Hoffman’s enrolment and graduate support manager Lucy Dancer has been gathering questions about our upcoming Enneagram workshops with Tim Laurence. Here are Tim’s answers.
Q: I understand that there are nine Enneagram Types and that each of us falls into one Type. Doesn’t this trap us all with a label?
Tim: Good question – and yes, you’d think so. But the sad truth is, our personalities have already kept us a little trapped and the Enneagram shows us a healthy way out. For instance, I’m addicted to helping others or controlling others or avoiding conflict. Maybe I’m not even aware that I’m always worrying. If I know my Type, I have a huge area of knowledge to get more freedom in my life.
Q: How can we all be filtered into nine Types, aren’t we more complex than this?
Tim: Much more complex – and perhaps that’s why it’s so satisfying. The Enneagram reflects the particular ways of adapting and approaching the world which we each took on in response to the unique challenges of our childhood environment. By understanding this, we are better able to bring compassion to the way we are, and the way others are.
Then of course we can also consider the typical strengths and short-comings of our Type and shift our perspective in order to grow. There’s sub-types of each and then there’s where we go under stress, and a different way when we’re feeling secure. It goes on and on. I’ve spent many years with it and am still learning.
Q: I think I know which Type I am. So can I now tell others around me and then they can stop trying to expect me to be any other way? Surely they just need to love me for who I am, right?
Tim: Well, if you keep being the way you are, you’ll end up where you’re headed, as they say. But if you’re serious about change and growth, not to mention understanding others, get to know your Type even better and experience so much more than you can now see. Another true cliché here: We don’t know what we don’t know. Maybe they’ll not only love you, they’ll want to see you more often.
Q: I’m unsure which Type I am as two of them resonate. Will the workshops help with this? Are there ways to distinguish between two particular Types, if you can’t tell which one you are?
Tim: Yes, there are look-alikes and I’ll be going into those. For instance, there are Types that love to help others, and Types that love to control. But underneath that, there are levels in whether they’re more focused on themselves or others, suffering or happiness, image or knowledge.
Q: I think I know which Type I am. I had an ‘A-ha!’ moment, followed by a twinge of ‘Ouch!’ Is that how it feels when you figure out your Type?
Tim: Yes, it can feel like ‘I’ve been got’. But after the initial shock of diagnosis, there’s a relief, ‘Now I know the problem, I can work on it’
Q: If I can figure out what Type my partner/sister/boss is, will it help me understand them more?
Tim: 100%. This is such an immense side benefit. The Enneagram shows us how to be more understanding and compassionate to those we love and work with. ‘Oh, so that’s why you need to know about something before it happensl’ and ‘Ah, OK, I get why you hate small talk’. Or on the positive side, getting why this person loves to be organised and plan great holidays.
Q: I’m thinking about signing up and I already know what Type I am. What I really want to know is, how can I communicate better with a Five/Two/One/Eight as they are driving me crazy! Will there be time to cover communication and how to approach the various types?
Tim: As much as we can, given that in these Introductions we’ll be spending over an hour on each Type. I’ll be kicking off with the Five, my own Type. Since they’re the most introverted and hidden, I’m very used to being asked ‘How do I communicate with someone so much quieter than myself?’.
Q: What’s the format of the workshops? Will it just be you talking? Will there be slides? Can we ask questions?
I’ll be running through the main points of three Types per morning session – the basics, what their pros and cons are, how they relate, where they can grow, where they hit roadblocks. I may have some slides to illustrate people who represent those Types in the public eye. I’ll ask if people on the workshop know they are the Type I’m talking about and encourage a Q and A with them. Making it more interactive keeps people more involved, and that’s the way we work in Hoffman anyway.
Looking forward to a lively session of diving into the fascinating world of personality!
Our final Exploring The Enneagram workshop:
Date: Saturday 24 April
Times: 9.30am – 1.00pm, with a mid-morning screen break.
If you missed the two previous Enneagram workshops that focused on the Head (5, 6, 7) and Heart (8, 9, 1)Types, it is still possible to purchase the audio and workbook of each session. Email the Hoffman office for more details: email@example.com
You don’t need prior knowledge of the Types to attend our Enneagram workshops, but you might be tempted to do an online test to get an idea. If you do, please still keep an open mind, as they can quite often give a misleading Type diagnosis. And if you are interested in finding out more about the Enneagram in general:
- Leeann and Michelle’s YouTube videos are a light-hearted introduction to the Types – you can find their Enneagram Types Behind The Wheel here
- Riso and Hudson of the Enneagram Institute have some useful introductory resources on their website; you can find it here
- The International Enneagram Association promotes a world in which the Enneagram is widely understood and constructively used.You can find their website here.
- The Enneagram Made Easy – Elizabeth Wagele and Renee Baron
- Principles of the Enneagram – Karen Webb
- Wisdom of the Enneagram – Riso and Hudson
- The Enneagram – Helen Palmer
New to Hoffman? For more information about the Hoffman Process and other introductory events, visit our next steps page, where you can find details of other online and phone events, or sign up to our newsletter.