of the world with rationalization, idealism,
enthusiasm, curiosity, and generosity. Because they want to have a good time in life
and avoid confrontation and conflicts, they keep themselves very active and distracted.
They avoid tedious, severe detailed work and may even have to redo their work
several times. They depend on themselves but do not take the situation too seriously.
Often, they disappoint others by being scattered and taking the easy way out. Hence,
the irresponsibility of the Seven may be frustrating. As such, they need to be teamed
with grounded individuals who follow-through and complete their projects.
Overextended Sevens have a surplus of unfinished plans, ideas, and projects. They are
not good at turning them into reality and do not like to be bothered with small details.
Even though they can be creative and accomplished, structures need to be set up to
allow them to finish projects. The Seven's manic energy tends to be lively, flighty,
and happy. They have excessive natures, and too much is not enough for the
gluttonous Seven. They always want more fun and more to do. They do not want to
lose other possibilities by choosing or limiting themselves to one. They
narcissistically want it all and are preoccupied with avoiding boredom and pain via the
latest trends and the newest possibilities. Like a rolodex, they can flip from person to
person, job to job, and experience to experience. This individual can be impulsive, but
is adaptable and fits into new situations. While intemperate and excessive, they can
find their own motivation and enthusiasm for the job. They are upbeat planners and
future thinkers with a wealth of large ideas. They like life and the work environment
to be upbeat, fun, lively, and unusual. For example, they may be active in organizing
a lot of parties and outings for themselves and their office. They seem to be
perpetually young and may even seem childlike or childish. They like emotional
highs and avoid emotional pain at all costs. Sevens are active and engaged with life
and have many pleasing options to choose from. They are positive, fun people who
can turn work and the mundane into play. They like to work at fun or challenging
places, and be the life of the party. You may have to ask them to be quiet or to tone it
down. They are fun, fun, fun. But, do not bother them with a problem. They can be
insensitive to others, particularly, when someone interrupts their fun. Because of this,
they often have difficulty with long-term relationships. While they have an eagerness
to experience all of life and all of material goods, fear of boredom and pain is typically
underneath their perpetual optimism and liveliness. They like to leave their options
open and synthesize new ideas and projects. They are hungry for and want more of
what is pleasurable and makes them happy. In carrying out their gourmet approach to
life, they like to sample and taste the best life has to offer. They do not linger long on
any one thing unless it is completely enjoyable, that is, their natural multitasking
abilities and monkey-like minds jump from one thing to another very quickly. They
need to know when a serious commitment is necessary. They can frame problems in a
positive manner and quickly and accurately summarize important information. Also,
they can become very productive and accomplished when they focus on worthwhile
goals. The gregarious and charming Seven is good with people contact and
communication. Because they are charming, they can help with inspiring others.
However, Sevens resist criticism and get frustrated when limits are set. They can
sweet talk themselves out of any trouble.
Possible Type Seven careers include top salespeople, planners, synthesizers, and
theoreticians. The animal depicting the Seven would be the otter or monkey.
Examples of Type Seven fixation include Robin Williams, Peter Pan, Danny Kaye,
Walt Disney, Steven Spielberg, Jerry Seinfeld, Goldie Hawn, Jim Carrey, Bette
Midler, Timothy Leary, Epicurus, Mozart, Francis of Assisi, Groucho Marx, Sam from
Cheers, Auntie Mame, and Cary Grant. The summarizing statement would be "I am
happy. I am nice. I am ok. Let's party. Last one into the pool is boring."
Managing the Type Seven Student Learner
He can summarize well, but avoids tedious detail work.
Team the Seven student with grounded individuals who follow through and
complete their projects.
Motivate the Seven with lots of opportunity, stimulation, adventure, action,
and fun.
Use incentives of unique experience and travel to motivate the Seven, e.g., out-
of-the-ordinary things like racecar driving schools and baseball fantasy camps.
Let him focus on people contact and communication.
