People with all sorts of personalities can be successful at work. There are successful introverts and successful extroverts, successful optimists and successful pessimists. Our personality style doesn’t determine our success, and while it is often the source of many of our strengths, it can create blind spots and obstacles that can hold us back.
The value of personality models is that they give a framework for leveraging strengths and more-quickly recognizing blind spots and obstacles. A good model can also pro- vide us with roadmaps for overcoming them.
No model of personality styles does those things better than the Enneagram.
“Enneagram” literally refers to a diagram with nine intersecting lines creating nine points enclosed in a circle (“ennea” is Greek for nine, “gram” for drawing). This diagram is used to represent nine personality styles and the interrelationships among those styles.
There are two dimensions of personality de- scribed by the Enneagram—our inherent system of instinctual values and the nine strategies we use to satisfy those values. In other words, the Enneagram helps us understand what is important to people and how they go about getting those things that are important to them.
Most approaches to the Enneagram focus more on the nine strategies—thus the “ennea”—and view the instinctual values as a secondary matter. At Awareness to Action International we understand that both dimensions—the strategies and the instinctual biases—are important and focus equally on both of them.
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