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What is the Awareness to Action Enneagram Certification Program? FAQs

We’re frequently asked about the content of our certification program and what separates it from other Enneagram trainings and other personality systems.

Upcoming 2017 programs will be held in Paris in September, Santiago in October, and Denver in November.

Here is a set of Frequently Asked Questions that help answer those and other questions.Flyer_Paris certification program

Why the Enneagram?

There are many useful models for understanding personality styles. In our view, however, one of them match the Enneagram for accuracy, specificity, and usefulness. While some approaches to the Enneagram can seem complicated, the Awareness to Action Approach to the Enneagram is simple, clear, and direct. Our clients learn a model that they can remember and apply for years to come, improving their effectiveness and communication while reducing conflict. The ATA approach does not judge people, placing some above or below others, it demonstrates the innate strengths of each of the styles and warns against their potential pitfalls. It also provides a map for making the most of those strengths and avoiding the pitfalls.

Our clients always tell us how much they prefer the Enneagram to other popular personality models and we think you will too.

Who is this program for?

This program is for anyone who wants to use the Enneagram in their work with their clients or who is seeking a deeper understanding of themselves or the people around them. Because it is a completely unique approach to the Enneagram, the program is valuable even to people who have studied the Enneagram extensively. At the same time, beginners will not feel lost or left behind—the program assumes no previous knowledge of the Enneagram.

This program is often attended by consultants, executive coaches, life coaches, clergy, and human-resource and organizational-development professionals who want to use it in their work, as well as by members of the general public who want to understand the Enneagram in a pragmatic and clear way so they can put it to work in their own lives. In addition, the program is ideal for leaders who want to better understand themselves and the people they lead.

Will the program enhance my coaching practice?

People hire coaches because they want help in making some kind of change in their life; coaches succeed or fail based on their ability to help people make those changes, and helping people change can be difficult. Most clients already know what they need to do, but they struggle to overcome the obstacles in their path and rely on the coach to help them maneuver past those obstacles. Often, the most challenging obstacles are the ones that are not seen, the ones that clients place in their own way without realizing it. The focus of the Awareness to Action Approach to the Enneagram certification program can equip coaches to identify those obstacles quickly and move the client along the path to growth and change.

The enneagram is a model of “preferred strategies”—non-conscious affective patterns that shape the way people think and behave. These strategies lead to systems of values deeply embedded within the psyche of the client. Efforts to change often create conflicting commitments—dissonance that undermines change. Robert Kegan addresses this phenomenon in his work on immunity to change, but our Awareness to Action process goes one step deeper and identifies the specific narratives that create the resistance to change. Armed with this knowledge, the coach is able to help the client rewrite their internal narrative in a way that is consistent with their fundamental values and then create action plans that can be executed on. Nothing helps create change more quickly.

Coaches who attend the Awareness to Action Approach to the Enneagram certification program will learn the nine strategies in depth, learn how to spot specific derailers for each personality style, and how to lead a client through the Awareness to Action process to create real and lasting change.

How is this approach different from other approaches to the Enneagram?

While the fundamentals of Enneagram theory are common among teachers, approaches and applications vary. The Awareness to Action Approach to the Enneagram is simple to understand while still being profound and robust. The content is rooted in real-world experience in organizations and based on Mario Sikora’s 20 years of experience in working as an executive coach and leadership-development consultant with leaders in multinational organizations. The ideas are tested by application in a skeptical environment where clients expect identifiable results.

The Awareness to Action Approach has its own unique language for describing the Enneagram, and that language reflects the refinement and evolution of ideas over two decades. It is not simply a generic approach to the Enneagram framed in words that will be perceived as corporate-friendly.

What is the content of the program?

The Level One certification program covers these topics:

  • The three Instinctual Biases—habitual foci of attention that shape what we think is important at work, home, and in our relationships.
  • The nine Personality Styles, each rooted in a preferred adaptive strategy. We will explore the nine styles at their best, typically, and when under stress; their strengths and derailers at work; their leadership styles; and the impact of the connecting points of the Enneagram diagram.
  • The 27 subtypes—the unique profiles created at the intersection of the instinctual biases and strategies—and how they affect leadership, team dynamics, and relationships in general.
  • Effectively creating change with the Awareness to Action Process—a simple but effective way to overcome self-imposed obstacles and habitual narratives that keep us from change.
  • Experiential learning that brings the Ennea-types and subtypes to life and helps refine participants’ ability to assess others.
  • Application of the Halin-Premont Enneagram Indicator (HPEI), a psychometrically validated assessment that provides an invaluable tool for work with clients (the HPEI will not be covered at the September 2017 certification program).
  • Putting it all together in an independent certification project.

What will I be ‘certified’ to do at the end of the program?

The purpose of this program is to equip participants to immediately apply the content to their work with their clients (or in their own self work). The material is easy to incorporate into an existing coaching process or model. Upon successful completion of the independent project they receive a certificate acknowledging basic proficiency in the fundamental theory and application of the Awareness to Action Approach.

For further information about the Awareness to Action Approach to the Enneagram Level One certification program, contact us at or +1.215.825.2501.