Introducing Motivational Maps to Staff
Becoming a Business Practitioner of Motivational Maps

The Enneagram and Motivational Maps

I sometimes get asked what is the connection between the Enneagram and Motivational Maps? This is a great question since the Enneagram is one of the three foundation blocks on which I constructed Motivational Maps. Before answering, then, the question directly, let me detour to explain to those who have never heard of the Enneagram what it is and what it does.

Basically, the Enneagram (a word of Greek origin meaning ‘nine points’) is a personality profiling tool. It is in my view the best personality tool available by far; it is quite different from the others, like Myers-Briggs, which categorize people into groups of four and sixteen; there are nine basic types of person, divided into three triads of three, and you can only be one type. What is so powerful about the Enneagram is that it describes what the fundamental motivator of each type is – what they are at root, and most often, looking for in life; and with this goes the predominant ‘vice’, or problem, that besets each number and which, if they are to grow, they need to overcome.

Different writers call the numbers by different names, so the names of each number are not standard. Webb, for example, calls a 1, The Perfectionist, whereas Hurley calls 1s The Achievers; the key thing is the number.
 
Thus, the first thing that the Enneagram has in common with Maps is the number 9: there are nine personality types and nine motivators at work. That there are nine motivators at work was discovered by follow-on research validating Edgar Schein’s Career Anchors model. Schein suggested that there were eight career drivers; research in Israel validated his model, but amended it to nine drivers: “The construct validity of Schein's career anchors orientation inventory” (Nira Danziger, Dalia Rachman-Moore,  Rony Valency, Rishon Lezion). That there are nine personality goes back to the origins of the Enneagram and its oral tradition, which is at least two thousand years old. It’s difficult to argue with the validity of something that has been road-tested for so long; and in the Twentieth Century leading thinkers and psychologists such as Ouspensky, Ichazo, Naranjo have added their weight to its relevance and validity. This was a great encouragement to me to proceed with the Map model.

Second, the nine Enneagram types are classified in three triads of three. There are three  types of personality that are affect or relational orientated (2, 3 and 4), three types that are theory or thinking orientated (5, 6 and 7), and three types that are effect or doing orientated (8, 9 and 1).This corresponds to the three primary modes of perception: feeling with the heart, thinking with the head, and knowing with the gut (as in gut-instinct, which obviously is involved in decisive actions and decisions). In looking at the motivational drivers I realized that the same division applied to them: that there were three motivators that were clearly relationship driven: security, belonging and recognition That three motivators were theory or thinking driven: control, money and expertise. And finally that three motivators were more instinctual: creativity, autonomy and purpose. Thus, this Enneagram model of the three triads exactly fitted the nine motivators.

And this is important: there is an underlying question for each of the three triads that applies to the maps equally as to the Enneagram. Namely, the relationship triad is asking: Am I lovable? The Theory triad is asking: Am I capable? And the instinctual triad is asking: Am I important? These three questions underpin our existence; they are ‘anxiety’ questions for us all on a motivational and a personality level. What Maps and the Enneagram teach us is that we have strengths, but also weaknesses, including blind spots, and unless these are addressed they are going to trip us up in the long run.

Finally, it needs to be said that the numbers of the Enneagram do not provide an exact correlation with the Map motivators and this is for a very good reason: motivation is only partially derived from our personalities. There is, if you will, the given of personality that forms, in Enneagram terms, within the first five years of life. That supplies some 20 or 30% of our motivational profile; but the other 70-80% is down to two other core factors: our self-concept and our expectations. In simple words, the former are our beliefs about our self, and the latter are our beliefs about future outcomes. In short, our beliefs inwardly and outwardly directed affect some 70% or so of our motivation at any given moment, and our beliefs are variables, which means they can change, and so can our motivation.

Both tools then are superb but they measure different things. In an ideal world we would be looking at and studying both. The Enneagram is far more complex than the Motivational Map and in one important sense is much less relevant to the world of work: it is uncovering personality at the deepest level and inviting one to go on a serious spiritual journey of growth. That is admirable, but have businesses got time for the full monty of personal development? The Map, by contrast, addresses the immediate issue of energy and its direction; plus it gives ways for individuals, teams and organizations to increase that energy and to link it in to performance. The Maps, then, are about personal development, too, but scaled down to a level where business can function and benefit. Ultimately, it is a question of choice and I certainly recommend Enneagram studies to everyone.


