The Essential Enneagram, Lynette Sheppard
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Self Development Using the Enneagram

One - Perfectionist Four - Romantic Seven - Epicure
Two - Giver Five - Observer Eight - Boss
Three -Performer Six -Devil's Advocate Nine - Peacemaker


Marlene (not her real name) is a successful, professional speaker. From written testing and her job in the world, she believed herself to be a Three. After all, she was goal directed and focused on success. During an Enneagram class, she saw a panel of Ones (Perfectionists) and burst into tears. She realized that her attention is focused like a One's, on correcting error and striving for improvement. While she shares traits in common with Threes, her internal terrain is that of a Perfectionist.

Lucille believes that most of the people she knows perceive her as a Three. Her internal terrain is not even known to those closest to her, because she has felt unable to share it. She identifies herself as a Romantic Four, privately longing for some missing piece and still grieving her father's death. She has always felt something was missing even in her self-described wonderful marriage, and has privately wondered if something was deeply wrong with her. Now she realizes that she is experiencing the attentional span of the Enneagram Four. "What a relief to find that this is just how the personality operates; not necessarily reality. And what a blessing to know that I am not alone," she shares.

How do we ascertain our Enneagram type? No written test thus far adequately describes internal terrrain. Some of us may recognize ourselves in a book, but many relate to more than one type and find it difficult to discover our Enneagram point. Once we determine our type, how then do we work with that knowledge? Read on.


Self observation is the key to determining our Enneagram point. Each of the nine personality types fixates attention in an habitual way. By noticing where our attention automatically goes, we can determine our type. The nine ways of paying attention are as follows:

Type One - the Perfectionist

Attention naturally goes to noticing what is right or wrong, to perceiving error and correcting it, to continual improvement.

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Type Two - The Giver

Attention naturally goes to what others need, and how the Two can meet those needs to ensure the positive personal regard of others.

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Type Three - The Performer

Attention naturally migrates to what will support an image of success, to gaining approval for one's accomplishments and image.

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Type Four - The Romantic

Attention naturally migrates to what is missing in life. Others are felt to have what the Romantic is missing and deeply longs for .

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Type Five - The Observer

Attention naturally goes to what others want from the Observer, and whether that will intrude upon or overwhelm his/her need for space.

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Type Six - the Devil's Advocate

Attention naturally turns to worst case scenarios (envisioned in the mind) and the hidden motives of other people.

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Type Seven - the Epicure

Attention naturally fixates on pleasant future plans and keeping all options open.

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Point Eight - the Boss

Attention naturally goes to control - of people, personal space, and one's own vulnerability.

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Point Nine - the Peacemaker

Attention naturally is focused on other people's agendas, and merging with them to the detriment of one's own agendas or desires.



Lynette Sheppard & Associates

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