Understanding your enneagram

Understanding Your Enneagram

Have you ever considered what makes people ‘tick’? Have you struggled with communication challenges because the person you’re trying to talk to can’t seem to understand your unique point of view or perspective?  Have you noticed that when stressed you seem to have a recurring pattern of feelings?

Welcome to the world of Enneagram.

Michael White - AusIdentity

In this podcast episode we have a chat with Michael White, a Sunshine Coast business owner, counsellor and Youth Worker about the tool of the Enneagram, a theory which describes nine different personalities, and it’s value in self discovery. 

As a business owner we are all called upon to lead, learn and evolve to ensure we are able to innovate, nurture and adapt to support our clients, teams and organisations in an ever changing world.

“15 years ago, I met a lady who introduced me to the Enneagram and it had such a profound effect in my own personal life that I knew one day I would share it with other people” - Michael White

Michael was drawn into the Enneagram tool as it also includes a spiritual dynamic which not many people in the business realm were considering. It was previously a tool he was only using personally, to help develop a healthier relationship with himself and further discover and define his sense of purpose. Understanding it’s power and potential in the journey of personal evolution, Michael is now starting to share this tool with many others.

The Enneagram system is divided into 3 different groups; those driven by their emotions, those driven by their mind, and those driven by their body instincts. Within those 3 groups are variations of those types, as shown below. 

Michael is an enneagram 4 and states that with a 4 comes the liability of intense dissatisfaction. “That's why they call us the tragic romantic or the tragic artists sometimes”. And the dissatisfaction, like everything else is a double-edged sword. If you create a piece of artwork for example, a 4 will look at it, think it could be better.  You can use this dissatisfaction to propel you to do better, or get stuck in ‘not good enough’ thinking.

Understanding how the system works has enabled Michael to take a step back and say, “look, everything is just right the way it is”. It’s about accepting your limitations and having greater peace of mind. In this chat, Michael shares some notes about each of the personalities.


Emotional Types 


The Achiever #3

  • The Success-Oriented, Pragmatic Type: Adaptive, Excelling, Driven, and Image-Conscious
  • Continually chasing after the illusion of success
  • Very driven people who have disowned their emotions because they get in the way of progress
  • They should learn to be emotionally honest with themselves

  • The Individualist #4

  • The Sensitive, Withdrawn Type: Expressive, Dramatic, Self-Absorbed, and Temperamental
  • Introverted variation of #3 
  • Turn their judgement inwards on themselves, which creates sadness

  • The Helper #2 

  • The Caring, Interpersonal Type: Generous, Demonstrative, People-Pleasing, and Possessive
  • Extroverted variation of #3
  • Turn that energy outwards and place judgment on other people calling them good or bad.
  • Causing isolation and feelings of loneliness, thoughts of ‘people don't care’

  • Mind


    The Loyalist #6 

  • The Committed, Security-Oriented Type: Engaging, Responsible, Anxious, and Suspicious
  • They go with what makes most sense
  • They analyse and question experiences
  • Often overthink and question what’s true, exhausting themselves
  • Sixes often ask opinions of many others

  • The Investigator #5

  • The Intense, Cerebral Type: Perceptive, Innovative, Secretive, and Isolated
  • Introverted variation of # 6
  • Knowledge and information is power for these people
  • Spends time researching and collecting data, to become their treasure
  • Can often feel disconnected from others

  • The Enthusiast #7

  • The Busy, Fun-Loving Type: Spontaneous, Versatile, Distractible, and Scattered
  • Extroverted variation of #6
  • Upbeat energy
  • Great at starting things, terrible at finishing
  • Scatter brains; constantly juggling

  • Body


    These personalities go on their gut instinct - if it feels right, let's do it!

    The Peacemaker #9

  • The Easygoing, Self-Effacing Type: Receptive, Reassuring, Agreeable, and Complacent
  • Identify with not only their gut but others too
  • Good at picking up on other people’s moods
  • Often self forgetting, put others first
  • Can get overwhelmed by others, and lose themselves in the group

  • The Reformer: #1

  • Introverted version of #9
  • The Rational, Idealistic Type: Principled, Purposeful, Self-Controlled, and Perfectionistic

  • The Challenger #8

  • Extroverted Version of #9
  • The Powerful, Dominating Type: Self-Confident, Decisive, Willful, and Confrontational

  • If we start to open up and access the three brains in a more coherent way, we can start to interact with the world with harmony, joy and peacefulness. 

    “Don't push yourself to believe that your version of reality is the truth. Open yourself up to the possibility that you could be mistaken.” - Michael White

    Key Takeaways from this podcast:

    • It's not always easy to grasp where you fit, but it's really interesting.
    • It's a wonderful tool to start to explore the fact that there isn't an absolute right or wrong, good or bad.
    • The more flexible we become through our self-discovery, then the easier it is to be a good leader and not only master our own self, but be more masterful in how we understand and interact with people to create the sort of things we're wanting to create in their lives the competencies and the experiences and the achievements.

    Listen now to learn more


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