The three potentials of personality, which are instinctive, feeling, thinking, are explained in the Enneagram as three centers. The center of the person's type is the center s/he uses most, and this center creates her/his dominant (decision-making) potential.
Three Centers of Personality
There are three potentials in the personality of people. These three potentials are managed by the three centers described in the Enneagram. The heart center directs the emotional potential, the head center directs the cognitive potential, and the body center directs the actional potential (Leary, 2020).
The dominant potential is the most used of these three potentials in decision making processes. While nondominant potential is generally used in case of indecision; the assistant potential is the party that complies with the decision. The level of people using these potentials in their private and professional lives may differ (Riso & Hudson, 2000).
Emotions and feelings come before for heart centered profiles. These profiles with relatively higher emotional intelligence seek approval, power, and inspiration. They always care about how they look from the outside. The intuitions of these profiles, whose information processing mechanisms are intuitive, are more important than their mind and logic. Establishing relations, harmony, empathy, open and transparent communication are very important for them (Batı, 2016). Heart centered profiles, that focus on the past, concentrate on human relationships and the image in people's eyes (Riso & Hudson, The Wisdom of the Enneagram: The Complete Guide to Psychological and Spiritual Growth for the Nine Personality Types, 1999).
Head centered profiles usually tend to conceptualize. They have logical and objective information processing levels. These profiles, who have examining and synthesis abilities, are successful in modeling, abstract thinking, structural design and focusing. They are known for their objective, consistent, and clear personalities (Batı, 2016). Head centered profiles, that focus on the future, concentrate on strategies and resources that will secure the future (Riso & Hudson, The Wisdom of the Enneagram: The Complete Guide to Psychological and Spiritual Growth for the Nine Personality Types, 1999).
The implementation and action phase is important for body centered profiles. Therefore, they make quick decisions and adapt easily. Before taking an action, they try to concretize everything in the dimension of thought and feeling. For these profiles, where action is more important than words, practicality rather than mind becomes prominent. Although they are not good at developing projects with mental activities, they are very good at implementation (Batı, 2016). Body centered profiles, that focus on the present, concentrate on control and systematic action (Riso & Hudson, The Wisdom of the Enneagram: The Complete Guide to Psychological and Spiritual Growth for the Nine Personality Types, 1999).
Batı, U. (2016). Enneagram ile Kişilik Analizi. İstanbul: Alfa Basım Yayım.
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.
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.