One of the tools I have been obsessed with for self-learning purposes the last few years has been the Enneagram. Have you used it yet? I feel like in some of my “worlds” everyone knows it and people literally reference their number as they would their middle name or profession. In other parts of my world, people are like, “what the heck is the enneagram and why are you so into it?” I figured a few posts about what it has done for me may be useful to others. For today, I will share the basics of what it is, and how to learn the basics. And then in my next few posts, I will share more about my type and how it is helping me in life.
There are so many awesome teachers of the Enneagram out there but my go-to recently has been Ian Morgan Cron. He describes the tool like this on his site.: an ancient personality typing system that identifies nine types of people and how they relate to one another and the world. The Enneagram is a powerful tool for developing self-awareness, cultivating compassion for ourselves and others, understanding our behaviors, and discovering the hidden motivations that powerfully shape the human personality. It provides a framework for how we can begin to live into our most authentic selves, and also reveals the wisdom and gifts that each personality type can offer to the world.
I am somewhat of a self-assessment junkie- I have done them all and even gotten certified in one (more on that later). I believe that there are some that are hokie, some that are more legit and that all of them must be used with care. The Enneagram is not about labeling you and putting you into a box, although if you use it incorrectly you may feel that way. It is also not about discrediting all the intricacies and nuances of each of us by putting us into nine types. In fact, the Enneagram suggests that we have some of all the types in each of us. It is however a powerful tool to understand who we are when we are at our best and who we are at our worst so that we can cultivate more of that best as we try and grow closer to God each day. It is also incredibly helpful to understand the people around us. The fact that I know my husband’s type has shed a ton of light on why he operates the way he does! Intrigued yet? Here is what I would suggest.
- Read about the Enneagram. My first book was The Road Back to You by Ian Morgan Cron and Suzanne Stabile. There are a ton out there, though, and lots of free material on the web, too.
- Try to choose your type based on what you read first.
- Take an assessment and see what that suggests you may be. There are free ones online but if you have the money, I like iEQ9 report which you can access here. It takes about 30 minutes and the file you get back is so detailed and informative.
- Read more about your type, making notes about what resonates and what may not.
A basic rule as you get going- don’t start typing all your friends and family members! It is tempting and believe me I have done it in my head, but don’t tell them. “Oh you are such a 1” in a condemning voice is not helpful. “That is such a 4 thing to do” will also not get you very far! Seriously though, start learning about yourself through this tool. I will be back next week to share my number and some of the ways I am using this tool. Happy Learning!