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What are Enneagram Triads?

Updated: Sep 3, 2023

Did you know that there are actually three different Enneagram Triads? Yup! There are actually three triads each with three groups made up of three Enneagram Types that describe three different groups of behaviors (lots of "threeing" - I know). The Enneagram Triads we'll cover are:


-The Triad Centers = Knowledge/Perception

-The Harmonic Triad = Coping with Trauma

-The Hornevian Triad = Social Dynamics


 

There are actually three different triads within the Enneagram, each of which describes a major set of behavioral similarities between different enneagram types.

The most basic aspect of each triad is that it cuts the enneagram into three separate groups, and each group of the triad contains three personality types.

So let's start with the first triad, which is called The Triad Centers.


TRIAD CENTERS: Perception Preference


The three groups within the triad centers are the Heart, the Head, and the Gut (also called the Body).

  • The Heart Center is made up of Type 2 Helpers, Type 3 Achievers, and Type 4 Individualists.

  • The Head Center is made up of Type 5 Investigators, Type 6 Loyalists, and Type 7 Enthusiasts.

  • The Gut Center is made up of Type 8 Challengers, Type 9 Peacemakers, and Type 1 Reformers.

The Triad Centers group people based on our biggest barrier to self-awareness, or what I call our "chief bias" because it's all about the blinding preferences we have that influence the way we take in information from the world around us.

So for example, people in the Heart Center are primarily blinded by their emotions. That's not to say that everyone doesn't struggle with their emotions, but that people in the Heart Center rely on their feelings to guide them through life and yet they are often blind to or disconnected from their true emotions.

It's the same pattern with people in the Head Center that prefer their logical thoughts, and for people in the Gut Center that prefer their primal instincts. Your Triad Center is what you will face first and foremost as your move towards your goals of personal growth and self-awareness.


HARMONIC TRIAD: Coping with Pain


The Harmonic triad describes the different ways people tend to cope with loss, failure, or trauma. Really fun stuff!

The three groups within the Harmonic Triad are the Competency Group, the Reactive Group, and the Positive Outlook Group.

  • The Competency Group is made up of Types 1, 3, and 5.

  • The Reactive Group is made up of Types 4, 6, and 8.

  • The Positive Outlook Group is made up of Types 7, 9, and 2.

The Harmonic Triad is a great triad to study up on right now given the fact that we're in a pandemic and everyone is experiencing the same trauma at the same exact time. It's such a rare thing to witness - and understanding the harmonic triad has honestly helped to decrease my irritation or disdain for people that are handling the pandemic in a way that I would never do.

Ok last but not least, there is my personal favorite triad, the Hornevian Triad.


THE HORNEVIAN TRIAD: Social Behaviors


The Hornevian triad is all about the way we navigate social settings to fit in or get what we want. The three groups of the Hornevian triad are the Compliant Group, the Withdrawn Group, and the Assertive Group.

  • The Compliant Group is made up of types 1, 2, and 6.

  • The Withdrawn Group is made up of types 4, 5, and 9.

  • The Assertive Group is made up of types 7, 8, and 3.

My analogy for the Hornevian Triad is how you behave when you walk into a party full of people you don't know. And there may be some of you in the Withdrawn group already saying "I would never go to a party like that." And Yup, that checks out.


OK! There's your brief overview of each of the three Enneagram Triads.

I've got separate blogs/episodes on each triad where I go into far more detail, so if you're curious to know more, please check those out.

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2 Comments


Great video! I’m really enjoying this series. I think that The Reactive Group is actually made up of Types 4, 6, and 8 (not 2).

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Colton Simmons
Colton Simmons
Sep 03, 2023
Replying to

Yup, I misspoke on that one!

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