The Seven is charming and people like him, so let him help with inspiring
Keep limits as open as possible and boredom to a minimum in the learning
Help him find some worthwhile goals. He may become very productive and
8. Type Eight: Leader, Protector, Challenger, Confronter, Boss, Top
(Jaxon-Bear, 1995b; Jaxon-Bear, 2001a; Kale & Shrivastava, 2003; Morris &
Cramer, 1996; Jaxon-Bear, 1994; Riso & Hudson, 2003; Riso & Hudson, 2004;
Maitri, 2000; Getting Results, 1997; Holubitsky, 1996; Wright, 1996; Whalen,
1995; Condon, 1994; Fallows, 2000; Wall, 1996; Alonzo, 2001a; Critchell, 2003;
Clifford, 2003; White, 2001; Stoeltje, 2000a; Alonzo, 2000; Matise, 2007)
Authoritarian Eights like to take charge, dominate, lead, and protect the group boldly
and confidently. They have a clear vision of what they want to accomplish and the
willpower to succeed doing it. They make difficult decisions, meet challenges, and
overcome obstacles easily. That is, they like power and are control driven preferring
their own little kingdoms. They are proud of being the best and even the worst,
though underneath there is a deep hurt of worthlessness. Hence, they often go for
broke and lead excessive lives. That is, they want everything all of the time-too much,
too late, and too often. Their aggressive, combative nature incorporates significant
bullying and lying that tends to make people dislike them. However, behind their
rough, blunt exterior and love of power is a vulnerable and tender heart that never
likes to be exposed or dependent. As a result, Eights can be intense, expansive, and
magnanimous while selflessly defending the down trodden and persevering with
regard to issues of justice and disadvantage. In addition, they are courageous, honest,
self-sufficient, self-starters, and self-reliant. They value their own top-dog points of
view and often use them to complain and shock others. In the work environment,
Eights will try new and exciting things, change the organization and environment, and
meet with superiors as little as possible. They are decisive but decisions tend to be
based on the facts with no concern for relationship. Thus, the Eight's decisions tend to
be iron clad and very cut and dry. On the other hand, they do loyally protect and
control "their" people, turf, and family. That is, because they find love through power
and protection, they use their personal force and empowerment for "their" people. In a
team, they can be self-appointed monitors and very challenging, difficult, and
frustrating. It is difficult for them to delegate tasks or to share leadership. Also, they
can become sarcastic with boiling anger erupting easily, but it passes quickly. They
will deny their anger, even in the face of being loud, abusive, and alienating to others.
Because of their excessive lust for consuming all of life and their shamelessness,
Eights can be blatant in their selfishness even to the extent of being hustlers, gamblers,
pinups, and con men. They hate to wait and always seem to be in a hurry. That is, a
five-minute wait takes forever and they want it in the express lane right now. The
Eight's greatest trial is to not aggressively control everything and to open up and be
vulnerable rather than demanding and domineering. For example, Eights often need to
listen and practice give and take. Eights typically are very proud and are a law unto
themselves, having no trouble with breaking the rules or even the law if it does not suit
them. They have a strong personal position on everything and hate to see weakness or
dependency. The superior Eight projects anger out into the world. They are blamers,
braggers, outlaws, and heroic warriors. They can be fearless and a formidable and
combative adversary. They like a good fight, conflict, and pushing and protecting
others. They confront aggression face-to-face and appear unconquerable in their
position of fighting for the truth. They use this tough exterior as a defense mechanism
against feeling hurt. More specifically, the Eight fixation with its anger appears to
mask the moving force of the universe via trying to capture it as personal power. The
pride of laying claim to the doership of the Life Force Itself inflates the prideful ego
until it pops. Their dominant position does not allow them to be innocent.
Possible Type Eight careers include seller, sales manager, champion, boss, heroic
warrior, team captain, consultant, business owner, and bold leader. The animal
depicting the Eight would be the lion. Examples of Type Eight fixations include Jack
Nicholson, George Patton, Lee Marvin, Josef Stalin, John Wayne, Ernest Hemingway,
Pablo Picasso, Saddam Hussein, Shannon Doherty, Roseanne, Leona Helmsley, Fidel
Castro, Lyndon Johnson, Bill and Hillary Clinton, Bella Abzug, Darth Vader, Charles
de Gaulle, Malcolm X, and Carla from Cheers. The summarizing statement would be
"What about me? Let's have some fun. I make and follow my own rules. I know the
truth and you don't. You are all ignorant. I am strong. I am powerful. I am
competent. Let me tell you what is wrong with you."
Managing the Type Eight Student Learner
Let the Eight student go to the top to get his answers.
As a superior and motivator, meet with the Eight as little as possible.
Allow this natural leader to self-appoint himself as the protector of "his" team,
empowering “his” members.
Do not let the prideful Eight student roll over or bully you.
Do not bother giving the Eight a prestigious plaque for learning
accomplishment. It will be seen as a waste of money.
Because the Eight can be selfish and dominating, support him in being
vulnerable and letting that soft underbelly be exposed.
Do not keep the Eight waiting.
Make sure that the Eight student remains lawful and ethical.
Support the Eight in listening and in being more able to give and take.
