Our Ascending Leader’s Program(TM) uses the Enneagram as a tool to discuss personality types and ways to use this knowledge to enhance our behaviors and those of our team members. Self-knowledge helps us understand why we do things the way we do. It also helps us understand why others do things the way they do.
In this and subsequent newsletters I will discuss a particular personality type, how to recognize it, how we behave if it is our dominant type, and how to interact with others who fit this particular type.
To identify your dominant personality type, visit www.enneagraminstitute.comand take the free assessment. You may also take the enhanced assessment for a small fee.
In this issue, I will discuss personality Type 1, The Reformer. The Reformer is the Rational, Idealistic Type: Principled, Purposeful, Self-Controlled, and Perfectionistic. Reformers have a strong sense of right and wrong and are ethical and conscientious. They are well organized and have high standards, which can make them critical perfectionists.
It is easy to recognize a Reformer. They are neat and proper, sometimes meticulous, with a rigid posture and stiff upper lip. They may also present an overly pleasant demeanor. Reformers tend to think the world is imperfect, so they must work towards its improvement. They can be very critical of themselves, and when they get frustrated, they usually maintain a pleasant demeanor.
The average Reformer feels that others are indifferent to his or her principles and tries to convince them of the rightness of their viewpoint. A healthy Type 1 can approach life emotionally and possesses a strong sense of purpose and conviction. An unhealthy Type 1 can be close-minded and become uncompromising, bitter, or highly self-righteous.
The communication style of a Reformer is moralizing, teaching, preaching, judging, lecturing, and correcting. They excel in roles that require special attention to detail and can have an impact in an area where improvement is needed.
To get along with a Type 1, it is best to acknowledge their achievements, reassure them, and tell them you value their advice. It can also be a good idea to encourage them to lighten up and laugh at themselves. You may want to appeal to their sense of duty and ethics, be neat, well prepared, and organized, be on time, and stay on schedule. Instead of disagreeing with them, speak respectfully and ask “what if…” questions.
Of the three Centers of Intelligence (heart, head, and body), Reformers are in the body center, meaning they filter the world through an intelligence of kinesthetic and physical sensations along with gut instinct.
If you are a Type 1, or know one, understand that they normally hold their angry feelings in check. They hold their anger in their bodies and can become extremely tense and rigid with the effort to control themselves.
Suggestions and exercises for Type 1 team members are those that are self-nurturing.
- Spend time each day doing recreational activities
- Accentuate the importance of humor in your life
- Practice stress reduction, meditation, or yoga
- Take vacations to get away from work and compulsive actions
Remember, none of the personality types is better or worse than any other. All types have unique assets and liabilities, strengths and weaknesses. While it is common to find a little of ourselves in each of the nine types, one of them typically stands out as being closest to ourselves. This is our basic personality type.
The Enneagram is a valuable tool coaches can use with individual clients and teams, helping them understand why they behave the way they do. In an organization or business, this can help in employee development, hiring decisions, or forming highly functional teams.
Let me know the results of your assessment, and if I can help you to use this discovery to become more effective in your work and personal life.