Enneagram Wings

October 17, 2023
Discover how Enneagram wings shape your personality, relationships, and growth in a world of insight and self-awareness.

Have you ever wondered what gives your Enneagram personality that unique flavor, that subtle twist that makes you distinct? In the intricate tapestry of the Enneagram, it's your wings that add those subtle hues and intricate patterns to your core type. In this guide, we'll unravel the mysteries of Enneagram wings, exploring how they influence your personality, relationships, and personal growth. Let's dive into the world of Enneagram wings, dispel myths, and uncover the profound insights they offer into the human experience.

What Are Enneagram Wings?

Enneagram wings are a fundamental aspect of the Enneagram system, contributing depth and complexity to your core personality type. In this section, we'll delve deeper into what Enneagram wings are and how they operate.

Understanding Enneagram Wings

Enneagram wings are the two adjacent personality types to your core type on the Enneagram diagram. These wings influence your core type, adding specific traits, tendencies, and flavors to your overall personality. While you primarily identify with your core type, your wings act as secondary factors that shape your behavior, motivations, and responses in various situations.

For example, if your core type is Type 4, your wings would be Types 3 and 5. Understanding your wings means recognizing that you possess characteristics from both adjacent types, although one is typically more dominant than the other. Your dominant wing amplifies certain traits of your core type while moderating others, creating a unique blend of personality characteristics.

How Wings Manifest

Wings manifest in different ways for each individual, adding a nuanced layer to your Enneagram profile. Here's how Enneagram wings may influence your personality:

  • Emphasized Traits: Your dominant wing emphasizes specific traits associated with your core type. For instance, a Type 2 with a 1 wing may exhibit more perfectionistic and principled qualities than a Type 2 with a 3 wing.
  • Balancing Qualities: Your secondary wing often balances out the extremes of your core type. It can mitigate the more challenging aspects of your primary type and provide alternative approaches to situations.
  • Influence on Behavior: Your wings influence how you react to various circumstances. They may determine whether you respond assertively, cautiously, creatively, or empathetically, depending on the situation.
  • Core Motivations: Enneagram wings also play a role in shaping your core motivations and desires. They add layers of complexity to your underlying fears, desires, and needs.

Understanding the intricacies of your Enneagram wings can offer valuable insights into your behavior, relationships, and personal growth journey.

Importance of Understanding Enneagram Wings

Understanding your Enneagram wings is not merely an exercise in self-discovery; it's a powerful tool that can positively impact various aspects of your life. We'll delve into the significance of comprehending Enneagram wings and how this knowledge can enhance your personal growth, relationships, and overall well-being.

Personal Growth and Self-Awareness

Comprehending your Enneagram wings is like gaining access to the user manual of your own personality. It allows you to:

  • Identify Strengths: Recognize your innate strengths and positive qualities, helping you harness and cultivate them for personal development.
  • Acknowledge Challenges: Understand your potential challenges and areas for improvement, providing clarity on where to focus your growth efforts.
  • Navigate Stress: Gain insights into how stress impacts you and learn strategies to manage stress effectively.
  • Facilitate Inner Healing: Uncover the roots of your behaviors and motivations, paving the way for inner healing and personal transformation.

Enriched Relationships

Enneagram wings not only shed light on your own personality but also enhance your interactions with others:

  • Empathy: Understanding the Enneagram wings of your loved ones allows you to empathize with their unique perspectives, fears, and desires.
  • Conflict Resolution: It provides tools for resolving conflicts more harmoniously by recognizing how differing wings can contribute to misunderstandings.
  • Improved Communication: Tailoring your communication style based on the Enneagram wings of those around you can lead to more effective and compassionate conversations.

Navigating Life's Challenges

Life is full of complexities and challenges, and Enneagram wings can serve as a valuable compass:

  • Adaptability: Awareness of your wings enables you to adapt your responses and behaviors to different situations, promoting flexibility and resilience.
  • Decision-Making: It guides your decision-making process by helping you weigh the pros and cons from the perspective of your core type and wings.
  • Wellness and Balance: Encourages a balanced approach to life, as you learn to integrate the positive qualities of both wings and manage the less constructive aspects.

In essence, understanding your Enneagram wings empowers you to live a more fulfilling and authentic life. It equips you with the knowledge to embark on a journey of self-discovery, nurture meaningful relationships, and navigate the complexities of the human experience with wisdom and compassion.

Enneagram Basics

The Enneagram is a powerful and dynamic system that offers profound insights into human personality and behavior. It's a valuable tool for self-discovery, personal growth, and building more harmonious relationships.

What is the Enneagram?

