Buy Now

An Introduction to the Enneagram

The Enneagram temperament model defines 9 different personality types and explains that one of these 9 personality types is more dominant in each person. Each of these personality types has its own strengths and weaknesses.

An Introduction to the Enneagram

Enneagram, which is one of the world's most well-known temperament model in the process of self-knowledge and self-observation, is a model that meets a unique and comprehensive. It aims to reveal the personality types, energy, and motivations of people, which are organized as a result of their experiences (Batı, 2016).

The Enneagram is a personality model that reveals reactions and attitudes, aspects of people that require development, and attitudes in situations of stress (Leary, 2020).

The temperament model, which is formed by the combination of the words “enne” which means nine in Greek and “agram” which is the equivalent of the word personality, is used as the meaning of the word “nine personality types” (Reynolds S. , Waters, Phifer-ritchie, & Ronna, 2007).

The Enneagram came up in eastern culture in the 14th and 15th centuries, and George Gurdjieff introduced the model to the west. This model has come until today with the studies of Psychologist Oscar Ichazo since the 1950s (Grahart, 2018).

Nowadays, enneagram, which is based on thousands of years of wisdom and providing a powerful framework for personality analysis, is used as a personal development program at Loyola University; is used in field of Communication Skills, Leadership, and Medicine at UCLA; is used in field of personality, self-awareness, and leadership skills at Stanford University; and is used in practical court defenses at Harvard Law School (Batı, 2016). In addition to these, Enneagram courses are given in psychology, medicine, art, business, and education departments, mainly in universities in the USA. Many global companies use the Enneagram temperament model and specifically recruit Enneagram consultants. This temperament model provide to managers insights about work styles of their employees, give salespeople a better understanding of their customers’ values, and allow venture capitalists to get a better sense of the people they’re thinking of investing in. Using this model is beneficial in the workplace because knowledge of the Enneagram’s personality types improves communication skills of employees and it introduces the idea that there are at least nine points of view can be useful in a work setting. Therefore, this model is used in the business functions, human resources management, recruitment processes, sales and marketing activities, and leadership management of the companies (Reynolds S. , Waters, Phifer-ritchie, & Ronna, 2007).

In the Enneagram model, the first determined personality types were revealed. Then, a customized, detailed, and holistic personality definition was created for each personality type separately. In the Enneagram, personality type, dominant personality traits, nondominant, and recessive personality traits, feelings, desires, and passions of the person are explained. According to the Enneagram, each person belongs to one of the nine personality types. These nine personality types express not only the explanation of personality structure, also state nine different perspectives and nine different value systems. These personality types of the Enneagram reveal the dominant characteristics in the personalities of the people, their basic feelings, the sources of motivation in their lives, and their attitudes (Batı, 2016). Although people are born with one of these nine types, they do not belong to this type in every sense. The Enneagram temperament model also states that these types can be affected by the personality type before and after them. These affected types are called “wings”. The wings help to personalize the nine-person type, that is, the wings are a complement to the personality. Each wing is a subtype of the general type (Riso & Hudson, 1999).

There are three potentials in the structure of personality. In the Enneagram, these three potentials are described by the three centers that are body centered, heart centered, and head centered. The enneagram's nine personality types are expressed in numbers. These numbers determine which center the personality type belongs to. Types 8, 9, and 1 are body centered; Types 2, 3, and 4 are heart centered and Types 5, 6, and 7 are head centered (Batı, 2016).

Every person has dominant, nondominant, and assistant potentials at the same time. However, the main determinant of people's attitudes and behaviors is their dominant potential. Since each personality type is affected by their own wing types, the position of the centers, the personality types they contain and their motivations are explained as follows:

Heart Centered Profiles

Helper (Type 2): These are profiles that are interested, compassionate, emotional, good listener, empathetic, friendly, possessive, and directive.

Achiever (Type 3): These are profiles that are goal-oriented, productive, are results-oriented, highly motivated, ambitious, workaholic, image and reputation oriented.

Individualist (Type 4): These are profiles that are original, creative, intuitive, artistic, extraordinary, pessimistic, and melancholic.

Head Centered Profiles

Investigator (Type 5): These are profiles that are intellectual, objective, expert, researcher, observer, analytical, uncompanionable, and pedantic profiles.

Loyalist (Type 6): These are profiles that are responsible, systematic, group-oriented, loyal, mysterious, defensive, and anxious.

Enthusiast (Type 7): These are profiles that are innovative, adventurous, cheerful, optimistic, experiential, stimulating, and grasping profiles.

Body Centered Profiles

Challenger (Type 8): These are profiles that are powerful, energetic, fair, assertive, protective, diplomatic, outspoken, interventionalist, and oppressive.

Peacemaker (Type 9): These are profiles that are well adjusted, stable, natural, patient, agreeable, tolerant, and indecisive profiles.

Reformer (Type 1): These are profiles that are tidy, perfectionist, detail-oriented, normative, principled, critical, inflexible, and tense profiles (Riso & Hudson, 2000).


Batı, U. (2016). Enneagram ile Kişilik Analizi. Istanbul: Alfa.

Grahart, O. (2018). Enneagram: The Secret Way to Find Your Personality Type and Strengthen Relationships to Achieve Spiritual Growth and Self-Discovery (Bonus: A Test on How to Find Your Personality Type).

Leary, R. (2020). Enneagram: The Scientific Guide to Self-Discovery and Personality Types, The Road to Increase Spirituality and Empathy. Build Healthy Relationships and Stop Overthinking. Go back to Being Yourself.

Reynolds, S., Waters, J. K., & Phifer-ritchie, R. (2007). The Everything Enneagram Book: Identify Your Type, Gain Insight into Your Personality and Find Success in Life, Love, and Business.

Reynolds, S., Waters, J. K., Phifer-ritchie, & Ronna. (2007). The Everything Enneagram Book: Identify Your Type, Gain Insight Into Your Personality and Find Success in Life, Love, and Business. Simon and Schuster.

Riso, D. R., & Hudson, R. (1999). The Wisdom of the Enneagram: The Complete Guide to Psychological and Spiritual Growth for the Nine Personality Types.

Riso, D. R., & Hudson, R. (2000). Understanding the enneagram: The practical guide to personality types. Houghton Mifflin Harcourt.


Trusted By
Experience Talentate
Get A Personalized Product Demo That Meets Your Needs!
Buy Now
en de