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The Enneagram, Alignment, and Integrity

This blog was inspired by Ruth Landis’ insights about Alignment and Integrity. You can read about how each of us, based on our Enneagram styles, can be in and out of alignment and integrity, which affects our capacity to be all of what we are capable of being. Whether we are a leader, coach, consultant, trainer, parent, or friend, Alignment and Integrity are central to our self-respect and the way we carry yourselves in the world.

Alignment and Integrity Activity by Ruth Landis, Senior Member of The Enneagram in Business Network:

Since we optimally operate from three Centers of Intelligence — the Head, the Heart, and the Body — we benefit from moving through our lives with these centers in alignment. At various times throughout the day, pause and ask yourself: “What am I feeling right now and what do I really want? What am I thinking right now? How am I behaving? Are these three states – thinking, feeling, and behaving — congruent or at odds? Are my thoughts supporting the desire of my heart or undermining it? Are my actions serving both my heart and my rational mind? What do I need to do to bring my thoughts, my feelings, and my actions into alignment?”

Alignment, Integrity, and Enneagram Styles

I’ve added the following to help us understand how our Enneagram styles can block our capacity to act from integrity and be internally aligned and what we can each do to expand in these ways.

Enneagram Style One

An obstacle to alignment and integrity: wanting so much to live up to your own high standards that you disown your own reactions and behaviors that are not consistent with these

To become more aligned and have more integrity, accept yourself more and be more forgiving when you do not always feel or act in ways congruent with your standards; this will allow you to be more accepting of others.

Enneagram Style Two

An obstacle to alignment and integrity: feeling deeply hurt and angry when someone suggests you have done something of questionable integrity

To become more aligned and have more integrity, listen and ask for more information, and remember to not place your own sense of integrity in the hands of other people. When you can completely trust your own internal sense of who you are, it will be far easier to accept negative feedback and either use it or not use it, depending on its validity.

Enneagram Style Three

An obstacle to alignment and integrity: being so overly concerned about your public image and being successful that you either forget your true values or act out of alignment with them

To become more aligned and have more integrity, take 15 minutes each day to remind yourself and reflect on the values you hold most dear and ask yourself: “What do I know is going to happen today that may push me to compromise these in some way?” When you do something that transgresses your values, pay attention to your body cues that indicate you are not being true to yourself.

Enneagram Style Four

An obstacle to alignment and integrity: having shifting values that make it difficult to anchor your behavior in any of them as fully as you most desire

To become more aligned and have more integrity, work to stay more emotionally steady so you can better assess your own behavior in very objective rather than highly subjective terms.

Enneagram Style Five

An obstacle to alignment and integrity: rigidly controlling the degree to which other people and events affect you

To become more aligned and have more integrity, recognize that integrity and alignment require an interactive engagement with others and events. Integrity and values involve more than what we think; they also involve how we feel and what we do.

Enneagram Style Six

An obstacle to alignment and integrity: putting a spin on your thoughts, feelings, and behaviors — a positive spin on those that are out of integrity and alignment, but also a negative spin on responses that are high on integrity and alignment

To become more aligned and have more integrity, be more fully honest with yourself, and this involves recognizing projections, valuing your insights, and a reduction in subsequent idealization or its opposite – demonization. You may recognize that you do these things to others, but do you know that you also do them to yourself?

Enneagram Style Seven

An obstacle to alignment and integrity: pursuing pleasure and excitement without due consideration

To become more aligned and have more integrity, remember that impulse is not the same as choice. Impulse is reactive; choice is thoughtful. With more pre-thought before you act, there is more choice, freedom, integrity, and alignment.

Enneagram Style Eight

An obstacle to alignment and integrity: believing you are the upholders of the truth

To become more aligned and have more integrity, question yourself far more often and when you feel certain of something, ask yourself this: “What if this were not the whole answer?”

Enneagram Style Nine

An obstacle to alignment and integrity: acting as if you don’t have opinions and judgments about others and events when you, in fact, do

To become more aligned and have more integrity, share your real thoughts out loud with others. Only then can you accurately perceive the ways in which you are truly aligned with what you truly feel and believe.

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

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