The word "Enneagram" derives from the Greek words "ennea," meaning nine, and "gramma," meaning figure or diagram. At its core, the Enneagram is a symbol—a nine-pointed geometric figure that represents nine distinct personality types interconnected by lines and arrows. This symbol serves as a map of the human psyche, illustrating how each personality type is interconnected and influenced by various factors.

History of the Enneagram

The Enneagram's origins are somewhat mysterious, with roots in various spiritual and psychological traditions, including Sufism and Christian mysticism. It gained prominence in the Western world in the mid-20th century, primarily through the teachings of figures like George Ivanovich Gurdjieff and Oscar Ichazo. Since then, numerous Enneagram schools and teachers have contributed to its development and popularization.

Core Concepts of the Enneagram

To understand the Enneagram system better, it's essential to grasp some fundamental concepts:

1. Nine Personality Types

The Enneagram identifies nine primary personality types, each characterized by a unique set of core motivations, fears, desires, and defense mechanisms. These types are represented numerically, from Type 1 to Type 9, and are often associated with descriptive names.

2. Integration and Disintegration

The Enneagram describes how individuals can move along the continuum of health within their type. In times of stress (disintegration), individuals may exhibit traits of another type, while in times of growth (integration), they integrate positive aspects of another type.

3. Wings

As mentioned earlier, your Enneagram type can be influenced by one of the adjacent types, known as your "wings." These wings add nuances and variations to your core type, shaping your personality in unique ways.

4. Stress and Security Points

Each type has specific points of connection to two other types, known as stress and security points. In times of stress, you may exhibit characteristics of your stress point, and in times of security, those of your security point.

The Nine Enneagram Types

Now, let's explore the nine core Enneagram types in greater detail. Keep in mind that this is just an overview, and you can check out our individual posts which delve deeper into each type.

Type 1 - The Perfectionist

  • Core Desire: To be good, right, and morally upright.
  • Core Fear: Making mistakes or being morally wrong.
  • Key Motivations: Striving for perfection, correcting errors, and maintaining integrity.

Type 1 individuals are often principled, responsible, and have a strong sense of ethics. They seek to make the world a better place by adhering to high standards and values.

Type 2 - The Helper

  • Core Desire: To be loved and needed by others.
  • Core Fear: Rejection and worthlessness.
  • Key Motivations: Helping and caring for others, gaining love and approval.

Type 2 individuals are empathetic, nurturing, and often put the needs of others before their own. They thrive on being needed and appreciated.

Type 3 - The Achiever

  • Core Desire: To succeed, achieve, and be recognized.
  • Core Fear: Failure and worthlessness.
  • Key Motivations: Setting goals, pursuing excellence, and gaining admiration.

Type 3 individuals are ambitious, goal-oriented, and highly adaptable. They excel in various fields and value accomplishments and recognition.

Type 4 - The Individualist

  • Core Desire: To be unique, authentic, and deeply understood.
  • Core Fear: Being ordinary and without identity.
  • Key Motivations: Expressing individuality, seeking depth, and finding meaning.

Type 4 individuals are creative, sensitive, and introspective. They often feel a sense of longing and strive to discover their unique identity.

Type 5 - The Investigator

  • Core Desire: To understand the world deeply and gain knowledge.
  • Core Fear: Incompetence and being overwhelmed by others' demands.
  • Key Motivations: Seeking knowledge, conserving energy, and maintaining independence.

Type 5 individuals are analytical, curious, and independent thinkers. They value expertise and often retreat into their inner worlds to process information.

Type 6 - The Loyalist

  • Core Desire: To feel safe and secure in an unpredictable world.
  • Core Fear: Abandonment and betrayal.
  • Key Motivations: Planning, seeking security, and forming loyal bonds.

Type 6 individuals are cautious, loyal, and prepared for potential threats. They value trust and often seek guidance and reassurance from others.

Type 7 - The Enthusiast

  • Core Desire: To experience joy, adventure, and avoid pain.
  • Core Fear: Being deprived or limited.
  • Key Motivations: Seeking pleasure, exploring new possibilities, and avoiding discomfort.

Type 7 individuals are spontaneous, optimistic, and enjoy new experiences. They avoid pain and often seek variety and excitement.

Type 8 - The Challenger

  • Core Desire: To assert control and avoid vulnerability.
  • Core Fear: Weakness and being controlled by others.
  • Key Motivations: Taking charge, being assertive, and protecting themselves and loved ones.

Type 8 individuals are confident, assertive, and protective. They value autonomy and often confront challenges head-on.

Type 9 - The Peacemaker

  • Core Desire: To maintain inner peace and avoid conflict.
  • Core Fear: Disruption and conflict.
  • Key Motivations: Promoting harmony, maintaining comfort, and avoiding confrontation.

Type 9 individuals are easygoing, accepting, and seek to create harmony in their surroundings. They often avoid conflicts and prefer to maintain a sense of inner peace.

