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 4.





Also called the Artist, Romantic, Tragic Romantic, Aesthetic


Psychological defence seeks to establish a unique or special identity.

  • Focus upon being creative, artistic or unique.
  • Authenticity of feeling and emotional connection are highly valued.
  • Often feel something is missing in their lives - can be attracted to tragedy and romance and experience melancholy.
  • Deeply experience a wide range of moods from great joy to
  • depression and sensitive to the feelings of themselves and others



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  • Overcome longing for what is perceived to be missing.
  • Value what is present.
  • Stay objective and goal oriented.
  • Manage emotional self.
  • Practice gratitude for what you have.
  • Take specific steps towards tangible desired outcomes.
  • Move to point 1 relax point. Ask: “What practical steps can I take to contribute?”
  • Know and remind yourself that you are worthy.
  • Look for signs in yourself of things you envy in others.
  • Deal with loss, then move on.
  • Focus on what is really important and finish your tasks.
  • Notice when you are being over-dramatic.
  • Notice your intensity and choose to relax.
  • Regular massage.
  • Regular exercise.
  • Unleash your creativity!


Daily activity:  Appreciate the ordinary, take pleasure in other people’s positive qualities and accomplishments, minimise self-referencing behaviour


Author: Veronica Lunn

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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