An Eight is good at power plays. He likes a good fight and is good with
9. Type Nine: Peacemaker, Peacekeeper, Mediator, Preservationist
(Jaxon-Bear, 2001a; Kale & Shrivastava, 2003; Morris & Cramer, 1996; Riso &
Hudson, 2003; Riso & Hudson, 2004; Maitri, 2000; Critchell, 2003; Clifford,
2033; White, 2001; Alonzo, 2001a; Jaxon-Bear, 1994; Alonzo, 2000; Condon,
1994; Banks, 2000; Schulze, 2000; Colina, 1998; Getting Results, 1997;
Holubitsky, 1996; Wright, 1996; Whalen, 1995; St. Petersburg Times, 1994;
Lattin, 1994; Fallows, 2000; Wall, 1996; Matise, 2007)
Nines are peacemakers and reliable partners in that they appear calm or laid-back,
unbothered, passive, and easy going. Yet, they are concerned about and receptive to
others, often seeking consensus. They are unlikely to seek out individual recognition.
It is typical that they want to include everyone. From this meshing they can see all
sides of an issue. However, they have difficulty forming their own personal position
and take on or enmesh themselves in the position or wishes of others at the expense of
their own needs and priorities. Nines avoid self-assertion and adopt many points of
view depending on who they are around, yet they avoid commitment to any one of
them. This can result in falling asleep or being lazy and confused to their own needs
and essential priorities. As a result, the self-concealed, fence-sitting Nine may be seen
as emotionally ambivalent, obsessively wishy-washy, or absent of something. While
they are disengaged and nothing bothers them, they are optimistic, compassionate,
submissive, and self-effacing. They may procrastinate putting things off easily, or be
slothful, immovable like molasses, and hard to motivate. But they are reluctant self-
starters who do things in their own independent way and at their own speed, often on
track like stately galleons to meet set deadlines. Once they stop hiding under the
covers and get moving, watch out. In stress, they can become workaholics and use
overwork as a strategy to gain safety. It is good to give Nines support and structure,
and to elicit clear agreements. Nines tend to avoid tension, conflict, confrontation, and
problem making. Also, they may delay or not take problems seriously. In this way,
they may be seen as obstinate or stubborn. Having difficulty in establishing priorities
and making decisions, Nines often settle for less rather than do the work required to
make choices. The complacent Nine usually works to preserve things as they are, not
upsetting or disturbing the status quo. Nines use available resources and work around
inconveniences. Under stress and overload, he can become emotionally unavailable.
In general, people like Nines because they are pleasant, patient, caring,
accommodating, noncompetitive, and energetic on behalf of others. They are very
good at hanging out with others and letting them have their say. As mediators, they
are very good at finding common ground. They can find the best compromise in a
situation. They are good at conflict resolution and dislike conflict with a passion.
Their peacemaking skills focus on bringing harmony into the environment at hand.
Nines love unconditionally and are the best supporters to have in your corner. They
preserve the peace with affability, honesty, common sense, and fairness. Nines often
have an overlay of sadness or fear over the real issue of the avoidance of anger. Their
self-abasement traps them in anger and they feel inadequate to get out of the trap.
This anger then comes out in indirect, passive-aggressive ways. Replacing important
tasks with mundane, obsessive-compulsive tasks and acting through habit may be
other ways that the Nine avoids dealing with anger. That is, they may get lost in
minute details and sleepwalking mechanical-ness. Their attention to detail helps them
be excellent organizers and planners. However, because they are intrigued by and
hide in detail, they may not be able to see the big picture. Cooperation is important to
the Nine as well as the representation of all points of view. They have excellent skills
of negotiation and building consensus among the members of a team. Nines have a
tendency to entertain and talk at length.
Possible Nine occupations include customer service, management, negotiator,
counselor, human resources, carpenter, electrician, scientist, plumber, piecemeal
worker, and president. The animal depicting the Nine would be the bear or gorilla.
Examples of Type Nine fixations include Gerald Ford, Carl Jung, Ringo Starr, John
Goodman, Buckminster Fuller, Dwight Eisenhower, Julia Child, Ronald Reagan,
Hugh Downs, USPO, Norm on Cheers, Joseph Campbell, Princess Grace, Gary
Cooper, Ron Howard, Kevin Costner, Carl Rogers, Whoopi Goldberg, Janet Jackson,
and Austria. Their summarizing statement would be "I want to be a loving person. I
want you to love me. I want to be lovable. I am content. I am comfortable. I am ok.
I don't want to – oh, ok. Let it slide. I need to take a nap."
Managing the Type Nine Student Learner
The Nine student is not motivated by personal recognition.
Allow the Nine to do things in his own independent way and at his own speed.
Support the Nine in establishing learning priorities and making decisions.
Help him focus on important tasks through clear agreements.