Enneagram Wings Explained

Understanding Enneagram wings is like discovering the secret sauce that adds flavor and complexity to your personality type. In this section, we'll delve into the concept of Enneagram wings and how they play a pivotal role in shaping who you are.

What Are Enneagram Wings?

Enneagram wings are the adjacent personality types that influence and complement your core Enneagram type. Picture your core type as the main course, and your wings as the side dishes that enhance the overall flavor of your personality. They add nuances, tendencies, and characteristics that make you a unique individual within your primary type.

For example, if you're a Type 2, your wings could be Type 1 or Type 3. These wings don't replace your core type but rather provide additional traits and dimensions to your personality.

How to Determine Your Wings

To discover your wings, you'll need to identify your core Enneagram type first. Once you've done that, you can look at the two types adjacent to your core type on the Enneagram diagram. These are your potential wings.

It's essential to remember that while you may have a dominant wing (the one you resonate with more), you also incorporate aspects of your secondary wing into your personality. Think of it as having a unique blend of both wings, much like a cocktail with two different ingredients.

How Wings Influence Personality

Now that we've defined what Enneagram wings are, let's explore how they exert their influence on your personality.

Shaping Your Traits and Tendencies

Your wings add depth and texture to your core type. They can intensify some of your core type's characteristics while softening others. For instance, if you're a Type 4 with a 5 wing, you might exhibit more introspection and a thirst for knowledge compared to a pure Type 4.

Responding to Stress and Growth

Understanding your wings is crucial because they affect how you respond to stress and growth. In times of stress, you may adopt characteristics from your stress point, which is often one of your wings. Conversely, in times of growth, you'll draw from your security point, which is the other wing. Recognizing these patterns can help you manage stress better and embrace personal growth opportunities.

Enhancing Self-Awareness

Knowing your dominant and secondary wings deepens your self-awareness. It helps you make sense of why you react to certain situations in specific ways. This knowledge allows you to become more conscious of your behavior and, ultimately, make more informed choices in various aspects of your life.

Wing Combinations

Enneagram wings offer countless combinations and possibilities. Let's explore some common wing combinations and what they bring to the table:

Balanced Wings

  • Dominant Wing: This is the wing you resonate with most and the one that exerts a more significant influence on your personality.
  • Secondary Wing: While less dominant, your secondary wing still plays a significant role in shaping your character.

For example, if you're a Type 7 with a 6 wing, your dominant wing is 7, emphasizing your adventurous and optimistic traits. Your 6 wing contributes cautiousness and planning when necessary.

Balanced Wings with Integration and Disintegration

Enneagram wings are not static; they can change depending on your stress and growth levels. Here's how:

  • Integration: In times of growth and security, you may adopt the positive traits of your secondary wing, balancing out your core type's tendencies.
  • Disintegration: Conversely, in moments of stress, you might exhibit less desirable aspects of your secondary wing, highlighting your core type's challenges.

Understanding how your wings function in both integrated and disintegrated states provides valuable insights into your behavior.

The Nine Enneagram Types and Their Wings

Now, let's explore how each of the nine core Enneagram types interacts with its wings. By understanding these combinations, you'll gain deeper insights into the complexity of human personality.

Type 1 - The Perfectionist

Key Characteristics: Type 1 individuals are driven by a desire to be morally upright and virtuous. They have high standards and strive for perfection.

The Influence of Enneagram 1 Wings

  1. 1w9 (The Idealist): Individuals with a 1w9 wing blend the Perfectionist's desire for order and correctness with the peacefulness of the 9 wing. They are principled, calm, and often seek harmony in their pursuit of perfection.
  2. 1w2 (The Advocate): Balancing the need for perfection with a strong desire to help and serve others, 1w2 individuals are principled and compassionate. They focus on both personal growth and contributing to the welfare of others.

Type 2 - The Helper

Key Characteristics: Type 2 individuals are driven by a desire to be loved and needed by others. They are nurturing, caring, and generous.

The Influence of Enneagram 2 Wings

  1. 2w1 (The Servant): 2w1 individuals combine the nurturing qualities of the Helper with the Perfectionist's drive for improvement. They are principled and selfless, often striving to make the world a better place while seeking recognition for their efforts.
  2. 2w3 (The Host/Hostess): These individuals blend the Helper's generosity with the Achiever's ambition and desire for recognition. They are sociable, goal-oriented, and often excel in careers that involve caregiving and service.

Type 3 - The Achiever

Key Characteristics: Type 3 individuals are highly goal-oriented and success-driven. They are adaptable, self-assured, and focused on accomplishments.

