Since ancient times people have been asking themselves what ‘personality’ really means. Yet until now science has still not been able to come up with a common definition for this word.
Basically, personality is a construct, which comprises of the sum of our perceptions, thoughts, emotions and actions.
We assume that our personality is based on relatively stable characteristics, which in concrete situations often let us react in the same manner. In order to gain a better overview of the diversity of human characteristics we use typologies. These are models used for putting characteristics into groups according to how similar they are. One of these models, which is meanwhile used worldwide, is the Enneagram.
The Enneagram symbol is a geometric figure, in which nine personality types are symbolically represented. The term refers to the nine points seen on the circle, each of which is assigned to a specific personality type. Originally designed as a guide for self-observation and self- development the Enneagram system offers profound insights into the different ways in which people think, feel and behave. It describes their motives, their focus of attention and their specific way of behaviour towards others. It indicates type -specific entrapments and entanglements and ways to circumnavigate them.
What makes the Enneagram so unique in comparison to other typologies, is the dynamic on which this model is based. The connecting arrows within the circle indicate directions of high impact development paths for each individual type. On the circular line each Enneagram point has a left and right neighbour, the wings. These influence the individual personality type, depending on which wing is more pronounced. The connecting arrows as well as the wings, give us the direction for development, which will help our personality to mature.
The patterns which form our personality type have become so much part of each of us that we act and react automatically and are therefore only partially or completely unaware of them. The Enneagram helps us to recognise and see through these patterns of our personality. It not only makes us aware of our strengths and potential but also confronts us with the “blind spots”. Our personality type therefore becomes a mirror, but one which also reflects our unconscious patterns and mechanisms.