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Awakening Your Enneagram Centers of Intelligence

Awakening Your Enneagram Centers of Intelligence

You have a spiritual IQ that is brilliant and powerful, but it’s largely hidden to you. By awakening your Enneagram centers of intelligence, you can grow in the grace of Christ (2 Peter 3:18).

As we’ve been sharing in our series of blogs, podcasts, and our new book Healthy Feelings, Thriving Faith available for preorder in March, we use the Enneagram as a coaching tool to better understand your personality.

In this article, we introduce you to three Enneagram centers of intelligence — the three triads that underlie the nine Enneagram personality types.  As you learn about and explore these triads, it will awaken in you the power to grow and change in your personal relationships and in your life in Christ.

What is Your Enneagram Center of Intelligence?

God created you to thrive in one of three intelligence centers: the gut, heart, or head. These are distinct styles of knowing and acting in the world.

These are called the Enneagram triads because there are three of them and each one includes three specific personality types. You have each triad in you but you are designed to specialize in one. 

The first challenge is to identify your spiritual IQ center which has been discounted or repressed. Once you learn your triad, then you know your best approach for learning, relating, working, and praying. 

The next challenge is to awaken your personal intelligence through engaging with God’s loving presence in the here and now. It’s in the presence of the Spirit of Jesus that we come alive, move effectively, and express our true self (Acts 17:28).  

Gut Types (8’s, 9’s, 1’s)

Gut people’s spiritual IQ is tied to their instincts and impulses in the moment. They’re body-oriented people. They embed themselves in whatever physical environment they’re in and then intuitively sense what to do. 

Gut personalities struggle with the lie, “I am what I do.” They are prone to get frustrated, angry, or resentful — especially if they feel controlled by other people, lose their sense of independence, or take on too many responsibilities and expectations.

If you’re a Gut person it’s important that you and other people respect your need for self-control, listen to your intuition, and give you space to assert yourself in healthy ways.

Heart Types (2’s, 3’s, 4’s)

Heart people’s spiritual knowledge center is in their relationships and their feelings about and for other people. They want to please and impress. They’re emotion people who seek relational experiences. They know what to do next by being with people, listening, and talking.

Heart types tend to believe the lie, “I am what other people feel about me.” They are vulnerable to low self-esteem and shame — especially if other people are disappointed in them or they fail in some way. They can get so tied into what other people feel or want that they lose themselves. 

If you’re a Heart type it’s especially important to develop relationships with emotionally safe people who will seek to know your authentic self and offer esteem and affection.

Head Types (5’s, 6’s, 7’s)

For Head people their spiritual IQ is tied to ideas — lots of them! In any situation their first move is to take a step back and think about what’s going on. They always want to take in more information before making a decision. They’re multi-taskers, or at least multi-thinkers, who are always juggling lots of balls in the air.

Head personalities tend to believe the lie, “I am what I have.” They deal with worry and anxiety — even if they look real calm or happy on the outside. They’re afraid of what might go wrong and feel they have to prepare for that. They always want more of whatever they’re into: information, approval, or pleasure.

If you are in the Head triad, your great need is to feel secure in your identity and world, especially by appreciating the resources God has provided for you.

Ministering to Others Using Your Enneagram Center of Intelligence

What great wisdom God has given all of us in these three centers of spiritual intelligence. This is a powerful tool for growth personally and in your relationships with others. 

When you learn someone’s triad, you know the best approach for offering them care and guidance.

If you’re a pastor, teacher, or help groups of people, it’s important to speak the language of all three intelligence centers because each of those types is present with you.

Awakening your Enneagram centers of intelligence will help you attune to your personality strengths and challenges — and recognize how God uniquely created you (and those you care for) to function in the world.

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