When using the Enneagram in leadership training, we often talk about leadership blind spots and Enneagram blind spots for the types. But is that the same as Enneagram blind type, and if not, what is the difference?
Leadership blind spots are certain areas of your leadership personality, where you are unaware of your appearance in your role as a leader, causing damage to the results, relationship, or your reputation. Several such blind spots are identified and well written about, like valuing being right above anything, being afraid to ask for help, being unaware of how you are showing up, and conflict avoidance.
Even if it might be possible to map some of the leadership blind spots with the blind spot of an Enneagram type, there is not a 1:1 correlation between them. The Enneagram blind types are also part of the patterns of the types of which we are unaware, also potentially causing damage to our relationships and other areas of our lives, but they have a deeper impact on your sense of purpose and meaning in life.
Typical Enneagram blind spots
Typical Enneagram blind spots are the unawares of my confronting energy as Type 8, the unawares of my blaming and judging attitude as Type 1, the unawares of my disconnecting and aloof energy as Type 5, etc. The blind spots of the Enneagram type can be created by certain levels of self-unawareness or situations with high stress and pressure.
Blind spots in your Enneagram type is not the same as your blind Enneagram type
Both your leadership blind spots and your Enneagram blind spot can be worked on with a deeper acceptance of your personal patterns together with a trusted colleague or coach and it will definitely support better performance for yourself and your team, better relationships with team members, piers, your own leader, clients, and professional partners.
The important key to a breakthrough in this area of your leadership is your acceptance of your personality patterns and their triggers. You can read more about acceptance and triggers in the book “The Enneagram and why your blind type matters”.
Your Enneagram blind type is about your sense of purpose
Our leadership blind spot and Enneagram type blind spot are one thing, and your Enneagram blind type is something totally different. Your Enneagram blind type is a type in the Enneagram which you cannot relate to, and therefore do not master the human skills from. The Enneagram is such a complete map of human skills, capacities, and abilities so being blind to some areas of the Enneagram is the same as not embracing certain parts of the total map of skills, capacities, and abilities.
Your blind Enneagram type might not damage your career, but it might lower your sense of meaning and purpose
Your blind Enneagram type will not necessarily damage your team, performance, and career, but it might lower your sense of meaning and purpose in both your professional and personal areas of life. The blindness from an Enneagram type makes you unaware of different keys to your personal growth and a certain level of aversion (going from frustration to hatred) toward people mastering the skills of your blind Enneagram type.
Finding your blind Enneagram type
Finding your blind Enneagram type demands another approach compared to finding your leadership blind spot and your Enneagram blind spot. Often the blindness is created in your early years, preventing you from modeling or mirroring certain skills. It could be because one of your parents did not know how to cope with i.e. intensive energy, emotions or intellect or it could be because one of the family members has already taken ownership of these skills. So without any practice of certain skills, you have become blind to these skills and build a negative relationship with expressing these skills.
So finding something you cannot see, don’t know what is, and has an aversion to can be tricky. You will need to approach your blind type by metaphors, archetypes, family constellations etc., which are all ways of approaching your not yet conscious self-perception and personality. Personally, I use protreptic as the conversation tool to help leaders get in touch with their blind type. Protreptic is a specially designed conversation tool or style which is using etymology and collaborative creativity and curiosity.
Understanding your blind Enneagram type might support your career
When you, as a leader, uncover your blind Enneagram type, you might access a more profound sense of meaning and purpose, which can be integrated into your professional and personal life.
It is my experience that leaders become more emotional and socially intelligent, express a deeper calm and trust and make better decisions about what matters most. It might not bring you positive change as fast as working with your leadership blind spot and Enneagram blind spot, but it will support your professional career in the long run.
Working on your blind Enneagram type will increase both your professional and personal leadership skills
Understanding your blind Enneagram type is not only an area of mastery in your professional life as a leader. Your personal leadership will also increase when exploring the human capacities you have not yet explored, practiced and mastered. In the book “The Enneagram and why your blind type matters” you will find useful guidelines on how to explore, practice and work on your blind Enneagram type.