The Influence of Enneagram 3 Wings

  1. 3w2 (The Charmer): 3w2 individuals combine the Achiever's pursuit of success with the Helper's need for connection and approval. They are charismatic, sociable, and skilled at building relationships to advance their goals.
  2. 3w4 (The Expert): Balancing the Achiever's ambition with the Individualist's desire for authenticity and uniqueness, 3w4 individuals are driven to excel while maintaining their individuality. They often gravitate toward creative pursuits.

Type 4 - The Individualist

Key Characteristics: Type 4 individuals are emotionally sensitive and unique. They often feel misunderstood and are driven by a desire to find their authentic identity.

The Influence of Enneagram 4 Wings

  1. 4w3 (The Aristocrat): 4w3 individuals combine the Individualist's emotional depth with the Achiever's drive for success and recognition. They seek to express their uniqueness while achieving external recognition and success.
  2. 4w5 (The Bohemian): Integrating the Individualist's uniqueness with the Investigator's quest for knowledge and understanding, 4w5 individuals are introspective and often deeply creative. They value depth and authenticity in their pursuits.

Type 5 - The Investigator

Key Characteristics: Type 5 individuals are curious, analytical, and seek knowledge and understanding. They value privacy and independence.

The Influence of Enneagram 5 Wings

  1. 5w4 (The Iconoclast): 5w4 individuals blend the Investigator's analytical thinking with the Individualist's depth of emotion and creativity. They are introspective and often have a unique perspective on the world.
  2. 5w6 (The Problem Solver): Combining the quest for knowledge with the Loyalist's desire for security and safety, 5w6 individuals are practical and diligent. They balance their analytical minds with a concern for stability and preparedness.

Type 6 - The Loyalist

Key Characteristics: Type 6 individuals are focused on security and often vigilant for potential threats. They value trust and loyalty.

The Influence of Enneagram 6 Wings

  1. 6w5 (The Questioner): 6w5 individuals combine the Loyalist's loyalty with the Investigator's analytical thinking and independence. They are cautious, thoughtful, and often seek knowledge to alleviate their anxieties.
  2. 6w7 (The Buddy): Balancing the Loyalist's concerns with the Enthusiast's adventurous spirit and positivity, 6w7 individuals are outgoing and sociable. They seek security but also enjoy new experiences and adventures.

Type 7 - The Enthusiast

Key Characteristics: Type 7 individuals are fun-loving, spontaneous, and constantly seeking new experiences. They avoid pain and discomfort.

The Influence of Enneagram 7 Wings

  1. 7w6 (The Entertainer): 7w6 individuals blend the Enthusiast's love for adventure with the Loyalist's cautiousness and planning. They are enthusiastic and seek excitement while also considering potential risks.
  2. 7w8 (The Realist): Combining the Enthusiast's spontaneity with the Challenger's assertiveness and confidence, 7w8 individuals are bold and assertive. They are driven by a desire for success and often take charge of their lives.

Type 8 - The Challenger

Key Characteristics: Type 8 individuals are assertive, confident, and protective of themselves and others. They value autonomy and control.

The Influence of Enneagram 8 Wings

  1. 8w7 (The Maverick): 8w7 individuals integrate the Challenger's assertiveness with the Enthusiast's love for excitement and adventure. They are daring, confident, and unafraid of taking risks.
  2. 8w9 (The Bear): Combining the protective nature of the Challenger with the Peacemaker's desire for harmony and avoidance of conflict, 8w9 individuals are strong and steady. They seek to protect their loved ones while maintaining peace in their relationships.

Type 9 - The Peacemaker

Key Characteristics: Type 9 individuals are easygoing, harmonious, and often avoid conflict. They value inner and outer peace.

The Influence of Enneagram 9 Wings

  1. 9w8 (The Referee): Balancing the Peacemaker's harmony-seeking with the Challenger's assertiveness and protection, 9w8 individuals are diplomatic and capable of maintaining peace while asserting themselves when necessary.
  2. 9w1 (The Dreamer): Integrating the desire for peace with the Perfectionist's need for order and correctness, 9w1 individuals are principled and maintain a sense of inner calm while upholding their values and principles.

Understanding your Enneagram type and its wings can provide profound insights into your personality, behaviors, and growth opportunities.

How to Identify Your Enneagram Wing?

Identifying your Enneagram wing is an essential step in deepening your understanding of your personality. Your wing adds unique facets to your core type, shaping your behavior and reactions. In this section, we'll explore various methods to help you pinpoint your Enneagram wing.