Make use of his skills in mediation and conflict resolution.
The Nine is an excellent organizer and planner.
Try to figure out how to motivate the Nine student, i.e., they value comfort and
cooperation. To motivate the Nine, give him what he wants, keeping in mind
that he often does not know what he wants.
Give him the information necessary to learn and to make good decisions.
Because he likes to talk, you may have to interrupt in a friendly way.
Colina (1998) offers three ways to know your fixation type. The first is to read a basic
Enneagram book such as Jaxon-Bear's The Enneagram of Liberation (2001a) or Riso
& Hudson's Discovering Your Personality Type (2003). The second is to take an
Enneagram Inventory such as the one in Riso & Hudson's book or on their website, or
the SEDIG, Stanford Enneagram Discovery Inventory Guide, devised by David
Daniels, M.D. and Virginia Price, Ph.D. The third way is to participate in a study
program or personality typing interview with a certified Enneagram teacher. But,
ultimately, you are the one who knows you the best and, hence, should be the
determiner of your own type. It is not unusual that a person new to the Enneagram
would misidentify his or her character fixation. Still, it is a valuable process to go
through and is immeasurable in terms of the benefit towards one's evolution. (Orso,
As with any learning tool, there are advantages and disadvantages to be aware of when
using the Enneagram. However, it does seem clear that using the Enneagram can be
very beneficial from an overall perspective.
Use of the Enneagram is advantageous in that it can help individuals and groups to:
Better understand themselves and each other's perspectives. In turn, seeing the
big picture may make them more compassionate and enable them to get along
and to work and learn together harmoniously. (Armstrong, 2001; Kotelnikov,
Be more inclined to become self-aware and make better choices. That is, it can
help individuals realize their potentials, fulfill their dreams, and get their "best
version." (Armstrong, 2001)
Predict and understand behavior and guide individual change, that is, it can
help us to understand why we do what we do. (Hsu, 2004; Armstrong, 2001)
Relax and slow down and move deeper into what is real as well as discover
latent talents and abilities that speak to one's purpose. (Armstrong, 2001;
Fiely, 2002; Pounds, 2002)
Deal with stress and conflict in the learning and work environments and inner
conflict, hence, stop or reduce workplace violence. (Armstrong, 2001;
Bradford, 2001)
Cope with issues and reduce suffering. (High, 2002)
Transform communication, eliminate turf battles, and build trust. (Austin,
Identify and internally observe unconscious patterns that trigger reactions and
drive one's life. Then, one would be more able to detach attention from and
heal the patterns. (High, 2002)
Clarify and improve unfamiliar behaviors in career, family, relationship,
education, and personal self-development. That is, it can guide and support
people in deciding what direction to take in all areas of their lives. (Morris &
Cramer, 1996; New Zealand Herald, 2004)
Tap into their strengths rather than their weaknesses. (Armstrong, 2001)
Have a workplace and educational environment more typified by positive, free,
and creative effort rather than negative and compulsive reactions. That is,
once we know how we are trapped, we can make choices to get off the hook.
(Armstrong, 2001)
Have reliable and consistent information about a worker, recruit, or learner.
(New Zealand Herald, 2004)
Build teams and match workers with tasks based on their natural talents and
learning styles. (Fiely, 2002)
Better understand team members' personalities and learning styles, and
motivate team members so that they are productive. Also, it can help a team
member who has trouble fitting in or adapting to change or the group.
(Bradford, 2001; Austin, 1995)
More effectively train mentors and other leaders.
Know how to better interact with each other as individuals. (Dudley, 2002)
Become happier, more effective individuals. (High, 2002)
Use of the Enneagram could be disadvantageous in the following ways:
It may purport to illuminate our true selves yet only create the illusion of
insight. That is, profile testing may be thought of as quasi-serious and as
seducing with promises of genuine insight. (New Zealand Herald, 2004;
Weatherbe, 2002)
Given that life is a moving picture, this snapshot approach may not be
appropriate. That is, it may over simplify complex reactions. (Hsu, 2004;
Morris & Cramer, 1996)
It could be controversial in high-stakes situations, e.g., job interviews, entrance
evaluations, parole hearings, and court cases. (Hsu, 2004)
An individual may be unfairly labeled. (Hsu, 2004)
There are no state or federal regulations guiding the use of these tests.
(Kotelnikov, 2004)
There may be legal issues with regard to the use of the Enneagram.
(Kotelnikov, 2004)
There is no definitive evidence that only nine types exist or that the correct
nine have been identified. (Dagan, 2004)
It should not be used to test overall competence, as it cannot be used to
determine a complete fit. It may promise a shortcut that may not be accurate
or fair. A neat, tidy label may misidentify or be used inappropriately to
manipulate or control. (Hsu, 2004; New Zealand Herald, 2004)
Self-knowledge may discourage the worker who performs monotonous tasks.
