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  • Writer's pictureSusan & Renée

Personality Systems and Business

Updated: Sep 6, 2023


In our last blog we talked about how Personality Systems can act like a decoding tool for navigating our interpersonal worlds.


Of course, much of our lives are spent at work, so it is natural that Personality Systems have been applied to business. When this happens, the full usefulness of these systems can get lost.


The focus can become on the more descriptive parts of the system. People may even resist using the system because it feels like they “are being put into a box”. These systems are not at all about putting people in boxes, rather the power of the systems is in helping to support growth and development.


Two of the most popular systems in business today are Meyers Briggs and Enneagram. Many of you may have been at a business conference where you discovered your Meyers Briggs type or Enneagram number. That initial information is literally the tip of the iceberg. The true strength of each of these systems is found through in depth study and application.


At times, the Enneagram and Meyers Briggs have been seen as opposing systems. This is not the case. Both are systems that, when used with fidelity, can lead to positive change.


Here is a very brief primer on Meyers Briggs and the Enneagram.


Meyers Briggs:

The Meyers Briggs Type Inventory is probably the most ubiquitous and well-known personality system on the market. It was developed from the work of Sigmund Freud’s frenemy Carl Jung. He was looking at how the brain worked and identified different types of cognitive functions. He developed a system of categories: Introversion or Extraversion, Sensing or Intuition, Thinking or Feeling, Perceiving or Judging. A mixture of these categories result in the Meyers Briggs Types.


To start using this system, you take an inventory and your results are codified into a four letter acronym to describe your type. For example: ISTP - Introversion, Sensing, Thinking Perceiving.


This is often where many people stop, but this is just the beginning. Studying and applying all aspects of the system will help you recognize aspects of your personality that are underdeveloped and provide guidance to improve them. In business, it can help individuals and teams develop awareness of how others work. This can lead to more effective leadership and team cohesion.

Enneagram:

The Enneagram has more recently become popular in the business community. It traces its roots back to a variety of wisdom traditions that are thousands of years old. It started its transformation into how it is used today through the work of spiritual teacher Oscar Ichazo and psychologist Dr.Claudio Naranjo.

Combining the psychological and spiritual aspects of personality, the Enneagram bases its system in 3 centers of intelligence (instinctive, feeling, intuition). From these three centers, nine different personality types are identified. The Enneagram symbolically represents how each of these types interact through a nine pointed diagram.

Similar to Meyers Briggs, after you take an assessment you receive a number that corresponds to a certain type. For example: Type 3 is adaptable, excelling, driven, and image-conscious.

Knowing your number is barely scratching the surface of this dynamic system. The Enneagram is designed for growth. The symbol itself guides the user toward self development. In business, it can accelerate and support deep transformations in employees, leaders and cultures by helping individuals understand how to communicate and compassionately interpret the behaviors of those they work with.

G2 Solutions has expertise with using the Enneagram and we believe it is a system that can help teams reach their potential. When used with full integrity, the Enneagram allows you to better understand yourself and others by gaining insight into motivations and behaviors. Let us show you how by conducting an Enneagram workshop at your company!


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