The Enneagram for Change Catalysts

Nick Turner, CET

Whether you are called to work as a coach, healer, therapist, or some other kind of Change Catalyst, you will almost certainly meet many different kinds of clients. They will not all be just like you!

In my career as an enneagram teacher, I've noticed that many Change Catalysts have a fairly narrow definition of what sort of person could be a client. Part of that is definitely a matter of personality — we don't tend to work with people whose views feel alien or strange to us. That's perfectly natural, after all how can we be effective if we don't "get" our client?

If we turn away a client just because we don't understand their personality, we are short changing ourselves in a big way. Being able to understand the whole range of human personalities, with their widely differing motivations, talents, and psychological traps can greatly enhance your results with people who differ widely from those you already know.

CC - Episode 7 - Enneagram-diagram.jpg

The enneagram is a mystical symbol more than two thousand years old, based on a universal principle called the Law Of Three. In its deepest truth, it is about three fundamental forces that come into play whenever there is purposive action in the world. It has powerful uses in many different fields, including psychology, where it provides a direct map to nine different personality types that are seen in any intelligent, social species — including humans.

As a map of personality styles, the enneagram shows us how to recognize the different types, and it also reveals their inner workings. We see powerful, type-specific talents in action, and also how those talents can become hugely damaging traps if they are misused, overused, or ignored. We learn how to work with people falling into these psychological traps — even if they are very different from ourselves.

There are three ways the enneagram is a powerful way to enhance your work as a Change Catalyst:

  • As you begin to understand your own enneagram type, and you begin to see the talents and traps operating in yourself, you become able to recognize the traps earlier and simply opt out of them before they do their damage. You become able to understand yourself better, leading you to a healthier, more balanced life. You will be able to let your amazing, near miraculous natural talents shine out, and use them effortlessly in your work.

  • You begin to understand your clients better, especially those who may not be the kind of people you already feel comfortable working with. Your pool of potential clients increases and you are able to take on new clients you might have turned away before. Once you start working with them, you will be able to help them work through their own personality traps, even if they are not the same ones you have personally dealt with.

  • You begin to understand the world better as the enneagram's deeper meanings begin to come through. While this new understanding may not directly impact your work as a Change Catalyst, it can bring you a deeper sense of your current place in the Universe. Seeing yourself and your path more clearly, you might choose to fine-tune it, make some serious changes, or completely revolutionize it.

Listen to my recent interview with Carol McClelland Fields on her
Change Catalysts at the Growing Edge Radio Podcast.

I offer the enneagram to the world because it revolutionized my own life. I can share it with you in online private sessions or

  • Begin by familiarizing yourself with enneagram basics by reading Enneagram 101 on my site, Consult the contents page for links to all the articles in Enneagram 101.

  • Work with Nick via Zoom session to begin framing a picture of your personality, and of course what enneagram type you might be.

  • Explore a multi-day, private enneagram retreat at Willowspring, our rural retreat center in northwest Oregon. Visit to see photos of our location and other retreat possibilities.

I can also be found inside of Carol's Change Catalyst Network, participating in various ways and bringing an enneagram angle to the work we do there.