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Enneagram's Role in Strengthening Relationships
July 25, 2019
If today will not, tomorrow may.
-Confucian proverb

A tool called the Enneagram is being used in business and in early childhood education to help people resolve conflicts among co-workers. Karen Talley, in an article from the Exchange Essentials article collection, "Dealing with Difficult People" writes: “At the Happy Flower Nursery School, Rose complains that her co-teacher Lilly never puts anything away in the storage cabinets or folds the blankets neatly after nap. Lilly's gripe is that Rose is so preoccupied with things being done a certain way that she can't be spontaneous by changing plans and following the interests of the children. In another classroom, lead teacher Daisy feels that the children should be doing more creative and unusual art projects like "toilet plunger painting" which fuels co-teacher Violet's concern that such projects might be tacit permission to play with unsanitary plungers at home.

Working closely with others often gives rise to these and other types of conflicts as each of us is driven by different and usually conflicting preoccupations and concerns. Often directors are caught in the middle of such disagreements, which, if not nipped in the bud, can escalate into all out blight!

What's a director to do? One option is to explore the tenets of a 3,000 year old 9-sided star-shaped paradigm known as the Enneagram. This personality inventory purports that early in life all children need to feel safe and to cope with family situations. As a consequence, they develop [coping mechanisms that shape their personalities].”

Business blogger Roland Legge writes this about the Enneagram’s value in helping people learn to understand themselves and others better in order to resolve personality conflicts:

“There are nine different personality types.  At an early age, you [develop] a personality to survive in the world. You could not survive without an ego. The trouble begins when you become an adult and remain unconscious of your automatic patterns. The Enneagram can help you to discover your personality type, giving the tools you need to move beyond the limitations of your personality. The Enneagram points to where you get stuck. It is not an excuse to behave a particular way. The good news is that it shows you a way to freedom, helping you to get stronger in all nine personality types”.

Source: “Eight Ideas for How to Use the Enneagram for Business Success,” by Roland Legge, December 20, 2017, relconsultants.com

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