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Coaching: Enneagram Body Center Styles: Eight, Nine, and One


The three Enneagram styles that emanate from the Body Center of Intelligence, Eights, Nines, and Ones, have three different ways of responding to the emotion of anger. Eights have a need to express their anger full-throttle; Nines convince themselves that they feel no anger; and Ones control themselves because they believe that is the correct or best way to deal with this emotion. The Body Center styles also share issues related to control and action. Eights like to be in control and to take fast action with big impact. Nines profoundly dislike others controlling them and they control through inertia. Ones control by being both self-controlled and highly structured, and they like deliberate, quick action that enables them to check tasks off the “To-Do” lists. Here are the five most important developmental areas for each Body Center style and a simple, profound question coaches can ask clients of this style.

Key Development Desires for Eights

To know and be open to the truth from the widest perspective possible
To understand themselves and others psychologically
To feel less guilty for their own behavior and less responsible for other people
To feel strong even when feeling vulnerable or weak
To manage their vast energy without imploding or exploding

One Simple Question: What are you hiding beneath your “bigger than life” exterior?

Key Development Desires for Nines

To express themselves clearly and directly and to have greater influence and more deeply-felt authority
To have a strong, deeply held sense of personal power so that they feel fully empowered
To transform conflict into deeper and more connected relationships instead of avoiding it
To work with other people from a sense of fully understanding both themselves and others
To move from confusion to clarity and inertia to action

One Simple Question
: What do you want; what would happen if you fully expressed yourself?

Key Development Desires for Ones

To be able to continuously improve themselves without feeling that they have done something wrong when they identify an area needing development
To be more consistently compassionate and attuned to others
To be less critical of themselves on such a continuous basis
To relax, have more fun, and feel more serene, especially when mistakes are made and/or things feel out of control
To structure less and go with the flow more

One Simple Question: What if you let go – of your self-control, your structure, and the other ways in which you regulate or control yourself, your life, and your work?

You can read my new Enneagram-coaching book, Bringing Out the Best in Everyone you Coach (McGraw-Hill 2009), for comprehensive and subtle coaching methods, approaches, and techniques that work best with individuals of each Enneagram style.

This is the third of a three-part series on coaching with the Enneagram.

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