I often get asked what are the most important areas for people wishing to train the Enneagram in organizations. To that end, here is a list of key areas:
Positioning the Enneagram
Trainers need to be able to position the Enneagram for clients so that their clients understand how the Enneagram supports their professional, team, and organizational needs and goals. There are many ways to position the Enneagram for clients: (1) Emotional Intelligence (EQ) since EQ is the strongest predictor of success in every occupation and industry around the world; (2) referring other organizations who have been using the Enneagram effectively; and (3) matching the business application of the Enneagram to the team’s or organization’s most important needs. When matching the Enneagram’s applications to client needs, make sure you do this in all your training sessions, even the first one.
Top quality knowledge and skills
Trainers need to have a strong knowledge base, excellent professional skills, and compelling personal qualities to be effective conveyers of the Enneagram. Before any application of the Enneagram, trainers must teach the Enneagram system effectively and guide participants in the accurate discovery of their Enneagram types. Typing tests are not sufficient; trainers must understand all 9 types well and be well-versed in helping participants distinguish between types that may superficially appear similar or engage in similar behaviors but for very different reasons. Trainers also need to understand how organizations work and organizational behavior, just as they need to be well-versed in the particular Enneagram topics or business applications they teach.
In addition, trainers need to have top-quality professional skills such as presentation, learning design, and facilitation, and they need compelling personal qualities – confidence, clarity, and authenticity – so that participants want to learn from them and they are excellent role models of “walking the talk” and are clearly using the Enneagram for their own development.
Engaging and effective activities
Trainers must have a robust tool-kit of great activities that both enable participants to learn and engage them at the same time. In most organizations everywhere in the world, participants expect stimulation and interaction rather than to be passive learners through an abundance of lectures.
Variety, engagement and horizontal and vertical learning are the critical attributes of an effective Enneagram training program, whether it lasts 4 hours or 4 days. Variety refers to not using the same structure for each topic – for example, a mini-lecture and then type group discussions and reports. This becomes repetitive and boring. Engagement means that participants want to be actively involved with the learning activities because they are smart, well-conceived and stimulating. Horizontal learning refers to learning new skills. In organizations especially, participants want and companies expect skill development. Vertical development means to go deeply into a topic area so that there is the potential for lasting and transformational learning.
Continuous personal and professional development
Trainers who use the Enneagram for their own personal and professional development make better trainers. They know the system better, are better role models, have more credibility, are more effective interacting with others, and are more convincing champions of using the system.
The extent of a trainer’s personal and professional development shows every time they teach the Enneagram. Do they present the 9 types in an accurate, balanced, and respectful way, or do they have issue with certain types that become obvious when describing them? Do trainers have compelling and insightful stories about each type to share in their programs, or is their repertoire limited? Do they know how to answer most questions raised accurately and convincingly, or do they draw a blank or make up information? Do trainers know what they don’t know as well as what they do know so that they are confident to say, “I don’t know; let me think about that?” Do they have enough confidence and skill to draw out the answers from participants whenever possible instead of answering most questions themselves? If a session went well or if it didn’t, do trainers have enough self-mastery to assess the situation accurately and decipher what they did or didn’t do well and what they can change in the future? This is why a commitment to continuous personal and professional development is so important.
Ginger Lapid-Bogda PhD, the author of six best-selling Enneagram-business books, is a speaker, consultant, trainer, and coach. She provides certification programs for professionals around the world who want to bring the Enneagram into organizations with high-impact business applications, and is past-president of the International Enneagram Association. Visit her website: TheEnneagramInBusiness.com. firstname.lastname@example.org