Knowing other people's personality types is meant to help you grasp their viewpoint

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The enneagram system sorts individuals into nine personality types

In businesses, it has been adapted as a way of bringing insight into oneself and others

A report shows it is on par with the Myers-Briggs system and other well-known psychological systems

The system is typically taught in a half-day to two-day course

CNN  — 

Can a quasi-mystical system rooted in ancient philosophies bring enlightenment, efficiency and a better bottom line to organizations?

For a growing number of companies across the world, the answer seems to be yes. From small businesses in Europe to U.S. government departments, a popularized personality typing system, known as the enneagram, is being promoted, with claims that it improves teamwork, communication and leadership.

“The enneagram” refers to an ancient symbol – a circle inscribed with nine points – with each point indicating a different personality type, driven by a set of fears, motivations and behaviors.

Key to the system is that when you understand these, you can change and direct your behavior in order to reach your full potential – and bring it out in others.

It might sound a little hokey to some, but a yearlong study conducted in 2004 by Saville & Holdsworth reported that the enneagram is on par with the Myers-Briggs system, the Big Five and other well-known, accepted psychological systems.

“It is a sort of GPS of wisdom,” says Pernille Lauritsen, founder of Mindjuice, a leadership training company in Denmark that has used the enneagram for the past 7 years.

“It is a shortcut to understanding what drives people, and to discover strengths and blind spots around yourself and others.”

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