Self-Assessment and Reflection

The journey to discovering your Enneagram wing often begins with introspection and self-assessment. Here's how you can embark on this self-discovery process:

  • Reflect on Your Core Type: Start by understanding your core Enneagram type. If you haven't already determined your primary type, explore the key characteristics, fears, desires, and motivations associated with each type. Pay attention to which type resonates with you the most.
  • Consider Your Tendencies: Reflect on your behaviors, tendencies, and reactions in different situations. Do you lean towards certain traits or qualities that are characteristic of one of your potential wings?
  • Explore Your Stress and Growth Points: Think about how you react in stressful situations and moments of growth. Do you exhibit traits associated with one of your wings during these times?
  • Journaling: Keeping a journal can be an effective tool for self-reflection. Document your thoughts, feelings, and reactions in various situations to identify patterns that align with a specific wing.

Seeking Feedback and Insights

Sometimes, others can provide valuable insights into your personality and Enneagram wing. Here's how you can seek feedback and external perspectives:

  • Ask Trusted Friends and Family: Reach out to those who know you well and ask for their observations. They may have insights into your behavior that you haven't noticed.
  • Consult an Enneagram Practitioner: Enneagram practitioners are trained to help individuals understand their types and wings. A professional can guide you through self-discovery and offer valuable insights.
  • Participate in Enneagram Groups: Joining Enneagram discussion groups or forums can provide you with a community of individuals who can share their experiences and perspectives. Others may have insights into your wing based on their own Enneagram knowledge.

Enneagram Tests and Resources

Enneagram tests and resources can serve as valuable tools to identify your Enneagram wing:

  • Online Tests: There are various Enneagram tests available online that can help pinpoint your core type and potential wing. While tests can be a useful starting point, they should be supplemented with self-reflection for accuracy.
  • Enneagram Books and Literature: There are numerous books and resources available that delve deep into Enneagram types and wings. Reading and exploring these materials can provide you with a more comprehensive understanding of the system.
  • Enneagram Workshops and Seminars: Consider attending Enneagram workshops or seminars led by experienced practitioners. These events often provide interactive exercises and guidance for discovering your Enneagram wing.

Understanding the Influence of Wings

Now that you have identified your Enneagram wing, it's time to explore how it affects your personality and growth. In this section, we'll delve into the ways your dominant wing influences your Enneagram type, how to balance and integrate your wing, and common challenges and growth opportunities.

How Your Dominant Wing Affects Your Type

Your dominant wing exerts a significant influence on your core type, enhancing certain characteristics while tempering others. Here's how your dominant wing affects your type:

  • Amplifying Traits: Your dominant wing amplifies and emphasizes specific traits and tendencies associated with your core type. For example, if you're a Type 5 with a dominant 4 wing, you may emphasize your introspective and creative qualities.
  • Influencing Reactions: Your wing can influence how you react to various situations. It may determine whether you respond with more assertiveness, cautiousness, or empathy.
  • Shaping Core Motivations: Your dominant wing shapes your core motivations and desires, adding depth and complexity to your Enneagram type.

Balancing and Integrating Your Wing

Balancing and integrating your wing is essential for personal growth and development. Here's how you can achieve this balance:

  • Awareness: First, become aware of how your wing influences your behavior and reactions. Self-awareness is the foundation of personal growth.
  • Embrace Both Wings: Acknowledge that you have both wings, and neither is "better" or "worse" than the other. Embrace the strengths and lessons of both wings.
  • Practice Integration: In times of growth and security, consciously draw upon the positive aspects of your secondary wing. For example, if you're a Type 7 with a 6 wing, practice being more grounded and thoughtful when facing challenges.
  • Manage Stress Responses: Recognize the impact of your wings on your stress responses. Learn to identify when you're reacting from a place of stress and strive to respond more positively.

Common Challenges and Growth Opportunities

Understanding your wings also means recognizing the challenges and growth opportunities they present:

  • Challenges: Your wings can sometimes lead to inner conflicts and contradictory behaviors. For instance, a Type 2 with a 3 wing may struggle with balancing their desire to help others with their need for personal achievement.
  • Growth Opportunities: Embracing both wings allows you to access a broader range of skills and qualities. It enhances your adaptability and ability to navigate life's complexities.
  • Self-Compassion: Remember that the Enneagram is a tool for self-discovery, not judgment. Be compassionate with yourself as you explore the influence of your wings and work toward balance and growth.

Understanding your Enneagram wing and its influence on your personality is a lifelong journey. Embrace the process with patience and curiosity, and use this knowledge to enhance your self-awareness and personal development. In the next section, we'll explore how your Enneagram wings impact your relationships and interactions with others.

Relationships and Enneagram Wings

Understanding how Enneagram wings influence your interactions with others is key to building healthier relationships. In this section, we'll explore how different wing combinations affect your interactions, how to communicate effectively with various wing types, and how to build stronger connections.

