The Communicating Enneagram #3 Curious Connections

Curious connections

For student of the Enneagram, type Sevens are without doubt, the kings and queens of Options, and not just in their work life. In a similar way, type Ones, would shine out as the people most likely to make a list (a procedure) and follow it, step by step.

Type sevens are known for making several lists; an options approach to following procedures.

If this is true, then there may be other patterns that have “axis” relating to LAB Profile, or is the distribution more like that of the Harmonic group or Hornevian group?

As it is, the Hornevian types relate to LAB profile in a significant manner. In the Hornevian groups there are groups of people whose motivations are  “Moving Toward-People”, “Moving Away From People” and “Moving Against People.

LAB Profile has identified that some people are more “Person” orientated; concentrating on thoughts and feelings, whilst others will be “Thing” orientated, more interested in systems and tools. Hornevian types combine the “Person” or “People” element with that of Toward and Away-from.

The Toward and Away from motivation is widely utilised as a significant motivator when coaching people. A person may be motivated by something they have but do not want (away from) or by something they want, but do not have (Toward). A widely held opinion within the NLP coaching arena, is that whilst the Away from motivation is powerful, it can create movement without a specific direction. An away-from motivation is like giving someone  a list of food to buy in a supermarket of all the things you don’t want to eat for dinner.

Hence, most ways in which people are coached to “achieve” their goals (a very toward pattern) is to come up with what they want instead of what they have now. In other words – adopt a Toward motivation. This is because, NLP is based on modelling – that is to say, uncovering how people who always seem to ‘excel’ in the things they set out to do, whether work, sport or leisure activities, have been found to have a very strong Toward motivation. And who are the Enneagram types most likely to be ‘excelling’? probably type threes and sevens – so does that mean they are mainly ‘Toward’ motivated? These are the kind of questions I wanted to explore.

I sought to throw some light on the relationship between The Enneagram types and LAB Profile patterns. If there was a link, is it a persons type, wing and point of disintegration that prods the T.E.A jelly of our Thoughts, Emotions and Actions ?

jelly TEA

In Enneagram theory, all aspects of the nine types are within us. However, there will be one “type” that prevails and influences the way we perceive and act in the world, which is considered to be our basic type.

The LAB Profile traits that different people will exhibit have in one context may not be the same for other areas of their life. Therefore, LAB traits – (or meta-programmes) are believed to be “within us” and available “in some context or other”. A view which is not widely held, is that as with Enneagram types, there is probably a “theme” trait that we can identify as predominant in our lives.

If that is so, then I am suggesting that these two “drivers” of our behaviour are linked. That is, Enneagram types will have certain associated meta-programmes. These will probably be more noticeable in the average levels, with some possible shifts at the lower un-healthy and higher-healthy levels.


I have approached the project both objectively and subjectively.

The objective approach was to identify what, if any, LAB Profile traits are presupposed within the 244 questions of the Riso Hudson Enneagram Type Indicator (RHETI) This was followed by a LAB Profile of the nine levels of development for each type as described in the Riso Hudson part one Professional Training manual.

This data was mapped together to provide an overall picture of the LAB Profile trait distribution.
I have added my subjective insights from personal experience and observations of different types, some of which may confirm or conflict with the profile data.

My aim is to carry out a further objective study. This might take the form of a LAB Profiling interview of Riso-Hudson Enneagram students who have a high degree of certainty of their type and wing.

Symmetry and Patterns

Given the nature of the Enneagram, it is encouraged to presuppose a distribution by way of patterns and symmetry. The three main patterns being; The Triadic centres, The Hornevian group and Harmonic types. These are all groups of threes.

The major grouping is that of the 3, 6, 9 triad and the 1-4-2-8-5-7 hexad.

It is reasonable to expect that any other findings might fit within these groups or be distributed  in a similar manner, ie.  a combination of, or in multiples of threes.

However, attempts to “make things fit” without verifiable evidence, could lead to the spread of misinformation. I will attempt to inform the reader when such “subjective” patterns are offered. The reader is encouraged to test and challenge any aspect of these findings.

Whilst I will describe some of the behavioural traits and associated LAB Profile patterns, readers will find the full descriptions for LAB Profile traits, along with the RHETI profile distribution, in Appendix A, at the back of this paper.

Where certain traits appear within different ranges, this is to be considered more like that of the balance of a set of scales.

At our healthiest – level one of our basic type, all aspects are most likely to be in equilibrium. Not so much of a ‘cancelling out’ but more of having full access to all behavioural traits; allowing actions to be taken that are appropriate for the situation.

Thus any  “shift” might indicate that their was probably an imbalance to start with, whereas an “appearance” of a trait would indicate that the equilibrium has tilted to one side.
Coming Next #4 Type One-Expanded Levels Profile