The Enneagram is a powerful personality typing system used by coaches, leaders, consultants and change agents.
Out of all the personality typing systems that I’ve learned over the years, I love the Enneagram the most. As a professional MCC coach, trainer, business owner and as a mom, the Enneagram is one of the most important tools that I use.
If you want to change lives, the Enneagram can give you a structured easy to implement system to understand why we do what we do. And provide a map for personal and spiritual growth.
When guiding others to discover their type and go beyond their personality type, remember this important insight.
The Enneagram is not based on behavior, but is based on “reasons” for our behaviors. And this is what makes it so useful when coaching and guiding.
- When we know the reason for behavior we can transform the behavior.
- When we know the reason for behavior we can motivate and inspire others.
- When we don’t know the reasons for behavior, we are blind to the underlying cause. Unconscious, and trapped by our personality.
The Enneagram with its 9 types can teach you exactly why people do what they do. It can show you why we make certain decisions and take certain actions. When becoming an enneagram coach, this can be very helpful.
It can show you the why behind limiting habits. It can show you the reason behind thinking patterns that restrict us.
As an Enneagram coach with this knowledge you can change the lives of others. Just remember that there are common typing mistakes that people make when learning and using the Enneagram.
Coach the Enneagram’s map for personal and spiritual growth.
Perhaps it’s because so many people are mistyped that the real power of the Enneagram is underutilized. The real power of the Enneagram lies in its map for personal growth.
I want you to get past coaching the typing phase as quickly as possible, because the real value of the Enneagram lies beyond typing. When you are coaching clients, I also want you to be able to help them to grow their types to reach their highest expression.
The Enneagram has a very clear useful map, that shows us exactly when we disintegrate to our lowest expression and how we can help ourselves to integrate to our highest expression.
As coaches this becomes an incredible coaching tool, because we can help others to grow in self-awareness.
If you think of the Enneagram as being like an operating system on a computer, we are learning about our own operating systems, so that we can make the best use of them and even upgrade them.
4 Steps to become an Enneagram Coach
#1 Check your enneagram Type
Because enneagram tests are not reliable, and are considered to be 50-60% accurate, its best to start your professional journey by checking your type.
#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.
Think of each Enneagram type as a personality operating system. If we don’t understand our operating systems, we might struggle and suffer. By learning how our operating system works, we can get the most from it, and can even learn how to upgrade it.
#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. In fact, this leads to many mistyping mistakes and can also make the Enneagram far too confusing.
The ILS way of teaching the Enneagram emphasizes that the Enneagram types are formed around hidden factors that we are born with. InnerLifeSkills calls these the grains of sand in the Personality Pearl. We label them as RED, BLUE and GREEN. This is our way of showing that the 9 types all arise from the primary 3 grains of sand.
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 is a movement from the grain of sand.
Here is an example of why this is important. If I ask my students to raise their hands if they enjoy occasionally helping people, they all put their hands up. Helping is a behaviour. Now, 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 reason for their helping.
- A type 1 might help to do the right thing.
- A type 2 might help to feel needed.
- A type 3 might help to prove that they can.
- A type 4 might help to feel special.
- A type 5 might help to share their knowledge.
- A type 6 might help to be of service.
- A type 7 might help to alleviate pain.
- A type 8 might help to be in charge.
- A type 9 might help to create 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.
Would you like our free 90 Minutes 9 Types introduction course? LEARN MORE
#4 The Enneagram shows us the REASONS for behaviour!
People really do love the Enneagram. That’s why we started including the foundation studies in our courses. As life coaches and trainers, it’s essential to understand our clients and the Enneagram really 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.
Don’t forget to download the free Enneagram Coach ebook here.
#5 Learn to type people without needing to use unreliable tests!
Not many people are aware of the fact that even the best Enneagram online tests have 50-60% accuracy. It’s not like a Myers Briggs test for example that is highly accurate. Compare these 2 scenarios.
1 – TESTS to determine the Enneagram are not accurate:
A person does an online test and has a 50/50 chance of being typed properly. They get a report which tells them their type and explains what that means.
2- ILS 8 Step Enneagram Coaching Method 95% accuracy:
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 the knowledge. And then they are coached, by an ILS Enneagram Coach, to work out their OWN 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 that 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.
By learning about the ILS 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 very 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 Purpose.
The ILS symbol for our natural self is the apple tree.
The Enneagram is a very helpful tool for growing our apple trees—true self based purpose. 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 ILS Enneagram Coaches. To offer Enneagram typing sessions and Enneagram coaching.
Summary of how to become an Enneagram coach
Avoid the 3 biggest mistakes –
- Thinking that the Enneagram is about
behaviour, when it’s based on the reasons for behaviour.
2. Believing that the Enneagram tests are accurate when they only have 50-60% accuracy.
3. Not using the Enneagram completely as a powerful map for growth.
Consider using the InnerLifeSkills 8 Step Enneagram Coaching Method to accurately help people to type themselves whilst giving them the gift of the Enneagram knowledge.
Understand all of the 8 important reasons for learning the Enneagram — the Enneagram doesn’t put you in a box, it gives you keys to understanding yourself and others, it focuses on the reasons for
If you are interested in this, let us know. We offer 3 online live Webinar courses per year. Email to