Interactions Between Different Wing Combinations

Interactions between individuals with different Enneagram wing combinations can be both fascinating and complex. Here's how various wing combinations might interact:

  • Complementary Wings: When two individuals have complementary wings (e.g., one has a 1 wing, and the other has a 2 wing), they can balance each other out. For example, a Type 4 with a 3 wing and a Type 5 with a 6 wing may support each other's growth by sharing their strengths.
  • Conflict Between Dominant Wings: Sometimes, individuals with dominant wings that are very similar may clash. For instance, two Type 8s with dominant 7 wings may both seek control and adventure, leading to power struggles.
  • Learning from Opposite Wings: Interactions between individuals with opposite wings (e.g., a Type 9 with an 8 wing and a Type 9 with a 1 wing) can be enlightening. They can learn from each other's different perspectives and approaches.

Communicating Effectively with Different Wing Types

Effective communication is essential in any relationship. Tailoring your communication style to the Enneagram wing of the person you're interacting with can improve understanding and connection:

  • With 1 Wings (Idealists): Be clear, concise, and logical in your communication. Address their desire for correctness and integrity by offering well-reasoned arguments.
  • With 2 Wings (Helpers): Show appreciation for their helpfulness and willingness to connect. Acknowledge their emotions and express gratitude for their support.
  • With 3 Wings (Achievers): Highlight your achievements and goals when communicating with them. Be direct and results-oriented, as they appreciate efficiency.
  • With 4 Wings (Individualists): Engage in deep, meaningful conversations. Show understanding for their need for authenticity and self-expression.
  • With 5 Wings (Investigators): Provide opportunities for knowledge sharing and intellectual discussions. Respect their need for space and privacy.
  • With 6 Wings (Loyalists): Be trustworthy and reliable in your communication. Address their concerns and offer reassurance when needed.
  • With 7 Wings (Enthusiasts): Keep conversations upbeat and positive. Be open to exploring new ideas and experiences with them.
  • With 8 Wings (Challengers): Communicate assertively and confidently. Be direct and avoid manipulation or control tactics.
  • With 9 Wings (Peacemakers): Maintain a calm and harmonious atmosphere. Be patient and non-confrontational in your communication.

Building Stronger Connections

Building stronger connections with others, whether in personal or professional relationships, can be enriched by your knowledge of Enneagram wings:

  • Empathy and Understanding: Understanding a person's core type and dominant wing can help you empathize with their motivations, fears, and desires. This empathy can strengthen your bond.
  • Supporting Growth: Encourage personal growth by recognizing when someone is operating from their integrated wing. Acknowledge and appreciate their positive traits during these times.
  • Conflict Resolution: When conflicts arise, consider how your respective Enneagram wings may be contributing to the issue. Seek compromise and understanding based on your shared knowledge of the Enneagram.
  • Shared Growth: In partnerships or team settings, consider how your collective Enneagram wings can complement each other's strengths and weaknesses. Encourage each other's growth and self-awareness.

Practical Applications of Enneagram Wings

Enneagram wings have practical applications in various aspects of life, including personal development, career advancement, and conflict resolution. In this section, we'll explore how you can apply your understanding of Enneagram wings in these areas.

Personal Development and Growth

  • Self-Awareness: Use your knowledge of your core type and wings to gain a deeper understanding of your behavior, motivations, and responses to stress and growth.
  • Balanced Growth: Strive for balanced growth by consciously incorporating positive aspects of both your dominant and secondary wings. This can lead to a more well-rounded and adaptable personality.
  • Identifying Challenges: Recognize the challenges associated with your wings, such as conflicts between dominant and secondary wing tendencies. Develop strategies to address these challenges effectively.
  • Mindfulness Practices: Mindfulness meditation and practices can help you become more aware of how your wings influence your thoughts and actions, allowing you to respond consciously rather than react impulsively.

Professional and Career Advancement

  • Career Choices: Consider how your Enneagram wings align with your career choices. For example, if you have a Type 3 core with a 2 wing, you may excel in roles that require both achievement and interpersonal skills, such as sales or leadership.
  • Leadership Styles: Your Enneagram wings can influence your leadership style. Recognize how your wings impact your approach to leadership and adapt it to be more effective in your professional role.
  • Conflict Resolution: In a professional setting, understanding the Enneagram wings of your colleagues can aid in conflict resolution. Recognize how different wing combinations may contribute to conflicts and work towards collaborative solutions.
  • Team Dynamics: Enneagram knowledge can enhance team dynamics. By understanding the wings of your team members, you can assign tasks and responsibilities that align with their strengths and preferences.

