The Enneagram is an ancient tool for personal understanding, development and transformation. It is a personality profiling system that can provide data that helps us understand that we need to go beyond our habitual responses in order to better understand, relate to and connect with other people and the world we are a part of.

Each personality has its own unique defence mechanism. Each of us believes that our strategy for survival is the right one. These strategies feel right. Sometimes, though, they lead us and others astray. The Enneagram provides a framework to guide and support a personal shift away from the survival strategy to an understanding of the other positions and more conscious behaviour. It is useful to be in a community (or team) where constructive feedback can be provided to help us better manage our defence mechanisms. 

We will be looking at strategies for development for each of the types, starting in this issue with Type 2.





Also called the Supporter, Helper, Carer, Enabler or Nurturer

Psychological defences focus on ability to anticipate needs of others, to seek to help in order to elicit protection and support from others.
Pride through helping others.

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  • Focus upon anticipating and meeting the needs of other people – very good at intuiting what people need.
  • Natural empathy with others – relationships and emotional connections are important, particularly with those in need or with a power figure they are attracted to.
  • Can relate and communicate effectively with a very diverse range of
  • people and personalities.
  • Can be generous and caring supporters but need to be appreciated.
  • Seek approval, status and influence through relationships with others


  • Overcome temptation to meet needs of important others.
  • Practice giving that is not for personal acknowledgement or recognition.
  • Acknowledge and attend to own needs first.
  • Move to point 4 relax point. Ask: “How am I expressing my creativity for my own joy?”
  • Be kind to yourself.
  • Question why you are giving – for them or me?·    Spend scheduled time alone.
  • Know your actual worth to others. Realise that you do not have to lift a finger to be worthy – you already are.
  • Allow yourself to receive help.
  • Recognise your exhaustion and take time out.
  • Relax. Just be!
  • Don’t look for praise.
  • Get a regular massage.
  • Practice mindfulness.


Daily activity: Spend time alone, ask yourself “what do I really need”, examine the ways that you give in order to be appreciated.


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Author: Veronica Lunn

Veronica has had significant experience working with large and small organizations, industry groups and individuals, providing workshops, seminars, forums and one on one coaching. With a strong background working with local government and state government, as well as the private sector, Veronica is an accredited Enneagram practitioner and teacher and brings high level facilitation and relationship skills to Griffith Consulting.

Breegan Gloury