What is the enneagram?

The Enneagram is an archetypal framework that offers a powerful roadmap to personal awareness. The 9 styles represent the different lenses through which we tend to view the world, and that guide how we think, feel and act. 

These lenses are like filters… they’re our default way of viewing the world and the habitual foundations from which we respond.

Knowing yourself through the lens of the Enneagram enables you to understand your motivations, your behaviours and your triggers. It helps you to recognise, often for the first time, the repetitive patterns that have been showing up for you over the years, and how you might have been holding yourself back because of this.

And with this undertanding, you are given the opportunity to make a different choice. 


type 1:the strict perfectionist

High standards, idealistic, strong ethics

Ability to discern right from wrong, what can be improved

When balanced: ordered, conscientious, principled

When imbalanced: inflexible, judgmental, critical, self-righteous

Seek: Perfection

Avoid: Mistakes

Fear: Being criticised


type 2: the considerate helper

Helpful, warm, cheerful, people-centered, praising

Focus attention on the needs of others

When balanced: generous, supportive, considerate, caring

When imbalanced: over-involved, needy of affirmation/acknowledgment, manipulative

Seek: To be needed/help

Avoid: Needing others

Fear: Being unloved


type 3: the competitive achiever

Productive, task-oriented, competitive, results-driven

Think on their feet, overcome obstacles to achieve the goal

When balanced: practical, focused, flexible, driven, ambitious

When imbalanced:overly assertive and aggressive, dismissive , lose sight of selves in their focus on the goal

Seek: Success/productivity

Avoid: Failure

Fear: Being useless


type 4: the intense creative

Sensitive, expressive, authentic, 

Introspective, deep feeling, seek meaning

When balanced: intuitive, sensitive, insightful, creative, inspired

When imbalanced: self aborbed, moody, dramatic, negative

Seek: Authenticity/depth & to be understood

Avoid: Superficial/the ordinary

Fear: Being without identity/not unique


type 5: the quiet specialist

Analytical, rational thinkers, observers, experts

Boundaried, private, self sufficent, unsentimental

When balanced: curious, hungry for knowledge, perceptive, inventive

When imbalanced:detached, withdrawn, indifferent, hold on to resources

Seek: Wisdom/knowledge

Avoid: Emptiness/being foolish

Fear: Dependence/depletion


type 6: the loyal sceptic

Aware, tuned-in, prepared, responsible, grounded, self-reliant

Strong sense of inner knowing

When balanced: courageous, resilient, intuitive, loyal, trusting

When imbalanced:fearful, guarded, doubting, 

Seek: Safety/responsibility

Avoid: Rebellion, entrapment

Fear: Being unprepared


type 7: the enthusiastic visionery

Positive and energetic pleasure-seekers

Quick thinkers, reframers, future-oriented conceptulisers

When balanced:optimistic, adventurous, enthusiastic, flexible

When imbalanced: impatient, selfish, restless, impulsive, irresponsible

Seek: Joy/freedom

Avoid: Pain/boredom

Fear: Limitation


type 8 - the active controller

Strong, assertive, natural leaders & protectors

Instinctive, quick thinkers, get things done

When balanced: certain, decisive, independent, take charge, loyal

When imbalanced: unemotional, intimidating, confrontational, disempowering

Seek: Strength/control

Avoid: Being controlled

Fear: Vulnerability/weakness


type 9 - the adaptive peacemaker

Easy-going, approachable, accommodating

Agreeable, patient, supportive 

When balanced: fair, attuned to others, diplomatic, balanced, understanding

When imbalanced: numbed out, not present, stubborn, passive-aggressive

Seek: Peace

Avoid: Disharmony

Fear: Conflict/turmoil

The Enneagram is not simply a personal-profiling tool. It’s a “map of consciousness” for exploring, understanding and guiding us on our journey to living an integrated, whole and joyful life.

This is the a very quick look at the first layer in understanding. Ofcourse there are many more, and working with an Accredited Practitioner will help you to uncover how all of these fit together.

With this comes insight into how you might take off this habitual lens and start showing up in your life, your work and your relationships in a new way.

Any questions about how we might work together for personal or team development, please get in touch.