(Armstrong, 2001)
Scientific proof of its effectiveness is lacking. (Stoeltje, 2000a; Stoeltje,
2000b; Newgent, Parr, Newman, and Higgins, 2004)
It may tempt people to pigeonhole and profile people. If people are profiled,
they may be typed prematurely. (Austin, 1996; Dudley, 2002)
Use it to figure out how you work or learn, not to get into someone else's head.
(Austin, 1996)
This paper has introduced the Enneagram of character fixation and its history. Also, it
has delineated the relationship between Essence and character fixation. The majority
of this paper has focused on the Enneagram character fixations 1-9. In addition, the
educational implications for student learners of each of the character fixation types
have been explored. Thereafter, how to know your fixation type was discussed as well
as advantages and disadvantages of using the Enneagram. In terms of learning, if the
educator knows the character fixation type of a potential student, then he is better able
to teach and inspire that student. Also, the educator would be more able to motivate,
train, and empower his students.
The Enneagram "describes who you are not. It shows the veiling of true
consciousness by habits of egoic identification. When these habits of mind are
revealed, there is a clear choice to end the false identification and realize your true
nature." (Jaxon-Bear, 2001b, 1) "The beauty of the Enneagram, the exquisiteness of
the Enneagram, is that it gives us the structure of who you are not. The great tragedy
that I see in the use of the Enneagram is that people use it to go further to sleep to
say, "I'm a six and you're a four and that's why we are acting this way." Or, "Who are
you?...You're an eight, then you must be... ." This is going deeper to sleep, rather than
using the fixation to recognize that it is a trance induction. It is, in fact, not who you
are. When you recognize that it is not who you are, then there is a possibility to wake
up and discover who you really are." (Jaxon-Bear, 1994, 1)
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Kaylene C. Williams
Kaylene is a professor of Marketing at California State University, Stanislaus. She has a Doctorate in
Business Administration from the University of Tennessee, Knoxville. Dr. Williams' research interests
include the customer-salesperson interaction, CRM, e-commerce, and marketing communications.
Alfred R. Petrosky
Al is a Professor of Marketing at California State University, Stanislaus. He has a Ph.D. in Marketing
from the University of Arizona. His research interests include technology marketing and the role of
aesthetics in the diffusion of innovative product.
Edward H. Hernandez
Ed is a professor of Human Resource Management at California State University, Stanislaus. He has a
Ph.D. in Management from the University of California, Irvine. He is the faculty advisor for the
National Champions in the Society for Human Resource Management student competition. He
specializes in employee commitment, HRM law, and strategic HRM.
... Nines are cautious in taking risks (Palmer, 1995), slow decisionmakers, and average time managers (David, 2001). They have talent in conflict resolution; Nines can be good negotiators and good human resource managers (Williams et al., 2008). ...
... On the other hand, it is indicated that the lowest scores for communication management belong to the Enneagram type Four, which makes them the most inappropriate type for this area. The reason for this score is their low self-confidence, which makes Fours fully embarrassed and depressed persons (Williams et al., 2008;Palmer, 1995). ...
... By giving the highest scores to risk management, type Six and Eight respondents showed that they found it more appropriate to their personality characteristics than other types. Sixs are security-oriented (Riso & Hudson, 2000) and have worried and anxious personality (Williams et al., 2008), which forces them to anticipate everything before happening. On the other hand type Four respondents gave the lowest scores to this area. ...
Conference Paper
Full-text available
One of the significant ways of improving productivity in construction projects is creating appropriate project teams by considering personality characteristics as a way of predicting job performance. As such, this paper aims to recognize the appropriate personality types in creating a project management team for sustainable construction projects. For this reason, defined knowledge areas and skills which are necessary for dealing with the challenges of sustainable construction projects are used in this research. To achieve this, a questionnaire survey was conducted. The Enneagram Personality Model was employed to indicate the different personality types of respondents. The selected Enneagram test for use in this study is Riso-Hudson Enneagram Type Indicator (RHETI). This model specifies the respondents’ personality types by allocating them in one of the nine personality types. In addition, respondents were asked to give scores to knowledge areas and skills according to their character. The respondents of this survey were undergraduate students of architecture and civil engineering. The results of this study demonstrate that respondents with each Enneagram personality type have tendencies to specific knowledge areas and skills. Also, provides reasonable results to help architects, civil engineers, and human resource managers in creating teams for sustainable construction projects.
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