Enneagram Coaching guide—why offer professional Enneagram typing without typical tests?

The Enneagram is the most accurate and helpful personality system I know. But it can be very confusing. I’ve created a unique way to teach you this empowering knowledge.

This Enneagram Coaching guide will show you how to offer professional empowering Enneagram typing sessions without relying on unreliable tests.

Enneagram Coaching Guide

Here are 8 reasons to learn to be an Enneagram Coach—the InnerLifeSkills way. 

The Enneagram is a powerful, liberating personality typing system, well worth adding to your life coaching, executive or business coaching toolbox. But tests often mistype and fail to empower clients with real understanding. Consider this coaching approach to increase typing accuracy and to empower your clients with understanding all 9 Enneagram types.

does the enneagram put you in a box

#1: The Enneagram doesn’t put you in a box.

I understand you might feel resistant to a personality typing system that labels and defines you. When I first came across the Enneagram, I was very sceptical; I felt like I’d studied so many personality typing methods and was just “done” with all that.

But, when I looked a little deeper at the Enneagram, I was shocked at its depth and accuracy. It soon became a “How did I ever coach clients without the Enneagram?” addition to my coaching toolbox.

I soon discovered that the Enneagram doesn’t put you in a box! It shows you the box you are already in and can give you a map to be free.

These articles and expert tutorials will support your understanding of Enneagram Coaching and show you how to use this powerful personality growth system to enhance your life coaching and business coaching work.

The Enneagram can be life-changing, but it is also often confusing.

Many people make a few errors when learning the Enneagram and when becoming certified Enneagram Coaches, so we have uncluttered the Enneagram for you to make sure that you avoid mistakes, especially the mistakes that lead to mistyping (assigning the wrong Enneagram type to people, which happens all the time).

Online Enneagram tests are only 50-60% accurate, and so InnerLifeSkills has developed a proven way to rather coach discovering the Enneagram type.

This way, you give people the knowledge of the Enneagram, not just their type, and you offer more accurate typing because you have helped someone discover their type.

Every wave in the ocean is unique, and that is true.

We are all also unique, individualized expressions of the ocean of life. And it is also true that we could study the patterns of the waves and see these patterns.

Carl Gustav Jung, the famous Swiss psychiatrist and psychoanalyst who founded analytical psychology, made the term “Archetypes” popular for the patterns of human personality and character that arise from the collective unconscious. When we study the Enneagram, we are studying the archetypal personality patterns.

Archetypes Carl Jung Enneagram

#2: The Enneagram gives you the keys to understanding yourself and others!

If you enjoy understanding what makes people tick, then you will enjoy how accurate and in-depth the Enneagram is. In a way, the Enneagram gives us a blueprint for personality AND a map for our growth which, as life coaches, helps us to customize our services to make happy clients.

Think of each Enneagram type as a personality operating system. We might struggle and suffer if we don’t understand our operating systems. By learning how our operating system works, we can get the most from it and even learn how to upgrade it.

Master Coaches can use the Enneagram to fast-track this process.

Master coaches use the enneagram to fast track client growth

#3 The Enneagram shows us the REASONS for behaviour!

Many people make the mistake of thinking that the Enneagram is based on behaviour, but it’s not.

This leads to many mistyping mistakes and can also make the Enneagram far too confusing.

The InnerLifeSkills way of teaching the Enneagram emphasizes that the Enneagram types are formed around hidden factors that we are born with; we call these “The Grains of Sand” in the personality pearl.

We label them as RED, BLUE and GREEN. This shows that the 9 types all arise from a primary 3 grains of sand.

InnerLifeSkills 3 personality pearls

The oyster coats the irritant, the grain of sand, with mother of pearl to eventually form a pearl.

Just so, the grain of sand in the personality is the REASON for the personality.

To understand the Enneagram well and to declutter it (because it can seem so complex), we need only study and deeply understand the grains of sand.

Each type expresses its grain of sand differently

Here is an example of why this is important. If I ask a class of my online students to raise their hands if they enjoy occasionally helping people, they all put their hands up. Helping is a behaviour.

Type 2 is often called “The Helper” or “The Giver”, which is a behaviour. And so everyone thinks, “I might be a 2”. But here is how the grains of sand come into play.