Conflict Resolution and Problem Solving

  • Conflict Identification: When conflicts arise, consider how the Enneagram wings of those involved may be contributing to the issue. This can help you pinpoint the root causes of conflicts.
  • Empathetic Communication: Use your understanding of Enneagram wings to communicate empathetically with others involved in a conflict. Acknowledge their motivations and fears to foster understanding.
  • Collaborative Solutions: Encourage collaborative problem-solving by recognizing how different wings may bring unique perspectives and strengths to the table.
  • Mediation and Facilitation: If you're in a role that involves mediation or facilitation, such as a manager or team leader, leverage your Enneagram knowledge to create a more harmonious and productive work environment.

Incorporating your understanding of Enneagram wings into your personal and professional life can lead to more fulfilling relationships, personal growth, and effective problem-solving. By embracing the complexity of the human personality, you can navigate life's challenges with greater self-awareness and empathy.

Enneagram Wings at the Workplace

The Enneagram, with its intricate system of core types and wings, has a significant impact on workplace dynamics and individual performance. Understanding Enneagram wings in the context of the workplace can lead to more effective teamwork, improved communication, and better career development strategies. In this section, we'll delve into the relevance of Enneagram wings in various workplace scenarios and provide practical insights and examples.

1. Team Dynamics

Enneagram wings play a vital role in shaping team dynamics within organizations. When team members are aware of their Enneagram types and wings, they can better understand each other's strengths, weaknesses, and communication styles. Let's explore some examples:

  • Team Collaboration: Consider a project team consisting of a Type 9 core with a 1 wing, a Type 7 core with an 8 wing, and a Type 3 core with a 2 wing. The 9w1 team member may bring a harmonious and detail-oriented approach to the project, while the 7w8 member might contribute enthusiasm and assertiveness. Recognizing these differences can help the team leverage each member's unique strengths.
  • Conflict Resolution: In a conflict scenario between two team members, one with a Type 6 core and a 5 wing and the other with a Type 2 core and a 3 wing, understanding their Enneagram wings can reveal the source of the conflict. The 6w5 may emphasize caution and analysis, while the 2w3 may focus on assertiveness and achievement. Mediation can involve acknowledging these differing perspectives and finding common ground.

2. Leadership Styles

Leadership within an organization is greatly influenced by an individual's Enneagram type and wings. Leaders who grasp their own Enneagram profile and the profiles of their team members can adapt their leadership styles for better results. Here are examples of how Enneagram wings impact leadership:

  • Motivating Teams: A leader with a Type 8 core and a 7 wing may excel at motivating their team through bold and visionary initiatives. They inspire others to take risks and embrace change, fostering innovation and adaptability.
  • Conflict Management: A leader with a Type 1 core and a 9 wing may approach conflict management with a calm and diplomatic demeanor. They prioritize fairness and harmony, creating an environment where disputes are resolved constructively.
  • Empowering Employees: Leaders with a Type 2 core and a 3 wing often excel at empowering employees by providing recognition and support. They focus on personal and professional growth, motivating their teams to achieve their best results.

3. Career Development

Understanding Enneagram wings can also guide individuals in their career development strategies. Recognizing how your core type and wings influence your strengths and areas for growth can lead to more informed career choices and success strategies:

  • Career Paths: For a Type 4 core with a 5 wing, recognizing their introspective and creative tendencies can guide them toward careers in the arts, writing, or research, where their individuality and depth of thought can thrive.
  • Career Advancement: A Type 6 core with a 7 wing may aspire to leadership positions where their cautiousness (from the 6 core) is complemented by the 7 wing's optimism and willingness to take calculated risks.
  • Stress Management: When facing career-related stress, understanding your Enneagram wings can help you recognize when you're relying on less constructive traits. A Type 9 core with an 8 wing, for instance, may lean into assertiveness under stress, but by acknowledging this, they can find healthier coping mechanisms.

4. Conflict Resolution and Decision-Making

Enneagram wings offer valuable insights into conflict resolution strategies and decision-making processes in the workplace:

  • Conflict Resolution: When managing conflicts, individuals can use their knowledge of their own and others' Enneagram wings to empathize with differing perspectives. For example, a Type 3 core with a 4 wing may approach conflicts by considering both the need for success (from the 3 core) and the desire for authenticity (from the 4 wing) in finding a resolution.
  • Decision-Making: In decision-making scenarios, recognizing how your Enneagram wings influence your preferences can lead to more balanced and informed choices. A Type 5 core with a 6 wing may carefully analyze data (from the 5 core) while considering security and potential risks (from the 6 wing) before making a decision.

Understanding Enneagram wings at the workplace is a valuable tool for enhancing teamwork, leadership, career development, and conflict resolution. When individuals and teams leverage this knowledge, they can create more harmonious and productive work environments, leading to increased job satisfaction and organizational success.

