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The Training Model
The nine point personality system used as a basis for all training is called the Enneagram (pronounced 'any-a-gram'). This human development model describes nine distinct personality profiles, each of which has a distinctive pattern of thought, feeling and action. It is a cutting edge tool that goes to the heart of all interactive issues in work situations.
The nine personality profiles are arranged on an Enneagram as illustrated on the left. This unusual nine-pointed star-like diagram has been known for hundreds of years since the time of Pythagoras, the Greek philosopher c.500 BC. The diagram shows key relationships between the profiles.
Each of the profiles has a specific viewpoint or belief structure that largely determines what is important to you in communicating and interacting with others. The Enneagram also points out three equally important centres of intelligence: the mind, heart and body each of which has a role to play when making decisions or communicating with others.
Discovering your profile is the starting point for all the trainings. This will allow you to discover the unconscious motivations that determine much of your behaviour. Understanding your Enneagram personality type can literally change your life - not only in your work environment but in the way you cope with your relationships and life circumstances.
The Enneagram is being used in many different fields including business, politics, education, law, health etc. and has multiple applications including teambuilding, communications, managing conflict, leadership development, decision making and spiritual development.
Because the Enneagram is grounded in human experience it can be self-verified thus offering immediate benefits in the areas of human relationships and organisational and community life.
Where does it originate?
While its origins are unknown it can be traced back to the ancient world. It is only in recent times that it has been written down. The Greek philosopher Pythagoras who lived around 500 BC placed great importance on paying attention to the inner workings of the psyche. He used geometric figures to explain his teachings orally and he developed symbols of the first ten numbers. One of his seals is on the left and is now used to illustrate the structure of the system. The desert fathers c. 400 AD, Sufism, Dante and Chaucer also showed knowledge of the system.
It was known in the Russian court where the philosopher and one of the leading exponents of the material, George Ivanovitch Gurdjieff (1877 ? 1949), transmitted it. Oscar Ichazo ( 1931 - ), a Bolivian, taught it at the Arica Institute in Chile and in 1970 he brought together a group of 50 people from around the world and taught them the material. One of those present was Chilean-born psychiatrist Claudio Naranjo, M.D., an honorary faculty member at Harvard and Berkeley, who further developed the system and began teaching it in Northern California. From these sources others have made major contributions to our understanding of the Enneagram system, among them, Helen Palmer and David Daniels, Tom Condon, Don Richard Riso and Russ Hudson, and Jerry Wagner.
"The Enneagram in Love and Work" by Helen Palmer. HarperSanFrancisco, San Francisco, 1995. An easy read, this book contains descriptions of the types as they show up in love and work. A valuable relationship book which contains an extensive directory of most reported interactions between the types in intimacy and business settings. Each type juxtaposes to the others
"Bringing Out the Best in Yourself at Work" by Ginger Lapid-Bogda McGraw Hill 2004. An excellent book that will guide you though the nine personality types as they interact in the business world, how to communicate effectively with other profiles and how to deal with conflict are some of the topics covered.
"The Essential Enneagram: The Definitive Personality Test and Self-Discovery Guide" by David Daniels & Virginia Price, HarperSanFrancisco, San Francisco, 2000 (originally published as The Stanford Enneagram Discover Inventory and Guide
"Know Your Parenting Personality" by Janet Levine
John Wiley & Sons Inc. How to use the enneagram to become the best parent you can be.
"An Insiders Guide to the Nine Personality Types - the Enneagram for success at work" by Michael Goldberg, HarperCollins 1997
"The Enneagram Made Easy" by Renee Baron & Elizabeth Wagele HarperSanFrancisco An easy and humorous guide with cartoons, descriptions and exercises.