Tomorrow marks my 31st Enneagram Anniversary. I’ve now known about the Enneagram for more than half of my life.
It means a couple of things.
First, I’m old.
Second, the Enneagram stuck.
I took the Myers-Briggs personality assessment the same year I learned about the Enneagram. I’ve also taken StrengthsFinder, the NEO PI-R, and the DISC. All of them were helpful and gave me insight into who I was and how I interacted with the world.
So, why has the Enneagram remained significant to me?
I learned about the Enneagram on a Silent Retreat with American author, laicized priest, and public speaker Brennan Manning. I shared a house with five other men and Brennan. Each day we would spend hours devoted to contemplation and prayer, take walks down rural lanes, and gather for dinner. Brennan would lead a small worship service, reading a chapter from one of his books and serving communion. It was a holy time.
We were allowed to speak one hour per day during our...
Discovering your Enneagram type can be one of the most meaningful insights in your life. It can describe your internal motivations and thoughts so well that it feels as if someone were reading your mind. But what if you’ve been studying the Enneagram for years and have “taken the test,” and yet, you still don’t resonate with the results?
I have a couple of strong beliefs about the typing process:
One of the gifts of the Enneagram is that it is not one-size-fits-all. Each of the nine types has a tailor-made growth path that can liberate you, leading you to be all that you were made to be. Add in the subtype information, and you get 27 individualized templates for life-changing...
One of the most common questions I hear from participants is, “Does your Enneagram Type change over time?”
It’s such a great question! I’m going to explore some of the reasons people might ask this question, as well as what I’ve observed in my years of working with the Enneagram.
Remember when you learned what the word “fate” meant? Fate /fāt/ - the development of events beyond a person's control, regarded as determined by a supernatural power. I have a natural aversion to the idea of fate - that this or that was bound to happen and that there was little if anything that I could do to change the result. I mean, why even try?
Learning your Enneagram type can feel that way. Beyond the initial curiosity, one may feel stuck with habits or traits that you’d like to change or outgrow.
When working on ourselves, we naturally come up with ideas on new ways of being. We might...
I loved watching Schoolhouse Rock on Saturday mornings when I was a kid. The joy of counting by fives, “Five, Ten, Fifteen, Twenty…” or the jazzy, “Conjunction Junction, what’s your function? Hooking up words and phrases and clauses.” One of my all-time favorites was, “Three, the magic number.”
If you want a refresher, you can see it here. The lyrics start like this:
Three is a magic number,
Yes it is, it's a magic number.
Somewhere in the ancient mystic trinity.
You get three as a magic number.
The past and the present and the future.
Faith and Hope and Charity,
The heart and the brain and the body
Give you three as a magic number… (1973, Bob Dorough)
The Enneagram is built on the number three and groups of threes. Indeed three times three equals nine, and the prefix “Enneagram” is Greek for a nine-pointed figure. In the center of this figure is a triangle, a three-sided shape.
Do you remember the first time something was used to describe your personality? When I was in the 7th grade my Social Studies teacher was telling us about characteristics of each Astrological sign. It happened to be a fairly close description of my 13-year-old self, but didn’t resonate at all with my friend who was two days older than me.
Maybe you’ve taken the Myers-Briggs personality assessment, the DISC test, StrengthsFinder or the like. I find that most people are very interested in their results and then often want to know about their partner and their coworkers. Assessments offer clues about how I am different from you.
Here’s the interesting truth about them. They’re all relative. Assessments are really good at comparing and contrasting personal qualities. For example, my assertiveness could look high compared to some people, but could be comparatively lower to another person.
When people are trying to discern their Enneagram type, they often...