"Visions of World Benefit & Global Responsibility: Perspectives of McGill Students

Wednesday, August 1, 2007


The origins of the Enneagram figure, a nine-sided star polygon, can be traced back to Sufi Tradition of Central Asia. However, G.I. Gurdjieff is credited with its introduction through his teachings as a symbol representing fundamental universal cosmic laws. Used for diverse purposes and in different teaching schemes, the Enneagram is famously known as the Enneagram of Personality.

Being one of the more modern personality systems in use, it places emphasis on psychological motivations of the human being. The Enneagram has been used extensively by psychologists, but has found its way into the world of commerce.

The Enneagram teaches nine different ways of doing business in the world, nine different ways of approaching work and relationships and the value of each. “It can help project managers understand how personalities within a team can be effectively managed such that individuals can be involved in ways that are most productive, depending on their personalities and behaviors.

The Enneagram application in communication and team building are new applications that, properly applied, can provide major benefits to managers and leaders alike. Some of the benefits of its application to communication within a work place are gaining an accurate perception of yourself within a team, effectively expressing your ideas to your coworkers, understanding your own and others’ motivations and the numerous ways of communication. Communication improves interactions and relations with others while increases emotional intelligence. The Enneagram provides a complete framework for gaining new insight into our own motivations and leadership behaviors as well as for understanding others’ needs and opinions. It also helps us consider cultural and individual differences by providing one framework that can simplify the complexities involved in human relationships. The Enneagram can also be applied to understanding organizational cultures and sub-cultures.

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