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Enneagram and You

Sailor’s Sweet Life (SSL) leverages the Enneagram System as a tool in coaching and workshops. A fun, engaging and highly practical motivational tool, the Enneagram facilitates improved self-awareness and interpersonal relationships across family, social and professional spheres.

Unlike other personality tools, which can inadvertently typecast individuals and actually create more conflict (“I’m this style, and we’re not the same”), the Enneagram is rooted in practicality and harmony. It motivates users to explore not only their unique type, but also the types of others to improve communication in the relationships that matter most (“I’m this type and you’re that type, so this is how we can interact more efficiently and peacefully”).

The Enneagram recognizes a critical nuance of all humans—we have both sweet and bitter sides. In other words, each of us has patterns of thinking and tendencies related to our strengths and weaknesses. Let’s be honest—in our hectic world, we can too often find ourselves muddling through our bitter tendencies—we bang our heads against the wall in response to the same problems, and relate to ourselves and others from a place of reactivity, stress and misunderstanding. By recognizing tendencies of the bitter side, Enneagram users can be more empowered to navigate seamlessly back to their sweet side, and sail through life’s joys and challenges.

Another benefit of the Enneagram for SSL clients is that it yields immediate strategies to shift mundane, everyday tasks and moments into empowered and informed interactions. Mastery of the Enneagram doesn’t require ongoing study or structured facilitation, but rather a basic awareness of the system, your type and the simple life hacks that can be applied immediately. The more you utilize this newfound knowledge of yourself and others, the more the Enneagram gives in terms of empowerment, harmony and productivity. The Nine Types Enneagram is a personality typing system that consists of nine different types (or “enneatypes,” “ennea” means “nine”). Everyone is considered to be one single type, although one can have traits belonging to other types. While it’s uncertain whether this type is genetically determined, many believe it is already in place at birth. The nine types are universally identified by the numbers 1 to 9, and have a standard way of being placed around the Enneagram symbol. (Note: Various Enneagram authors have attached unique names to these numbers; utilized here are the type names used by authors Riso and Hudson.)

  1. The Reformer: Perfectionists, responsible, fixated on improvement

  2. The Helper: Helpers who need to be needed

  3. The Achiever: Focused on the presentation of success, to attain validation

  4. The Individualist: Identity seekers, who feel unique and different

  5. The Investigator: Thinkers who tend to withdraw and observe

  6. The Loyalist: Conflicted between trust and distrust

  7. The Enthusiast: Pleasure seekers and planners, in search of distraction

  8. The Challenger: Taking charge, because they don’t want to be controlled

  9. The Peacemaker: Keeping peace and harmony

People of a particular Enneagram type have several characteristics in common, but they can be quite different nevertheless depending on—among other things—their level of mental health. Unhealthy/neurotic people from a particular type can look quite different from healthy ones. Riso and Hudson distinguish nine levels of mental health (see their book Personality Types) and have type descriptions for each level of each Enneagram type.

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