The Enneagram is an ancient symbol that was used by mystics to aid enlightenment. It was introduced to the West in the early 20th Centrury by the spiritual teacher Gurdjieff, who used it as a system of human development and also created sacred dances based on its lines.
Although it is still used as a tool for spiritual growth it is just as likely to be found in the realm of psychometric testing for personality types. It is a fast track way to find out how somebody ticks, as each personality type is characterized by a belief system, certain thoughts and feelings, and postive and negative behaviours.
The nine personality types are as follows:
1. The Reformer
2. The Helper
3. The Achiever
4. The Individualist
5. The Investigator
6. The Loyalist
7. The Enthusiast
8. The Challenger
9. The Peacemaker
Everone emerges from childhood with one personality type dominant. This is inborn in us, and has informed our interaction with the world.
It is usually a liberating experience to discover your Enneagram personality type. There is an immediate sense of relief on recognising the drives behind behaviour. If self improvement is your goal, the Enneagram gives the opportunity to identify patterns, detach from them, and go forward.
There are Enneagram tests on the internet that are free and easy to do. If doing them peaks your interest and you want to learn more there are books, and also workshops, to take you through the process. Using the Enneagram with a trained practitioner can be useful for business (know what makes your boss and work rivals tick!), trauma recovery, improved personal relationships and general effectiveness. it can also help with health issues by identifying possible unhealthy coping mechanisms.
And it’s fun!