The World of Work Project

The Enneagram

Enneagram is a spiritualist model of nine personality types: Reformer/Perfectionist, Helper/Giver, Achiever/Performer, Individualist/ Romantic, Investigator/Observer, Loyalist/Loyal-Sceptic, Enthusiast/Epicure, Challenger/Protector & Peacemaker/Mediator.

Summary by The World of Work Project

The Enneagram of Personality

The Enneagram is a popular, spiritualist personality test. It contends that there are nine personality types, each of which have distinctive characteristics. These characteristics can be used to gain self-awareness or a deeper understanding of others.

Personalities in the Enneagram include vices, just like Vegas.

The Enneagram differs from other forms of personality assessment in its spirituality. Each of the nine categories that the Enneagram defines have a variety of traits. These traits include: ego fixation, holy idea, basic fear, basic desire, temptation, vice and virtue. We’ll look at each of the nine categories in more detail below.

1. Reformer / Perfectionist

In line with their “role” as named above, these individuals have the following key factors within the Enneagram:

  • Ego Fixation: Resentment
  • Holy Idea: Perfection
  • Basic Fear: Corruptness, imbalance, being bad
  • Basic Desire: Goodness, integrity, balance
  • Temptation: Hypocrisy, hyper-criticism
  • Vice / Passion: Anger
  • Virtue: Serenity

2. Helper / Giver

In line with their “role” as named above, these individuals have the following key factors within the Enneagram:

  • Ego Fixation: Flattery
  • Holy Idea: Freedom / will
  • Basic Fear: Being un-loved
  • Basic Desire: To feel love
  • Temptation: Deny own needs, manipulation
  • Vice / Passion: Pride
  • Virtue: Humility
Many people like to help others and give them gifts.

3. Achiever / Performer

In line with their “role” as named above, these individuals have the following key factors within the Enneagram:

  • Ego Fixation: Vanity
  • Holy Idea: Hope / law
  • Basic Fear: Worthlessness
  • Basic Desire: To feel valuable
  • Temptation: Pushing self to always be the best
  • Vice / Passion: Deceit
  • Virtue: Truthfulness / authenticity

4. Individualist / Romantic

Finding yourself may take self-reflection.

In line with their “role” as named above, these individuals have the following key factors within the Enneagram:

  • Ego Fixation: Melancholy
  • Holy Idea: Origin
  • Basic Fear: Having no identity or significance
  • Basic Desire: To be uniquely themselves
  • Temptation: To overuse imagination in search of self
  • Vice / Passion: Envy
  • Virtue: Equanimity (emotional balance)

5. Investigator / Observer

In line with their “role” as named above, these individuals have the following key factors within the Enneagram:

  • Ego Fixation: Stinginess
  • Holy Idea: Omnicience / transparency
  • Basic Fear: Helplessness, incapability, incompetence
  • Basic Desire: Mastery, understanding
  • Temptation: Replacing direct experience with concepts
  • Vice / Passion: Avarice
  • Virtue: Non-attachment

6. Loyalist / Loyal skeptic

In line with their “role” as named above, these individuals have the following key factors within the Enneagram:

  • Ego Fixation: Cowardice
  • Holy Idea: Faith
  • Basic Fear: Being without support or guidance
  • Basic Desire: To have support and guide
  • Temptation: Indecision, doubt, seeking reassurance
  • Vice / Passion: Fear
  • Virtue: Courage

7. Enthusiast / Epicure

In line with their “role” as named above, these individuals have the following key factors within the Enneagram:

Sometimes, it’s hard not to be a glutton.
  • Ego Fixation: Planning, anticipation
  • Holy Idea: Wisdom, plan
  • Basic Fear: Being trapped in pain and deprivation
  • Basic Desire: To be satisfied and content
  • Temptation: Thinking fulfillment is somewhere else
  • Vice / Passion: Gluttony
  • Virtue: Sobriety

8. Challenger / Protector

In line with their “role” as named above, these individuals have the following key factors within the Enneagram:

  • Ego Fixation: Vengeance
  • Holy Idea: Truth
  • Basic Fear: Being harmed, controlled, violated
  • Basic Desire: Self-protection
  • Temptation: Thinking they are completely self-sufficient
  • Vice / Passion: Lust (forcefulness)
  • Virtue: Innocence

9. Peacemaker / Mediator

In line with their “role” as named above, these individuals have the following key factors within the Enneagram:

  • Ego Fixation: Indolence (daydreaming)
  • Holy Idea: Love
  • Basic Fear: Loss, fragmentation, separation
  • Basic Desire: Wholeness, peace of mind
  • Temptation: Avoiding conflicts, avoiding self-assertion
  • Vice / Passion: Sloth (disengagement)
  • Virtue: Action
The Enneagram has clear, strong links to Christianity and many Christian interpretations of it are available for purchase online.

The World of Work Project View

Firstly, we’re conscious that we’ve not explored it as much as other models, nor have we explained it as well as other models. Hopefully what we have included here is helpful as a starting point for those who may wish to learn more about this model on their own.

This model of personality is much more spiritual than other models of personality. While it’s not for us, and it’s not been validated, we’ve included it here because we know that others might connect with it.

In general, we have problems with a wide range of personality assessments. From a personality assessment perspective, the one model we consider worth using is the empirically based “big five” model.

Sources and further reading

Where possible we always recommend that people read up on the original sources of information and ideas.

This post is based on a brief review of a range of sources. If you’d like to learn more about it, consider reading “The Wisdom of the Enneagram” by Don Richard Riso and Don Hudson.

Feedback

If you see any errors on this page or have any feedback, please contact us.

Most popular

Most discussed

click to book a call

Booking a call button
Our newsletter, the WoW Mail, covers all things related to the World of Work and the World of Work Podcast. You can sign up HERE.