Breckenridge Enneagram™

Assessment Tools for Type Professionals


When we are finally old enough to realize that we have a personality it’s too late to have a hand in fashioning it. The formation of personality is both: a) an inside-out process where innate, inborn tendencies predispose us to actions and interactions with others, and b) an outside-in process where people, social structures, and our culture teach us how to see ourselves, others, and the world. The Breckenridge Enneagram™ is a model that can help us see aspects of our personality that other models miss. It can help us truly understand some of our innate tendencies and our adaptive responses.

History of the Enneagram

The Enneagram is a model of nine personality types that has evolved significantly since the late 1960s. Pronounced "any-a-gram," the word refers to a nine-pointed diagram enclosed within a circle ("ennea" is Greek for "nine;" "gram" means "drawing"). Enneagram theory started to take shape in the early 1970s due to the influence and scholarship of Claudio Naranjo, a psychiatrist who began attributing psychological principles to the model. Most people writing about or teaching the Enneagram today trace their roots either directly or indirectly to the work of Naranjo. A number of popular authors, such as Don Richard Riso and Russ Hudson, Helen Palmer and David Daniels and others have contributed to the evolution of Enneagram theory, but much of this work has been based on a theoretical foundation of spiritual and metaphysical principles. The Breckenridge Enneagram™ is based on the clinical-empirical work of Claudio Naranjo, plus Maslow’s Hierarchy of needs, the powerful See-Do-Get Process®, and rigorous psychometric analysis and empirical research. It is set apart from other approaches to the Enneagram by a focus on a naturalistic, scientific view of personality and psychological processes that are linked to modern advances in the neurosciences.

The Breckenridge Institute® has developed two new assessment tools for type professional based on the Breckenridge Enneagram™ that are the most reliable and valid on-line Enneagram assessment tools available anywhere. These are the Breckenridge Type Indicator™ (BTI™), and the Breckenridge Relationship Indicator™ (BRI™).

The BTI™ and BRI™ are the only Enneagram assessment tools that precisely measure both the nine personality types and three instincts (sub-types) in a single instrument, providing new insights into a wide range of cognitive, emotional, sensory, and biological dimensions of personality. Previously, many type professionals have had reservations about using the Enneagram as a personality typology because they have not had a psychometrically validated instrument with reliability and validity equal to (or greater than) the MBTI® tool. The BTI™ and BRI™ are designed to meet these psychometric challenges and will add new dimensionality to four-dichotomy; Eight-function; sixteen-type approaches to personality.

Breckenridge Type Indicator™ (BTI™)

The BTI™ is a psychometrically validated assessment tool designed to help identify key elements of managers’ and staff members’ personality using the nine Enneagram personality types. The BTI™ can be used for both personal and professional applications, but it is especially effective when used as the basis coaching, leadership development, or teambuilding exercises. Organizations are collective-cultural entities that are led, managed, and changed one person at a time. Studies have shown that people who possess emotional intelligence and self-knowledge are often twice as successful as those who possess only high levels of intellectual intelligence. A person’s level of self-awareness and self-control is an indicator of their openness to feedback, change, and their ability to succeed professionally, especially when under stress. In your professional life, a better understanding your personality using the BTI™ will help identify decision-making bias and predictable errors in judgment in both strategic and tactical issues. When used in your personal life, the BTI™ allows you to identify underlying patterns of behavior that frustrate and undermine healthy relationships with friends and family members.

Business Applications - The BTI™ is typically used by proactive managers and staff members who want to take charge of their careers and become even higher-performers. People who get the most value from the BTI™ are those who use it to achieve higher levels of:

  • Professional competency in decision-making and problem solving
  • Personal competency in processing conflict and communicating more effectively
  • Social competency in teamwork and more effective group dynamics

For more information on the BTI™ and the Breckenridge Institute’s on-line, mentor-based qualifying program just click on the link below.


Breckenridge Relationship Indicator™ (BRI™)

Building, maintaining, and growing effective relationships are key competencies in our personal and professional lives and the BRI™ is a powerful tool for doing this. Studies have shown that 55% of communication is visual (body language), 38% is tone of voice, and only 7% is word choice. These data confirm that people accurately read and respond to the emotional messages we send each other, not only the words we use. This holds true in both personal relationships (family and friends), and professional relationships between managers, direct reports, and co-workers. A pattern of interaction between you and others emerges from repetitive problem-solving and discussions about issues that you have in common. These patterns of interaction are powerfully molded by differences and similarities in personality as well as how effectively each person reacts when they are under pressure from the context. Eventually, the patterns take on a life of their own and can be directly observed in day-to-day interactions. In fact, often others can see the destructive or constructive nature of our patterns of interaction much more clearly than we can because the interaction pattern is on autopilot. These are commonly called blind spots, e.g. negative behavior traits that others see in us that we don’t see in ourselves.

Over time as patterns of interaction solidify and become unquestioned beliefs and assumptions they form a repository of interactions that is a kind of emotional "scoreboard" upon which we unconsciously keep track of the balance between the number of destructive and constructive emotional messages we have received from others. The BRI™ can help to identify and characterize these beliefs and assumptions. Effective relationships at work and at home require an 80-20 ratio of constructive to destructive messages. When this ratio shifts toward the destructive side, our relationships become spring-loaded where negative day-to-day interactions build up to the point where people feel that they have to "walk on egg shells" around each other. A destructive balance also makes interactions toxic where the chemistry and climate in the relationship becomes unhealthy to one or both of the people. Over time, these destructive interactions undermine trust in both personal and professional relationships.

The BRI™ is an on-line survey based on the Breckenridge Enneagram™ that identifies patterns of interaction that can frustrate and undermine personal and professional relationships. The BRI™ comes in two versions. The Corporate Version is used by managers and supervisors to build more effective and productive relationships with their direct reports and co-workers. The Corporate Couples Version is used by couples to improve their relationship and achieve a more effective work-life balance.

The BRI™ report will reveal many of the root causes of ineffective communication between managers and their direct reports or couples. It will give you practical strategies to evaluate, strengthen, and maintain the significant relationships in your personal and professional life.

For more information on the BTI™ and the Breckenridge Institute’s on-line, mentor-based qualifying program just click on the link below.


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