There are three ways you can grow in self-awareness. One is to become more self-reflective. Actually pause and point the lens of attention back at yourself, as though there was something outside of you looking back at you.
The second way to grow in self-awareness is to create an incredibly feedback-rich environment where the people around you are giving you feedback -- the most direct form of it.
And the third way is to use some kind of personality instrument. You could use a technical instrument like the Myers-Briggs or another personality instrument. We love a tool called the Enneagram because it’s like a CAT scan in terms of self-awareness.
The Enneagram helps you see things about yourself you cannot otherwise see, such as your core motivations, blind spots, communication patterns, listening filters, style of relating to others, and path to maturity.
It is not an exact science. It is not there to pigeonhole people or to be an excuse for bad behavior. It is just a useful framework for understanding yourself and others a little better. And the better you understand someone, the better you can work together.
- First take the test. This will take about 15 minutes and will reveal your base and wing type enneagrams. Add the result to your profile page in our wiki so others can discover it.
- Then read the description of your type on enneagraminstitute.com. These descriptions are more modern and comprehensive than the descriptions listed on eclecticenergies.com.
There are nine Enneagram types. People tend to have one dominant type and one minor (wing) type. No type is inherently better or worse than any other; all have assets and liabilities.
These type descriptions come from The Enneagram Institute.
The Rational, Idealistic Type: Principled, Purposeful, Self-Controlled, and Perfectionistic
The Caring, Interpersonal Type: Demonstrative, Generous, People-Pleasing, and Possessive
The Success-Oriented, Pragmatic Type: Adaptive, Excelling, Driven, and Image-Conscious
The Sensitive, Withdrawn Type: Expressive, Dramatic, Self-Absorbed, and Temperamental
The Intense, Cerebral Type: Perceptive, Innovative, Secretive, and Isolated
The Committed, Security-Oriented Type: Engaging, Responsible, Anxious, and Suspicious
The Busy, Fun-Loving Type: Spontaneous, Versatile, Distractible, and Scattered
The Powerful, Dominating Type: Self-Confident, Decisive, Willful, and Confrontational
The Easygoing, Self-Effacing Type: Receptive, Reassuring, Agreeable, and Complacent
Reading the description of your type is a good start, but where Enneagrams really start to shine is using them practically day to day.
Every Enneagram has a light side and a dark side. It's worth digging into the unhealthy traits associated with your type to see whether you can identify any patterns you've fallen into. You can then start to catch yourself in the future when you see yourself reverting back to these negative patterns.
We've found the description of each type's interactions to be a fascinating way of looking at two people in relationship. We suggest looking up your manager’s and close colleagues’ Enneagram types in our wiki and reading about the relationship between your two types.
Different types like to give and receive feedback in different ways. The Enneagram Group has put together a useful worksheet as a guide on how to give feedback to the different types.
Listen to a description about your type. Ryan O'Neal has created a beautiful song and discussion around each type.