What’s the ennagram?

The enneagram is a model which helps you to gain insights deeper into yourself. Additionally, once you know which of the 9 types of the Enneagram (Ennea = 9 in Greek) your personality corresponds with, it helps you what to focus on for growth! This model is said to have very old roots (Sufi’s) and became a very popular tool for both management and coaching.

Type 1 the perfectionist

In this blog I focus on Type One, sometimes called the Perfectionist or the reformer. There is a risk in calling type One, the ‘Perfectionist’, as you might either have positive or negative associations with such a name, and then either want to be the type, or not.

High standards

Anyway, Type One does strive for perfection. So everything Type One sees, or does, is held against this very high standard of perfection. As the world is definitely not perfect if held against the standard of type One, there is always something wrong: there might be spelling errors, things might be out of place, not on time, messy, type One will see it and then get annoyed (‘How in the world is it possible that this person does not see this him/herself!”). And of course, expressing this annoyance is not acceptable either (…not perfect), so this complicates matters and the feeling is repressed. This takes a lot of energy, and at some point, Type One will actually express the annoyance and this might at that point be a bit too much (could be a bit of an explosion) for the single offence which triggered it.

Example type 1 manager

I used to have a manager Type One, as they are generally competent, the Type Ones can move up through the ranks. When he gave me feedback it was always about what was not right. At one point I asked him: ‘Are you happy with what I deliver?’. And he said: ‘Absolutely’. For him it was a real eye-opener that his feedback is a lot easier to receive if he first told me he was happy with the overall result.

How do I grow as type 1?

If you recognise most this, you could by a Type One. Type One generally likes ordering things in lists, will be on time, have tidy houses, and get things done to a high standard. The way forward in terms of self-development for Type One is having fun! As for many types this would be easy, if you really think this does not make sense, then that is supporting evidence that you might actually be Type One. The big lesson is that life can (also) be about making fun.

Beyond your personality?

Of course, this is all at the level of the development of your personality and the question is also relevant what is beyond that. Of course, knowing more about your personality, helps you to be aware of how you do things, and this in turn gives you the option to choose. You are no longer ruled by your personality, but  you use your preferred behaviours to be effective.

If this sparked your interest in the Enneagram, please follow this link for good books to read about the Enneagram.

Enneagram coaching

As actually it is of course a bit more complicated than outlined above (there is influence of the types next to Type One – Type Nine/ Type two, and the stage of development), you could also consider to have an indepth coaching session about the Enneagram. I have some 14 years of experience with the model and am a Certified coach. If you are interested click the button below to make an appointment.



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