Are you curious about the hues and shades of your personality?

Do you have an interest to learn and recognize your habitual behaviors?

Curious about how the 9 types show its own strategy for going asleep?

Would you like to learn how to be less likely to repeat those outmoded behaviors that keep you in suffering called ego fixations, and learn how you are more than that)?

This program is taught publicly once a year through or offered privately in organizations.

A Model for 9 Ways of Living and Working

 All persons are puzzles until at last we find in some word or act the key to the man, to the woman; straightway all their past words and actions lie in light before us.

–Ralph Waldo Emerson

The Enneagram is a system of understanding nine different personality types within three general categories. The dynamic personality system describes different patterns of thinking, feeling and acting. Each one of us developed one of the nine patterns to protect a specific aspect of our self that felt threatened as our personality was developing.

While somewhat new as a business model, the Enneagram is a powerful tool to help people face and work through their limitations in order to achieve their full potential. The Enneagram is a system based on Virtues. Each “Enneastyle” holds a particular Virtue at its center. While the Virtue is innate, (your natural power drives your style) it becomes distorted from habitual defenses. Learning your Enneagram style can be a powerful catalyst for positive personal change that will also enhance your effectiveness as a leader.

Change is made up of three basic elements:

1. Awareness of present patterns. The Enneagram is a great tool for self-awareness to identify what is and the direction of how you would like to be. The Enneagram is a motivational model, not a behavioral model; therefore, it is best to determine your character type through a process of discovery, focusing on the compulsion or “driving force” of each style versus relying on questionnaires.

2. Disrupting or eliminating patterns, fears, limitations, beliefs, etc. that doesn’t work or are blocks or barriers to what you want. Stuck in repetitive loops, the story of who you are and who you aren’t can be emancipated when you stop the old behavior sets or the “ego fixation” that arises from your driving force. Fears and fixations are related to a blocking of our energy system.

3. Choosing new patterns, attitudes, and responses, which move us toward and into how we want to be. The Enneagram is not only comprehensive, illustrating a full range of human potential, it is also dynamic, revealing ways in which each person can grow and maximize his or her potential.

In The 9 Ways of Working: How to Use the Enneagram to Discover Your Natural Strengths and Work More Effectively, Michael J. Goldberg suggests that the nine styles might as well come from different planets: each views the world differently and wants something different from life. At work, each has a characteristic agenda and operates within a particular decision-making frame. However, all nine types are capable of great contributions and gifts to the organization and to the people they manage.


1. What does Enneagram mean?

The Enneagram (pronounced “ANY-a-gram”) comes from the Greek for “nine” (ennea) and “figure” (grammos); thus, it is a nine-pointed geometric figure that maps out a system of nine personality types and their complex interrelationships. The Enneagram symbol is ancient, dating back some 2500 years, but the exact origins have been lost to history. The Enneagram has been defined by contemporary expert Don Riso as “a geometric figure that delineates nine fundamental personality types and their complex interrelationships.”

2. Where did the term come from?

There is no question that the person responsible for bringing the Enneagram symbol to the modern world was a Greek-Armenian born around 1875, George Ivanovich Gurdjieff. He taught the Enneagram through scared dances as a living symbol that was moving and dynamic.

3. How did it reach Westerners?

In the early 1970’s, Claudio Naranjo, a noted Chilean psychiatrist, was teaching the Enneagram of personality types in Berkeley, California. Claudio studied with Oscar Ichazo in Arica, Chile. In modern times, the Enneagram personality types do not come from any single source—it’s a hybrid from a number of ancient traditions. Much has been lost to history.

4. Who uses the Enneagram system of understanding personalities today?

Diverse organizations work with the Enneagram for professional development, leadership, training, strategic planning, communication, sales/marketing, conflict resolution, and group dynamics. Prominent business and religious leaders, academicians, attorneys, consultants, therapists, authors, and screenwriters use the Enneagram worldwide. Various organizations use the Enneagram as a valued resource, such as the CIA, manufacturers, headhunters, professionals, Esalen, the Jesuits, and Stanford University Medical School.

5. What can I get out of learning my Enneastyle?

As you discover your Enneagram personality type, you will discover more about your original whole self. Understanding personality types can only communicate ideas about each type’s reality, not reality itself. At work, each Enneagram type has a characteristic agenda and operates within a particular decision-making frame.

