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What are the Levels of Development?

The Levels of Development (an original discovery of Don Riso made in 1977) specify how each type changes as the person becomes more or less identified with his or her personality structure. Everyone moves “up” and “down” the nine Levels within their type as they become more defended and more identified with their fixation, or conversely, as they become more free, open, and in touch with their true nature. The Levels thus reveal the “internal logic” of each type and show which behaviours and motivations go with which type, and why. This is highly significant because the behaviours, attitudes, and motivations that each type manifests shift from Level to Level—so much so that two people of the same type at different Levels can seem to be different types. Little meaningful Inner Work or practical applications of the Enneagram can be done without taking the Levels of Development into account.

For more information see The Wisdom of the Enneagram, pages 75-87, the Revised Edition of The Understanding the Enneagram, pages 136-166, and Personality Types, throughout, particularly pages 465-493.

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