The Enneagram is a key that unlocks new ways of seeing yourself and others.

With this key, you can learn to be a little kinder to yourself and to the people in your life.

The Enneagram enhances self-understanding and increases your interpersonal proficiency.

Some of the benefits of studying the Enneagram are:

  • understanding how we each perceive the world differently
  • having insight into why you are misperceived in certain situations
  • being more skillful with the people you live with, work with or manage
  • understanding your strengths and weaknesses as a partner, parent or spouse
  • seeing why certain relationships challenge you more than others
  • increasing your ability to be empathic towards others
  • building more intimacy and deeper connection with people that matter to you

Why study the Enneagram?

A friend once told me, “I don’t need therapy. I just need people to act the way I want them to!” If everyone conformed to our way of seeing things, all would be well. It is not that simple. Dealing with people is like playing music. It’s an art. Even if we are naturally gifted in music, it is still helpful to understand some of the theory behind music: how harmony, rhythm, melody and dynamics interact. We interact with people all the time, but not all of us study psychology or the theories that explain the structure of people’s minds, the ebb and flow of their emotions, the patterns we call character and the inconsistencies of behavior.

The Enneagram is, by far, one of the best theories for understanding people AND one of the most useful systems for improving your self-awareness and your interpersonal proficiency. It is immediately practical as well as being elegantly theoretical. You will be playing better music with people after just one class.

The Enneagram is able to distill the diverse human spectrum into nine universal patterns that filter how we see the world. Thus the name Ennea=nine and gram=drawing.  [See the symbol above.] While we share some knowledge of and use characteristics of all nine patterns, we are predisposed to favor one or a few of these to the exclusion of the others. It is like playing music having only one or two notes to use. You can do it. It doesn’t necessarily make great music. The Enneagram opens new harmonic possibilities.

“The introduction to the Enneagram opened a door in my mind to a new way of relating, both to my own world and to the lives of others. I have learned much about what makes people tick, about my own reactions and responses, and about how one might deal more elegantly in relating altogether. Our Enneagram group meets regularly now, laughing and crying together as we explore hidden depths of our tender selves. It’s fun, it’s illuminating and it is now an essential part of my psychological and spiritual tool kit.” GB

How to learn the Enneagram

The Enneagram is something that is absorbed over time. In teaching it through the years, I have found that this information becomes more vivid as your self-awareness increases. By taking the information and then asking, “How is this true for me? How is this true for the people in my life? What can I learn from this?” makes the Enneagram very practical.

Like most things, learning through personal experience is usually best. There are now hundreds of books on the Enneagram as well as websites, blogs, DVD’s, on-line tests, etc. These can be very useful. However, the best way to implement the Enneagram and make it come alive is still through classroom learning. You need to be around people to understand people. The classes I provide are highly experiential. You will not be hearing me talk about or lecture on the Enneagram. You will be experiencing it firsthand through people’s stories. You will be living IN the Enneagram laboratory rather than studying it.  After one class, you will be seeing yourself and others differently.

Classes and Workshops

Perception is Everything: An Introduction to the Enneagram (1-day class)

Level 1 begins with a brief nine-question test taken before the all-day introductory class. This way you come in with an initial exposure to the material and with a curiosity about your own type.

The introductory class provides an overview of the system as a whole followed by an exploration of each of the nine types through multi-modal means (descriptions, videos of famous people representing the types, music, guided meditations, type vignettes, cartoons, etc.) and mostly through personal sharing about each of these nine perspectives. I highly value hearing information “from the horse’s mouth.” The class relies on listening to people’s stories as they begin to identify their own type.

Follow-up Workshops and Study Groups

While many students come away from the introductory class with some clarity about their type, it usually takes a further discovery process to be sure. The type of questions people ask are:

  • “I am still not sure what type I am. I could be several. How can I find out for sure?”
  • “I know my type. How do I figure out what type everyone else is?“
  • “I feel like I’ve just begun. How do I learn more?”

Each year I offer various classes, workshops or study groups to deepen. your understanding of the Enneagram. The topics include:

  • The Wings of each type – the influence of your neighboring types
  • The Subtypes – instinctual variations of each type; why people of the same type can seem so different
  • The Path of Growth – how the connecting lines provide you with ways to develop
  • The Challenges and Gifts of each type – your blinds spots and your innate talents
  • Relationships – getting along with any type
  • Triggers – learning about the places you get emotionally “hooked” and how to get out of them
  • Spiritual Dimensions – discovering how our personality is not all of who we are

One of the greatest values of the Enneagram is learning to get along with other people better, how to see the world through their eyes and how to bring out their best.