     
I sometimes get asked what is the connection between the Enneagram and Motivational Maps? This is a great question since the Enneagram is one of the three foundation blocks on which I constructed Motivational Maps. Before answering, then, the question directly, let me detour to explain to those who have never heard of the Enneagram what it is and what it does.

Basically, the Enneagram (a word of Greek origin meaning ‘nine points’) is a personality profiling tool. It is in my view the best personality tool available by far; it is quite different from the others, like Myers-Briggs, which categorize people into groups of four and sixteen; there are nine basic types of person, divided into three triads of three, and you can only be one type. What is so powerful about the Enneagram is that it describes what the fundamental motivator of each type is – what they are at root, and most often, looking for in life; and with this goes the predominant ‘vice’, or problem, that besets each number and which, if they are to grow, they need to overcome.

Different writers call the numbers by different names, so the names of each number are not standard. Webb, for example, calls a 1, The Perfectionist, whereas Hurley calls 1s The Achievers; the key thing is the number.
 
Thus, the first thing that the Enneagram has in common with Maps is the number 9: there are nine personality types and nine motivators at work. That there are nine motivators at work was discovered by follow-on research validating Edgar Schein’s Career Anchors model. Schein suggested that there were eight career drivers; research in Israel validated his model, but amended it to nine drivers: “The construct validity of Schein's career anchors orientation inventory” (Nira Danziger, Dalia Rachman-Moore,  Rony Valency, Rishon Lezion). That there are nine personality goes back to the origins of the Enneagram and its oral tradition, which is at least two thousand years old. It’s difficult to argue with the validity of something that has been road-tested for so long; and in the Twentieth Century leading thinkers and psychologists such as Ouspensky, Ichazo, Naranjo have added their weight to its relevance and validity. This was a great encouragement to me to proceed with the Map model.

Second, the nine Enneagram types are classified in three triads of three. There are three  types of personality that are affect or relational orientated (2, 3 and 4), three types that are theory or thinking orientated (5, 6 and 7), and three types that are effect or doing orientated (8, 9 and 1).This corresponds to the three primary modes of perception: feeling with the heart, thinking with the head, and knowing with the gut (as in gut-instinct, which obviously is involved in decisive actions and decisions). In looking at the motivational drivers I realized that the same division applied to them: that there were three motivators that were clearly relationship driven: security, belonging and recognition That three motivators were theory or thinking driven: control, money and expertise. And finally that three motivators were more instinctual: creativity, autonomy and purpose. Thus, this Enneagram model of the three triads exactly fitted the nine motivators.

And this is important: there is an underlying question for each of the three triads that applies to the maps equally as to the Enneagram. Namely, the relationship triad is asking: Am I lovable? The Theory triad is asking: Am I capable? And the instinctual triad is asking: Am I important? These three questions underpin our existence; they are ‘anxiety’ questions for us all on a motivational and a personality level. What Maps and the Enneagram teach us is that we have strengths, but also weaknesses, including blind spots, and unless these are addressed they are going to trip us up in the long run.

Finally, it needs to be said that the numbers of the Enneagram do not provide an exact correlation with the Map motivators and this is for a very good reason: motivation is only partially derived from our personalities. There is, if you will, the given of personality that forms, in Enneagram terms, within the first five years of life. That supplies some 20 or 30% of our motivational profile; but the other 70-80% is down to two other core factors: our self-concept and our expectations. In simple words, the former are our beliefs about our self, and the latter are our beliefs about future outcomes. In short, our beliefs inwardly and outwardly directed affect some 70% or so of our motivation at any given moment, and our beliefs are variables, which means they can change, and so can our motivation.

Both tools then are superb but they measure different things. In an ideal world we would be looking at and studying both. The Enneagram is far more complex than the Motivational Map and in one important sense is much less relevant to the world of work: it is uncovering personality at the deepest level and inviting one to go on a serious spiritual journey of growth. That is admirable, but have businesses got time for the full monty of personal development? The Map, by contrast, addresses the immediate issue of energy and its direction; plus it gives ways for individuals, teams and organizations to increase that energy and to link it in to performance. The Maps, then, are about personal development, too, but scaled down to a level where business can function and benefit. Ultimately, it is a question of choice and I certainly recommend Enneagram studies to everyone.


    

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