The Enneagram

11 March 2024

Enneagram Coaches in South Africa

The Enneagram is an archetypal framework consisting of nine Types that offer in-depth insight to individuals, groups, and collectives. Consisting of 3 Centers of Intelligence, 9 Enneagram Types, Wings, 27 Subtypes, and more, this model offers a rich map to personal development. It does not box people in but rather opens a pathway to self-discovery and greater personal awareness.

As a framework, it speaks to the journey of integration in a profound way. It is able to uncover the uniqueness of each individual and his or her journey. It does not only reveal what holds an individual back, you can also gain valuable insights into your journey towards strength and liberation, connecting us to our strengths and higher selves.

Working with the Enneagram unlocks and supports your journey of self-discovery and uncovers the patterns of behaviour that subconsciously drive and motivate you to behave in certain ways. When we make these motivations conscious, we are able to transcend them and develop richer, more supportive ways of being. Working with this model empowers individuals to take the first step of responsibility for their own behaviours and growth, through a greater understanding of why they act and react the way they do.

The personality types of the Enneagram are characterized by a unique combination of strengths, weaknesses, unconscious motivations, fears, and triggers that shape their thoughts, feelings, and actions. The Enneagram is not only a tool for understanding ourselves and others, but is also a powerful tool for growth, self-awareness, self-discovery, and spiritual growth. It can help individuals understand their own motivations and behaviours, as well as the motivations and behaviours of others, which can lead to more harmonious relationships, better communication, and more effective problem-solving.

What are the Nine Enneagram Types?

The Strict Perfectionist

Ones are about improvement and ‘right action’, ensuring things are done correctly. They are principled, with a clear sense of right and wrong and may seem idealistic, self-righteous or judgemental. They organise their world and value facts, precision and clarity, working hard to avoid mistakes. Their gift is in discernment, evaluation and knowing what is right.

The Considerate Helper

Twos want to meet others’ needs in a helpful, supportive way. Warm, giving and people-oriented, they seek affirmation from their relationships and may be sensitive and angry if they feel unappreciated. They may over involve themselves in others’ lives and risk being manipulative. Their integration challenge is to give unconditionally and to nurture themselves as well as others.

The Competitive Achiever

Threes are ‘doers’ and tend to be practical, success-oriented and task-driven, and project a polished persona or image. They are competitive and will make sacrifices to achieve their goals and appear successful. They risk becoming overstretched or workaholic and may resort to deception or expediency to win. At higher integration, they work towards self-acceptance and authentic influence, connecting heart and hands.

The Intense Creative

Fours search for meaning, depth and authenticity. They are emotionally sensitive and attuned to their environment; creative and expressive as individuals. They may seem emotionally moody, dramatic and focused on their own needs or what is lacking in their lives. As they integrate, Fours get in touch with their inner creative voice and are able to separate their identity and their emotions.

The Quiet Specialists

Fives are private individuals with an active mental life, observing and exploring how the world works. They struggle to share thoughts and feelings and may seem socially awkward or disinterested. At lower integration, Fives may be withdrawn, antagonistic and aggressively defend their isolation. At higher integration, they are intellectual pioneers, offering their perceptive wisdom unselfconsciously.

The Loyal Sceptic

Sixes easily tune into potential danger and risks, act on a sense of anxiety and think in sceptical ways. They value trust, responsibility and loyalty and need to feel they are safe and belong. At lower integration they may be paranoid, reactive and insecure as loyalty turns into dependency and oversensitivity. At higher integration, self-reliant, committed and grounded Sixes give confidence to those around them, resiliently coping with risk.

The Enthusiastic Visionary

Sevens seek variety, stimulation, and are a fun-loving Type, tackling challenges with optimism and engaging with life in a future-oriented way. In groups, they bring creativity, energy and optimism, and easily make friends. They may seem distracted, hedonistic, insensitive or irresponsible to others. Sevens are often unhappy but deny this, escaping into hyperactivity and impulsive pleasure-seeking. At higher integration they are present, finding joy within.

The Active Controller

Eights are forces of nature, with a strong presence and personality that values being in control. They are guarded but caring and protective of those around them. As they mask any vulnerability with a tough, no-nonsense exterior, they may seem intimidating and confrontational. At higher integration, they combine their directness with compassion, collaborating with others while serving the greater good.

The Adaptive Peacemaker

Nines are diplomatic and attuned to the ideas of others, often as facilitators or mediators in groups. They form the glue between people with their friendly, grounding and stable demeanour. They struggle to connect to their own point of view, say no, and often avoid conflict. At high integration, they are independent and self-respecting, acting with self-awareness and autonomy.


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