Each Enneagram type brings a distinct creativity to problem solving and teamwork. Here we examine the creativity gift of Enneagram Type 2.

Create with the heart; build with the mind. Criss Jami


The creative process requires both inspiration and action.  Enneagram Type 2 has a distinct process for accessing these two dynamics.  Using Enneagram’s Paths of Integration and Disintegration, Type 2 moves to Type 4 in integration (stress-free) and to Type 8 in disintegration (stressful). Motion along these paths can serve as an engine for creativity—one path tends towards inspiration and the other towards action.

Creativity Seesaw

Creativity is at the core of problem solving.  In my book on team problem solving, Teamwork 9.0—Successful Workgroup Problem Solving Using the Enneagram, I devote a chapter to how each Enneagram type can access their innate creativity. The seesaw serves to visualize the interaction between inspiration and action during the creative process as people move along their paths of integration and disintegration.  Underlying motivation forms the basis for each Enneagram type’s creative drive, and the seesaw’s fulcrum serves as a metaphor for that motivation. The higher the motivation, the more variation you are likely to experience when oscillating between the paths of integration and disintegration, between inspiration and action. For Type 2, the underlying motivation is the need for appreciation.

Enneagram Type 2 Motivation:  Needing Appreciate

Enneagram Type 2 is informed by their feelings about how others need to be helped. By helping others Type 2s receive the appreciation they need.   Type 2s are most closely in touch with their own feelings when they are experiencing less stress, along their path of integration towards Type 4.  Tapping into Type 4’s pining for what is missing, Type 2 can perceive what others are missing and needing.  This perception forms the spark for Type 2 inspiration.

Enneagram Type 2 Inspiration:  Feeling the Needs of Others

Enneagram Type 2 Action: Fulfilling Those Needs

Having an idea but yet not having received appreciation, the 2 moves to stress and action along the path of disintegration towards Type 8 behaviors.  Type 8 dynamics are those most closely associated with taking decisive action.  As the 2 fulfills the needs of others and receives gratitude for their generous acts, they move back towards integration and the ability to see again what is needed by others.  And so goes Type 2’s up-and-down motion on the Creativity Seesaw between inspiration and action.

I had a gift of rhyme and a big imagination and that’s just how I started and how I’m still a-goin’. Dolly Parton

How do Enneagram Type 2s in your life receive the appreciation they need? Do other’s needs spark their creativity? Are they particularly adept at feeling what is missing in the lives of others?  Do they become determined to fulfill those needs?

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