We love using metaphors in our Enneagram work, whether it be training programs, coaching, books, social media, and the list goes on and on. There is a very good reason for this. From a neuroscience perspective, metaphor activates more parts of the brain than simply using words. From a training perspective, metaphors convey complex ideas in a single image. From a coaching perspective, clients remember metaphors, especially ones that they create, much more than verbal conversations.
For every Enneagram type and almost any concept related to the types or the system, metaphors are an important asset. Here are some metaphors for you to consider for each type, with an explanation for why we selected each. And we encourage you to think of your own metaphors for each type!
One metaphor | Piano
Elegance, classical, form, structure
Two metaphor | Elephant
Communication, protection of young, care for others in herd
Three metaphor | Peacock
Positive image, desire to be seen, the attractiveness of feathers obscures the bird itself
Four metaphor | Mask of sorrow
Creation of an image or mask, sorrow, beauty
Five metaphor | Fortress
Mystery, remoteness, ancient wisdom
Six metaphor | Puzzle
Questioning, curiosity, problem-solving
Seven metaphor | Balloons and confetti
Joy, playfulness, lightness of spirit
Eight metaphor | Lion
Strength, power, king of the jungle
Nine metaphor | Sloth
Relaxed, moves at own speed, has claws to use when needed
As a note, the graphics, arranged numerically from top to bottom, create an interesting pattern when viewed left to right: the 3 ‘invisible triangles of 1-4-7, 2-5-8, and 3-6-9 which is actually visible on the symbol!
Ginger Lapid-Bogda PhD, author of eight Enneagram books, is a speaker, consultant, trainer, and coach. She provides certification programs and training tools for business professionals around the world who want to bring the Enneagram into organizations with high-impact business applications. TheEnneagramInBusiness.com |firstname.lastname@example.org