We all can help, but WHY do we help? The reason is hidden and is different for us all.

All 9 types can be helpful, but each of the 9 types has a different underlying hidden unconscious reason for their helping.

  • 1 might help to do the right thing.
  • 2 might help to feel needed.
  • 3 might help to prove that they can.
  • 4 might help to feel special.
  • 5 might help to share their knowledge.
  • 6 might help to be of service.
  • 7 might help to alleviate pain.
  • 8 might help to be in charge.
  • 9 might help to bring peace.

So learn the grains of sand, and then you will see why each type does what it does. This is a powerful insight into people, relationships and personal development.

Download our infographic of the 9 TYPES here… click the image for a PDF. You may notice we prefer to NOT label the types in a typical way, for example, Type 9 Peacemaker, etc.

In my early years, I followed the mainstream approach, using the label, but soon found that although clients quickly used the labels referring to themselves as “Peacemakers,” it created a strong bias.

Clients dismissed a type purely because of the label or wanted to be a type because of the label.

Removing the label does challenge clients to spend a bit more time learning, but that’s also why we use our unique cartoons instead. I illustrated each type to embody its main characteristics. Enjoy this PDF download to study each type.

#4 People LOVE the Enneagram!

People do love the Enneagram. Haven’t you noticed how many companies hire Enneagram Coaches and how the Ennea world has exploded in the past few years?

That’s why we created a foundation Enneagram 101 online live zoom certification course, which often sells out. As life coaches and trainers, it’s essential to understand our clients, and the Enneagram helps with this.

Also, if you want a lovely authentic way to help people, and to get them interested in being coached, then the Enneagram is a very helpful icebreaker and entry point into life and business coaching.

  • Start a conversation about the Enneagram 3 Pearls and watch potential clients keen to learn more.
  • Add an Enneagram typing session to start your client’s personal growth journey.
  • Include typing sessions with relationship coaching, team coaching or leadership development programs to easily add value
  • Team building gets a massive boost by adding a 4-hour Enneagram coaching session (this is one of my most popular offers, and our master coaches report the same).


#5 Learn to type people without needing to use unreliable tests!

Not many people know that even the best Enneagram online tests have a 50-60% accuracy. It’s not like a Myers-Briggs test, for example, that is highly accurate. Compare these 2 scenarios.

1 – TESTS: A person does an online test and has a 50/50 chance of being typed properly. They get a report that explains their type and what that means.

2- COACHED: A person learns the Enneagram foundation in 1-3 hours. ILS have created a method for teaching this in a simple format using our 3 Personality Pearls and our Enneagram guide and cards. They now have the gift of knowledge. And then, they are coached, by an ILS Enneagram Coach, to work out their type.

So they are part of the entire process. This produces approximately 95% accuracy in the first session, and future sessions usually iron out any early mistyping.

The client leaves with an accurate type they understand well, a map for their growth and the gift of a foundation Enneagram knowledge.

We prefer this method, and our ILS Enneagram Coaches learn to offer this.

#6 Improve relationships at work and at home.

When we understand our personality operating systems we gain compassion, insight and understanding for each other. This is key to building healthy happy relationships.


Enneagram coaching for relationships

By learning about the InnerLifeSkills Personality Pearls, we see why our loved ones and work colleagues do what they do.

Can you imagine what a gift that is?

To really see why someone is speaking or acting in a certain way.

It can be humbling and helpful to realize that others do things for different reasons than our own. If you want to motivate change, you need to be able to speak directly to others’ “reasons“, not from yours.


#7 Grow your Apple Tree life purpose.

The ILS symbol for our natural self, the authentic purposeful expression of us, is the apple tree.

The Enneagram is a very helpful tool for growing our apple trees. It gives us a map for our blind spots and how to reclaim our wholeness. To be all we were born to be.


#8 Offer Enneagram Coaching Professionally.

We train people just like you to become professional InnerLifeSkills Enneagram Coaches. To offer Enneagram typing sessions and Enneagram coaching.

If you are interested in this, let us know. We run 3 online Zoom certification courses per year. Please note classes fill up quickly; enrol at least 2 months before courses start to secure your place.