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

It 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 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.

How to learn the Enneagram

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.

Stages of Learning

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.

Level 1: 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.

Level 1A (75-minute Follow-class)

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 we address 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?”

Level 2: Moving into The Enneagram (4 three-hour weekly classes)

If you are still curious about the Enneagram, this is the best way to learn more. Using my Field Guide to Humans, you will learn how each personality type is constructed inside: the beliefs, assumptions, desires, motivations and behaviors that shape each of the nine personalities. You will also learn about the many variations within each type that will explain why people of the same type can look so different from one another. We also look at how everyone’s behavior follows predictable patterns when they feel comfortable and when they feel threatened.

You will be learning about your own personality type at the same time.

Level 3 Study Group: Interacting with people in your life using the Enneagram

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. In Level 3, we spend time in role-plays and discovery processes. You will learn about:

  • dynamics between the various types
  • how we miscommunicate or are misperceived
  • why some people rub us the wrong way
  • how to develop the skills to get along with any type.Learning how to figure out the personality type of others comes gradually as you become more curious about the people in your study groups. As you get to know the other types close up, we use an interview process so you can learn more. Often I have heard people ask, “I think my husband is the same type as you. Can you explain . . .?”