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Coaching with the enneagram | deeper and better coaching

This blog, the 2nd created for the ICF (International Coach Federation) is designed to underscore how effective the Enneagram is in enabling coaching to go deeper and better, particularly in terms of identifying and working with the client’s mental models. It is meant for coaches newer to the Enneagram – so you can see this way of using the Enneagram – and those of you who are more familiar with the Enneagram and coaching, because it sets up a one-to-one correspondence between worldview and reinforcing self-statements by type.

Coaching with the Enneagram helps clients illuminate the root cause(s) of their issues and fuel the fire of their aspirations by increasing their self-mastering capabilities. Self-mastery here means enhanced self-awareness, increased self-acceptance, and a commitment to self-development. Clients readily tap into the source of their hopes, dreams, motivations, fears, somatic aspects, mental models, emotional patterns, and more. None of these are random; at the root of all coaching issues and aspirations, there is a marked consistency by Enneagram type, and these stem from the worldview of each of the 9 types:

The 9 Enneagram Types | the 9 worldviews
Ones | The world is imperfect; I must correct this.
Twos | The world is full of suffering and need; I must help alleviate this.
Threes | There is a lack of flow or order to how things work; I must create results.
Fours | There is profound despair from our lack of deep connections; I must re-establish these.
Fives | Resources are scarce; I must conserve time, energy, and knowledge.
Sixes | The world is an unpredictable and fearful place; I must find meaning and certainty.
Sevens | The world lacks a bigger plan full of possibilities; I must generate these.
Eights | The powerful try to take advantage of the weak; I must change this.
Nines | Everyone deserves to be respected and heard; I must enable this.

These 9 different worldviews have accompanying patterns of thinking (mental models), emotional responses, and repeated behaviors. Below you can read just one from among the many mental models for each type.

Ones | “There’s always a right way to be.”
Twos | “I must make myself indispensable to others.”
Threes | “The world values winners and ridicules or ignores failures.”
Fours | “I am intrinsically lacking, deficient, flawed, and missing something.”
Fives | “I have to constantly guard against utter depletion.”
Sixes | “I can’t trust myself and have to doubt everything to feel safe.”
Sevens | “I’m here to excite and energize everyone and must have every option available.”
Eights | “The world is divided into the strong and the weak; I must be among the strong.”
Nines | “It’s more important to be nice and agreeable than to be true to myself.”

Worldviews, of course, and their accompanying mental models help us function effectively, but also limit us. As you read through the mental models above, you may have noticed many of them appear at the source of Kegan and Lahey’s “Immunity to Change” coaching process. That’s because the mental models that go with our type restrain or immunize us the most.

As a result, when coaches use the Enneagram, they can help their clients identify the elements within their type structure that really work well and they want to keep, as well as the aspects of their type that limit them from resolving the challenges they face and reaching the dreams that really matter to them.

Visit Enneagram-Coaching.com for more information.

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