10 creative ways businesses are using the Enneagram

Updated: Sep 17, 2020

Are you interested in bringing the Enneagram to your business? Want to know how the Enneagram can continue benefiting your team once you do? Maximizing your investment is key – and here are a few creative ways other companies are doing it.

With everything from mentoring to conflict resolution, discussion groups and live events, the Enneagram offers unlimited ways you can engage your team and build the kind of culture that will attract top talent, create high performing teams, and retain good people for a longer period of time.

1. Building High-Performing Teams with Tech

One of our favorite startups (Cincinnati-based Cloverleaf) is maximizing the potential of teams and individuals by automating insights from the Enneagram, the MBTI, Strengths-Finders and other personality frameworks into the tools companies are already using (Slack, Google Suite, etc.).

For example, let's say Google Calendar sees you’re about to have a meeting with a certain co-worker. Cloverleaf’s software might send you an email reminder, prior to the meeting, about that coworker's preferred communication style. Or maybe a tip on how they might best receive feedback.

Most of the frustrations and inefficiencies in the workplace deal with communicate challenges, but with Cloverleaf, you and your team can communicate more effectively and intentionally. It's cool, try it.

2. Leadership Development

Here’s an interesting one. There isn't an organization on the planet who couldn't benefit from knowing at-risk employees and having the tools to intercept them before they, say, "go postal?"

L.I.O.N Strategy Group is an organizational development firm offering Enneagram training for law enforcement, corporate, and municipal employees. Pairing insights from the Enneagram with the most current findings in the field of neuro-science and trauma theory, this organization works to intercept leaders with enormous responsibility... in high-stake positions... and offer the support they need to embody their roles with integrity and intelligence.

Oftentimes, public servants (particularly law enforcement) don't have the resources and support they need to sustain themselves under the high-demands and chronic stress typical in their professions. So, the Enneagram offers the ability to help individuals learn to emotionally self-regulate, identify their needs, and ask others for support. This is much needed, powerful work especially in today’s tumultuous and polarized social climate. Spread the word.

3. Understanding Customers

Have you ever seen a marketing "persona?" It's an imaginary person that company's use to help understand things like their target audience's demographic, pain points, and behaviors. But with the Enneagram, we know that there's something much nuanced happening beneath the 9 types: 9 different motivations.

Jumpsuit, a creative agency whose team is obsessed with (and trained in) personality frameworks like the MBTI and the Enneagram, has blown up traditional marketing by integrating the Enneagram into their work. With these frameworks, they help brands build a voice and a strong personality, so they stand out from their competition. They help businesses understand that one single message doesn't necessarily relate to "women 25-35" because we have different motivations and communication preferences. They even use the Enneagram to train their team on how to build stronger, more meaningful relationships with their clients. Things like:

“Here’s how to communicate effectively with a client that’s a Type 8. Direct. Candid. Action -oriented.”

“Here’s how to get helpful feedback from a Type 2...”

“Here’s how to help your Type 6 client feel secure in the decision they need to make...”

Building strong brands and even stronger interpersonal relationships? Sounds like a winning formula to us.

4. Building Relational Equity

They say that a week-long program at OnSite is equal to a year’s worth of therapy. Intense. This internationally recognized residential therapeutic facility outside of Nashville, Tennessee has used the Enneagram to increase understanding and compassion among members of their leadership team. When misunderstandings occur, as they do within any group, this team has greater insight into common “triggers”, challenges, and gifts, allowing them to navigate each other more successfully.

With a custom-built program and extended format over the course of several months, combining group trainings and typing interviews with one-on-one coaching sessions, members of the Onsite leadership team experienced a deeper understanding of themselves and greater appreciation for each other.

Now, there are all sorts of therapists who are learning the Enneagram and beginning to integrate it into their tool belt.

5. Sharpening Talent

For example, here's a therapist using the Enneagram.

Marriage and family therapist Jiffy Dahlgren, LPC-MHSP attributes much of her success in launching a private practice to her own work with a certified Enneagram coach. Dahlgren saw the immediate benefit of partnering with an Enneagram professional who would help her identify tendencies which might disrupt her connection with the client should they go unaddressed.

Focusing on deep listening, compassion-based meditations, and bringing reactive tendencies or “blindspots” more into conscious awareness has enhanced her impact in working one-on-one with clients. This sharpening and refinement of her natural talent and ability has positioned Dahlgren as a trusted resource for clients in her thriving practice and a gifted practitioner in her industry.

6. Typing Teams

Elmington Capital invited a certified Enneagram professional to spend a day conducting typing interviews with the executives on their team. Understanding the unique logic that guides the decision-making process for each individual helped highlight strengths within their leaders and identified areas for improvement, allowing them to leverage the strengths and work to consciously support areas of challenge.

Want to learn more about typing teams? Let's chat.

7. Unconscious Bias Training

Offering training for superior court justices in Arizona’s judicial system, Linda Frazee’s work relies on the Enneagram to help individuals identify their subjective reactions and unconscious bias emerge in the courtroom, an environment where it is crucial for judges to remain objective and impartial. Linda Frazee is a therapist, personal development coach, and also a skilled certified Enneagram professional who has been using the Enneagram in her work as a Judicial Observation Consultant since 2005.

8. Offering Ongoing Support

Healthcare company MillarRich is renowned for its dedication in service of children and adults with intellectual abilities. Coming to the Enneagram system through his own personal study, co-founder and Enneagram enthusiast Rowan Millar was motivated to share the Enneagram with his team.

After a two-day workshop with Enneagram teacher Peter O’Hanrahan, MR is rolling out a line of ongoing monthly discussion groups and Enneagram panels to spark conversation pertinent to their team. These conversations foster a felt-sense of community and maximize benefits for participants on both a personal and professional level. Recognizing that identifying one’s Enneagram type is step one in an ongoing practice, MillarRich is invested in helping their people put the Enneagram into practice.

9. Building Soft Skills

Director of Franchise Operations at Planet Fitness, Sarah Hofman knows that resourcing her team with the tools they need to motivate others ultimately impacts the bottom line. So, she organized a day-long retreat with her team which focused solely on using the Enneagram as a way to help her team build soft skills and make a greater impact on their connections with franchise owners in the PF network.

10. Making an Impact in Your Community

FYI launched in 2018 as the brainchild of two women's health professionals. Designed to resource women with immediate access to experts in various fields and supplying a platform dedicated to fostering informed conversations, the FYI team were immediately drawn to the holistic and integrative approach supported by the Enneagram. They chose to incorporate bi-weekly Enneagram workshops for the public, drawing more enthusiastic participants to their programming while expanding their reach into the local community and becoming a trusted name among women’s health providers.

What about you? What impact are you seeing the Enneagram have in business? And how could you use this system in a way that gives you not just a competitive edge, but perhaps, the opportunity to build a legacy?

Thinking about bringing the Enneagram to your workplace? Here are a few ways we can help.

Hi, we're Ennealab and we offer Enneagram Typing, Enneagram Coaching, Enneagram Consulting, and Enneagram Workshop services for businesses.

Get a free consultation, today.

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