Enneagram Typing by Traits vs Gestalt

I recently answered a question about typing.... Below is my response to the following question:

"Should I give more weight to the number of traits a person has of one type over another? Also, what should I do when that person is tied with 6 traits of one type and 6 of another?"

My answer:
I have found that most of us will see what we are looking for...and what we can identify. The question is, can we see what others see as well... and more importantly, can we remain open to and integrate additional data that may not match our view and/or hypothesis?

I find this to be somewhat difficult for most of us to do as we work from what we know… our own database, our education on the subject and our own personal experiences. This is the data with which we are the most familiar and trust the most.

IMO, this is why, for me, the ‘Gestalt’ of typing becomes more important than the sum of the individual traits. The details are very important of course, especially in the assessment process, but adding and subtracting details can often lead us away from the overall impression and energy present.

I know this is 8 speak and gut type speak versus head type speak, etc… but in the end, I find that when it comes to identifying nuances of type, it helps if we learn everything we can on the types (or any subject for that matter), never stop learning, become educated on the types from diverse perspectives, use multiple methods and assessment tools, and gather real world experiences of the types… Then, after that, I find it is best to go with the ‘Gestalt’ ….for with respect to the nuances of typing, the whole appears to be far greater than the sum of its parts.

©Katherine Chernick Fauvre 1999-2019