Enneagram Resources and Guidance


There are a number of strategies and steps that you can use to uncover your core Enneagram type. As you begin exploring, keep in mind that landing on a core type can take considerable time. The adventure of discovering more about yourself is a significant aspect of Enneagram typing, and it should not be rushed. Remember: the journey is as important as the destination.

The Typing Process

When you are new to the Enneagram, you may find yourself wanting to take a quiz or have someone tell you what your type is. You may also be tempted to start typing others: friends, family, co-workers, or even celebrities. For a number of reasons, we don’t encourage this.

  • While behaviors of different types can look similar, what distinguishes one type from another are the underlying motivations. Deep reflection is necessary to identify and understand those hidden motivations.
  • The Enneagram is a dynamic system. While everyone has a predominant type, individuals can adopt the behaviors of other types under certain circumstances. For example, if you’ve been highly stressed for an extended period of time, you may actually rely on the behaviors of another type.
  • Even professionals with extensive Enneagram experience have been known to mistype their students or clients, sometimes with negative impact on the individual. This is to impress the point that only you can truly know your own type.
  • Typing another person short-circuits the learning process and often backfires by spurring defensiveness.
    The power of the Enneagram is activated when you are able to identify your own type. The process of recognizing your own patterns and gifts helps you come to terms with your life script, and creates ownership of the transformative process.

    Explore the Nine Types

    Read our categorizations and descriptions for each of the nine Enneagram types.

    Coaching with the Enneagram: A Guide for Helping Professionals

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    Reading

    When you read descriptions of each of the types, notice that they are written from a first-person perspective. Observe which descriptions resonate with you and which ones are not even close. This will start the process of identifying your type. It is also helpful to think of how you were in the past, as some traits may not be so prominent now.

    Find expanded descriptions of types in Deep Living with the Enneagram: Recovering Your True Nature. You can also more about types at the Enneagram Institute.

    Panels

    A number of teachers, especially those trained In the Narrative Tradition, offer what are called 'type panels.' These panels bring several Individuals who share the same core type together to discuss specific characteristics that helped them to recognize their type and share some of their reactions or responses to various situations. It can be very helpful to hear how the experiences of others align with your own experience.

    Panels are also Included In some Enneagram educational programs offered by other teachers.

    Find more information about the Narrative Tradition at narrativeenneagram.org.

    Online Assessments 

    There are a number of online tools for helping users identify their top Enneagram core types. Two of the most dependable are the RHETI, available through enneagraminstitute.com, and the IEQ9, available through integrative9.com.

    Note of caution: It's natural to take the results of assessments as the final answer when trying to find your place on the Enneagram map. However, it is wise to consider this as a starting point. Rather than solely relying on assessment results, it is strongly advised to continue the exploration through additional processes listed here. 

    “Try On” a Type in Your Life

    Once you arrive at one or two types that you recognize in yourself, try it on in your life for a few weeks. Keep a journal or find a way of reflecting on your experiences with curiosity.

    What behavioral patterns have emerged?
    What key motivators are driving you?
    What hidden beliefs are surfacing?

    Then, re-read the type descriptions. Does the type you landed on last time still resonate with you?

    *Adapted from pages 61-63 of Deep Coaching: Using the Enneagram as a Catalyst for Profound Change, by Roxanne Howe-Murphy and used with permission.

     

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