So, in The Beginner’s Guide to Personality Type Systems, I describe The Enneagram as the most intense, the most introspective, the most complex personality type system that I’m familiar with.
Or, let me put it another way… It’s completely intimidating.
Why is the Enneagram an intimidating personality type system?
It can be very hard to get into and to understand. Unlike the Myers-Briggs Type Indicator, the Enneagram is based more on people’s internal motivations as opposed to their outer actions and behaviors.
To truly understand the information that the Enneagram provides can take a very long time.
In fact, it’s taken me years to wrap my head around my own Enneagram type, let alone to begin to get comfortable with other people’s types.
But in my recent foray into podcasts, I came across a resource that illuminated the Enneagram for me in a way that no others had before — and I absolutely had to share!
I’m speaking of a podcast that was originally published in 2006 by the Enneagram Institute. It was hosted by Don Riso (19XX – 2012), one of the chief leaders in popularizing the Enneagram. As the author of several Enneagram books, his introductory podcast really gets to the heart of what the Enneagram is and what it can do for people in their lives.
Put simply: The Enneagram is an extremely powerful tool that’s incredibly complex. But it is SO worth the effort of using it in your life.
The whole podcast — which is nearly 15 minutes long — is really worth listening to.
You can get it at the iTunes Store for free: Enneagram Personality Types
But if you are unable to take a listen, I have chosen three powerful quotes from the podcast that just jumped out to me about the Enneagram:
“We’d all like to have a quick fix for the painful and upsetting problems in our lives.
But my experience is that a quick fix usually doesn’t produce lasting result.
We have to get to the root of our problems if our problems are to be uprooted. This is where the Enneagram can be tremendously helpful. It takes us deep into ourselves by revealing the structures of our personality type so we can see what is really going on with us.”
“One of the most helpful aspects of the Enneagram is that it reveals our motivations and shows us that beneath the thousands of crazy things that we do, we always want something good and worthwhile.
We want to be loved, we want to be accepted, we want to be secure, we want to be happy, we want peace of mind.”
“The Enneagram gives you permission and inspiration to be yourself — your best self.
It helps you see and accept who you really are.
And the payoff for facing yourself is tremendous. The more you can see yourself and acquire the habit of self-observation, your life will be transformed in many different areas — personally, professionally, and in your relationships.”
Is that not hugely powerful? Hearing this, it just made the Enneagram make so much sense and summed it up in a way that I had never head articulated before.
The Enneagram is not for the faint at heart, but an impassioned speech such as this one just makes me excited to explore this system even more.
You can listen to the full recording on the iTunes Podcast station for The Enneagram Institute. There are also short recorded descriptions for each of the nine Enneagram types available through the podcast as well. And to learn more about the Enneagram, be sure to check out all of the amazing resources at The Enneagram Institute.