6. Is it a religion, psychology, new age pop or another stereotyping system?

It is not a religion or “The Truth;” it is a personality theory. It is a wake-up tool to the reality of our deeper nature. The Enneagram is a process tool, not a labeling device and should not be used to “fix” people. The Enneagram is a force field with movement and with specific pulls that can either hound you or hold you back.

7. What is the benefit of discovering my type and changing my awareness?

Discovering your Enneagram personality type can help change the way you relate to yourself and others as well as helping you face circumstances and issues whether at work, home, social, spiritual, or emotional. The Enneagram opens us to the experience of others, and helps us get out of our own way.

8. Why use it in organizations?

Don’t fight a fight you didn’t know you were fighting. The Enneagram focuses employees and managers to ask important questions about their work teams: What is valued and what is not? What are this company’s goals?  How are decisions and plans made? The Enneagram prime edict is to value what you are not.

BENEFITS: At the end of this session, participants will be able to:

  • Tailor your message to the deeply held concerns of the listener, even if those concerns are not clearly expressed.
  • Recognize your own worldview intimately and then consider other people from the only point of view that they are used to—their own.
  • Disclose how your boss, colleagues, your workers, and you interact and how they are dependent upon one another.
  • Expose the strengths and blind spots of the organization and the colleagues in various situations; it demonstrates their value and necessity, and allows you to engage them creatively and effectively.
  • Offer a way of naming a set of behaviors and an approach to work and life such that they can be examined and understood without accusation.
  • Provide a framework to help clients make decisions and solve problems.
  • Recognize how your type may have a tendency to solve the wrong problems due to the predisposition to call upon particular frames of reference and ignore others. Abraham Maslow pointed out, “When all that you have is a hammer, everything starts to look like a nail.”
  • Examine the habitual ways of perceiving your style and recognize the limits and choices.


1. Brief introduction of Enneagram

2. Cover 3 Triads (flavor of the nine personality types)

3. How the type develops in childhood as a way of protection and how it gets reinforced

4. Cover connecting points; notice we have two other types in us, and how it helps to connect each of those points to our main type

5. Go through each type 1 through 9 and cover:

  • childhood experience
  • passion of each type
  • habit/focus of attention (fixation)
  • other characteristics
  • how each point looks in security and stress
  • things to work on

6. Share out loud each type in a group; recognize who you are

7. Interactive group: share strengths of type and challenges

8. OUTCOME: Choose something to work on; commit to becoming more aware of the issue and doing things differently.

About the Author:

Sandra Ford Walston, The Courage Expert, is an international speaker and author, human potential consultant, corporate trainer and behavioral coach. Sandra’s expertise allows her to focus on the tricks and traps of the human condition through recognizing and interpreting courage behaviors and courageous leadership styles.

Featured on the speaker circuit as witty, provocative, concrete and insightful, she has sparked positive change in the lives of thousands of leaders each year. Sandra also provides skills-based programs for some of the most respected public and private blue-chip businesses and organizations in the world, such as IBM, Caterpillar, Inc., Institute of Internal Auditors, Hensel Phelps, Wide Open West, Agrium, Inc., Virginia Commonwealth University, Xanterra Parks & Resorts®, Procter and Gamble, Hitachi Consulting, US Bank, Healthcare Association of New York State, Institute of Management Accountants, and Delta Kappa Gamma International Society.

The internationally published author of bestseller COURAGE The Heart and Spirit of Every Woman and an honored author selected for Recording for the Blind and Dyslexic, Sandra facilitates individuals and groups to discover the power and inspiration of their everyday courage.

The COURAGE Difference at Work: A Unique Success Guide for Women, Sandra’s follow-up book to COURAGE, is directed at any woman, regardless of title or credentials, who wishes to grow professionally by introducing courage actions at work. Her third book, FACE IT! 12 Courageous Actions that Bring Success at Work and Beyond confirms that what holds you back on the job is the same as what hinders achievement—the reluctance to face and live a courageous life. Sandra is published in magazines such as Chief Learning Officer, Training & Development, HR Matters, Malaysia, and Strategic Finance.

Sandra is a certified Newfield Network coach and certified to administer and interpret the Myers-Briggs Type Indicator® along with the Enneagram. She also instructs at the University of Denver.

She can be reached at where she posts a courage blog and courage newsletter.