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The Enneagram and Inclusion

This blog was inspired by Ruth Landis’ insights about Inclusion. You can read about how each of us, based on our Enneagram style, can be more exclusive than inclusive, restricting our capacity to be all of what we are capable of being. Whether we are a leader, coach, consultant, trainer, parent, or friend, Inclusion is central to our growth and expansion.

Inclusion Activity by Ruth Landis, Senior Member of The Enneagram in Business Network:

Our lives are enriched by diversity. Our lives are diminished by limiting ourselves to the belief that our point of view is the only right one. Each time you disagree with someone today, pause and explore how they may be right. What if, for one moment, you could loosen the grip of your belief and fully see the truth of theirs? What have you gained? Have you lost anything? Also try experimenting with inclusion in a physical sense. How can you hold your own space with awareness and include in your field of awareness all that is around you: the environment, others? Do you get bigger when practicing inclusion?

Inclusion and Enneagram Styles

I’ve added the following to help us understand how our Enneagram styles can block our capacity to be inclusive and what we can each do to open and expand through inclusivity.

Enneagram Style One

An obstacle to inclusion: believing with certainty that your opinions are correct.
To become more inclusive, listen more openly and far longer to opinions that differ from yours, and ask yourself: “What can I learn from this idea?”

Enneagram Style Two

An obstacle to inclusion: rejecting those whose fundamental values differ from your own.
To become more inclusive, breathe, relax, and embrace the humanity of those who have values that differ from yours; get to know these people, too.

Enneagram Style Three

An obstacle to inclusion: excluding others who appear tentative, uncertain, and not confident.
To become more inclusive, admit – first to yourself, then to others – your own tentativeness, uncertainty, and lack of inner confidence.

Enneagram Style Four

An obstacle to inclusion: wanting so dearly to be understood and connected, then excluding yourselves when you are not.
To become more inclusive, stay connected with others, especially when you begin to feel disconnected from them because they disagree with you; recognize that it is often you, not them, doing the disconnection.

Enneagram Style Five

An obstacle to inclusion: isolating yourselves from others.

To become more inclusive, engage with others emotionally as well as mentally.

Enneagram Style Six

An obstacle to inclusion: worrying or becoming fearful that a strongly different point of view is a threat to you personally or to the relationship.

To become more inclusive, go for daily walks, breathing in deeply, and enjoy all of your surroundings to ground yourself in your body.

Enneagram Style Seven

An obstacle to inclusion: needing so incessantly to be listened to yourself that you discard or don’t fully hear differing points of view.

To become more inclusive, listen more than you speak, especially to others who, for any reason, do not command your attention. Ask questions of others, not to disqualify differing perspectives, but to understand them fully.

Enneagram Style Eight

An obstacle to inclusion:trusting your gut responses to other people and ideas too readily and too often without considering the perspectives of others.

To become more inclusive, be especially open to people you may ordinarily dismiss for any reason. Perhaps you don’t trust them because they are more indirect than you. Maybe they remind you of someone with whom you have had a negative prior experience.

Enneagram Style Nine

An obstacle to inclusion: appearing inclusive externally, but being less so internally.
To become more inclusive: see and experience people for who they are, rather than acting inclusively toward those with whom you feel comfortable, and being pleasant but disengaged with those who you feel no affinity with. People with whom you feel uncomfortable may have the most to teach you.

This is the third of a twelve part series titled “Enneagram Insights.”

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