Common Myths and Misconceptions About Enneagram Wings

The Enneagram, with its intricate system of core types and wings, is a powerful tool for personal growth and understanding human behavior. However, like any complex system, it can be subject to myths and misconceptions. In this section, we'll debunk some of the most common misconceptions surrounding Enneagram wings and provide clarity on the topic.

Myth 1: Enneagram Wings Are the Same as Subtypes

Clarification: Enneagram wings and subtypes are distinct concepts within the Enneagram system. Wings are the adjacent types on the Enneagram diagram and influence your core type, adding nuances and tendencies to your personality. Subtypes, on the other hand, refer to variations within each core type based on instinctual patterns (self-preservation, social, and sexual).

While both wings and subtypes contribute to the complexity of an individual's Enneagram profile, they operate independently. Understanding your core type, wings, and subtypes collectively offers a more comprehensive view of your personality.

Myth 2: You Can Have More Than Two Wings

Clarification: Enneagram wings are always the adjacent types to your core type on the Enneagram diagram. You cannot have more than two wings simultaneously. However, one wing is typically more dominant, influencing your behavior and personality to a greater extent. The other wing, while less dominant, still contributes to your overall Enneagram profile.

For example, if you're a Type 6, your wings could be Type 5 and Type 7. While you may resonate more strongly with one of these wings (your dominant wing), you still incorporate aspects of the other wing into your personality.

Myth 3: Your Wings Determine Your Behavior

Clarification: Enneagram wings do influence your behavior, but they don't determine it entirely. Your core type remains the foundation of your personality, and your wings add layers of complexity. Your behavior is also influenced by various factors, including life experiences, upbringing, and individual choices.

Think of your core type as the main course and your wings as complementary side dishes that enhance the flavor. While your wings provide tendencies and traits, you have the capacity to choose how you respond to different situations and develop a unique blend of qualities.

Myth 4: Wing Development Is Fixed

Clarification: Enneagram wings can evolve and change over time. They are not fixed or rigid aspects of your personality. Your dominant wing may become more pronounced during specific life stages or circumstances, and you may find yourself drawing from your secondary wing in different situations.

Furthermore, as you engage in self-awareness and personal growth, you can intentionally work on integrating the positive qualities of both wings, leading to a more balanced and adaptable personality.

Myth 5: Your Wings Can Change at Will

Clarification: While it's true that you can consciously work on integrating the qualities of both wings for personal growth, you can't change your Enneagram wings at will. Your wings are determined by the adjacent types on the Enneagram diagram and are inherent to your core type.

However, understanding your wings and how they influence your behavior allows you to make more conscious choices and adapt your responses in various situations. This leads to a more flexible and self-aware approach to life.

Myth 6: One Wing Is Always Positive, and the Other Is Negative

Clarification: Both of your Enneagram wings offer positive and negative qualities. It's essential to avoid labeling one wing as inherently positive and the other as negative. Your dominant wing may emphasize certain traits that you find advantageous, while your secondary wing may present challenges or counterbalance those traits.

For example, if you're a Type 2 with a 1 wing, your 2 wing may highlight your nurturing and helpful qualities (positive), while your 1 wing may add perfectionism and self-criticism (which can be seen as more challenging). However, the 1 wing also brings a sense of responsibility and integrity (positive) to your personality.

Understanding these nuances helps you embrace the complexity of your Enneagram profile and work toward a more balanced expression of your wings.

Myth 7: Wings Are the Only Aspect of the Enneagram

Clarification: While Enneagram wings are a significant aspect of the system, they are just one component of a broader framework. The Enneagram includes core types, wings, instinctual subtypes, levels of health, stress and growth arrows, and more. Each of these elements contributes to a deeper understanding of personality and behavior.

Wings provide context and nuance to your core type, but to fully comprehend your Enneagram profile, it's beneficial to explore and integrate various aspects of the system. This comprehensive approach allows for a more accurate and insightful exploration of your personality and personal growth journey.

By dispelling these common myths and misconceptions about Enneagram wings, you can develop a more accurate and nuanced understanding of this powerful tool for self-discovery and personal growth. Remember that the Enneagram is a dynamic system that reflects the complexity of human nature, and its depth goes far beyond a simplistic interpretation of wings.


Enneagram wings provide a fascinating lens through which we can better understand ourselves and the people around us. They enrich our comprehension of the human experience, offering insights into why we think, feel, and act the way we do. By embracing the complexity of our core types and wings, we gain the power to foster personal growth, enhance relationships, and navigate life's challenges with greater wisdom and compassion.

As you continue your journey of self-discovery through the Enneagram, remember that your wings are not fixed labels but dynamic aspects of your personality. Embrace the positive qualities of both your dominant and secondary wings, work on areas that need improvement, and share the wisdom of the Enneagram with others. With this newfound understanding, may you find greater harmony, empathy, and authenticity in your path to becoming your best self.