Academic journal article Manager

The Enneagram at Work

Academic journal article Manager

The Enneagram at Work

Article excerpt

THE ENNEAGRAM AT WORK Towards Personal Mastery and Social Intelligence by Hannah Nathans Cyan/Scriptum Books ISBN 1-904879-01-2, 304 pages, £14.99

Heard of an enneagram?

No? Neither had I before I read this scholarly, yet practical book - although the author apologises that "there are already so many books about the enneagram". For those like me with little, if any, knowledge, an enneagram is a diagnostic tool for personality analysis and development. It distinguishes nine different personality types laid out in a circular diagram, and (the author stresses) is a "transformational model".

Hannah Nathans consistently points out the four practical applications of the tool - organisations (management and consulting work), teaching, psychology and social service, and spirituality- but is refreshingly honest in limiting her perspective to those of personal interest. This could have been somewhat limiting, but because of the comprehensive contextualisation ("the knowledge about enneagram which exists at the moment is not complete"), the book is a useful introduction to the concept. The difference to other diagnostic tools is explained well; Nathans argues that it lies in the level of analysis that the Enneagram offers.

I have some doubt about this, recognising in the typologies many similarities with (for example) the 16Pf diagnostic. However, the comprehensive research, which underpins the writing, is impressive, and the consistent theme of practical use prevents the work from being detached from reality, (the course studies were particularly relevant and illustrative), and there is a temptation to regard the concept accordingly. …

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