Community//

A Brief Overview of The Enneagram

The 9-type personality assessment that tells you why you do the things you do.

The Thrive Global Community welcomes voices from many spheres. We publish pieces written by outside contributors with a wide range of opinions, which don’t necessarily reflect our own. Community stories are not commissioned by our editorial team, and though they are reviewed for adherence to our guidelines, they are submitted in their final form to our open platform. Learn more or join us as a community member!
The Enneagram of Personality

Chances are by now someone has asked you “Have you heard of the Enneagram?”

And your response was likely “Enna-what!?”

There has been a lot of buzz about this new-ish personality assessment lately. People like Michael HyattBrene Brown, and even Oprah are talking about it.

What is the Enneagram?

The Enneagram is a 9 Type Personality assessment that tells you why you think, feel, and behave the way you do and provides you with a path to grow into the best version of yourself.

I say the Enneagram is new-ish because it has actually been around for a long time. Some claim it has ancient origins that go all the way back to Evagrius of Ponticus in the 4th Century A.D. (or older).

But when you follow the paper trail, the modern Enneagram traces back to the late-1960s when Oscar Ichazo and Claudio Naranjo synthesized from ancient wisdom traditions and modern psychology.

In the subsequent years, it was popularized in Christian circles through the works of Franciscan Fryer, Richard Rohr, who published Discovering the Enneagram: An Ancient Tool a New Spiritual Journey and The Enneagram: A Christian Perspective.

The business community has also adopted the Enneagram as a tool for leadership development and emotional intelligence. Many businesses see it as a complement to wildly popular the Myers-Briggs Type Indicator (MBTi) assessment.

Ok… so now that you have heard of the Enneagram, here is an overview of the 9 personality types. As you read through each description, try to see if one in particular resonates with you.

It will take more work to confirm if this is actually your type, but this could be the clue that starts you on your journey to personal discovery!

An Overview of The 9 Enneagram Personality Types
Original graphic by PursueWhatMatters

TYPE 1 | The Moral Perfectionist: They are the standard bearers of society who always strive to do what is right in every situation. They approach life with integrity, temperance, and virtue as they ultimately want to be seen as “good” in the eyes of themself and others. They are conscientious friends with strong convictions. At their best, they inspire you to live up to a higher standard and become a better version of yourself each day.

Original graphic by PursueWhatMatters

TYPE 2 | The Supportive Advisor: They are a highly empathetic and caring people who always place the needs of others above their own. They find great joy in being a source of encouragement and support for others while also desiring to fill a deep inner need to be appreciated, loved, and wanted. They are thoughtful, warmhearted, and sincere friends who will always be there for you when you need them. At their best, they inspire you to serve others with a selfless generosity.

Original graphic by PursueWhatMatters

TYPE 3 | The Successful Achiever: They are hard working, charismatic, and often have an impressive range of accomplishments. They are natural leaders who inspire us all to take on incredible feats. They seek the admiration of others and ultimately want to feel validated on the basis of what they do. They have zest for life and contagious confidence that helps their friends step out of their comfort zone and try new things. At their best, they inspire you to show up to life as your authentic self and use your talents and abilities in the service of others.

Original graphic by PursueWhatMatters

TYPE 4 | The Romantic Individualist: They are deep and authentic creatives who seek to express their unique insights and distinct perspectives through their meaningful relationships and original work. They experience a deep conflict between feeling they are exceptional and yet flawed at the same time. They are deeply self aware and introspective friends who have tremendous insight and perspective on life. At their best, they use their unique depth and creativity to help others discover the most authentic version of themselves.

Original graphic by PursueWhatMatters

TYPE 5 | The Investigative Thinker: They are the thought leaders of the world with an insatiable thirst for knowledge on topics or themes which interest them as they pursue self-mastery. In this endeavor, they are quickly drained by their own needs and those of others, often withdrawing to spend time alone and recharge. They are wise and insightful friends who serve as a strong sounding board and reliable source of knowledge for any situation. At their best, they pioneer new discoveries and ways of doing things that contribute to the greater good.

Original graphic by PursueWhatMatters

TYPE 6 | The Loyal Guardian: They are the loyal and responsible critical thinkers of the world. They are masters at spotting potential pitfalls and developing contingency plans. They desire safety and security above all else and fear being unprepared or unable to defend themselves from danger. They are committed friends who look out for the people in their life. At their best, they serve as community builders who form fun traditions and create a sense of stability and security for others.

Original graphic by PursueWhatMatters

TYPE 7 | The Entertaining Optimist: They are fun loving and whimsical free spirits who desire to experience everything that life has to offer. However, in their pursuit of adventure, happiness, and meaningful experiences they sometimes struggle to be fully present or satisfied with what they have — especially if their situation is boring or painful. They are vivacious and optimistic friends who can make pretty much any experience fun and meaningful. At their best, they bring a remarkable enthusiasm and depth to life that allows them to find contentment and fullness in any situation.

Original graphic by PursueWhatMatters

TYPE 8 | The Protective Challenger: They are a change agents of the world who confidently and decisively assert themselves to seek justice and protection for others. However, their tough exterior is accompanied by a fear of being betrayed or rendered powerless. They can sometimes indulge in excess as they seek out greater intensity in their environment. They are loyal friends who always protect those in their inner-circle. At their best, they can be a powerful force for good who blazes a trail for others.

TYPE 9 | Peaceful Mediator: They are a natural mediators who can adapt to any environment or group as they seek to maintain a constant sense of peace or harmony. They tend go with the flow in most situations (sometimes even to their own detriment) and are easy to get along with. They are loyal friends and companions who are always willing to listen and hold space for others. At their best, they use their incredible ability to understand different viewpoints and perspectives to promote a sense of harmony in any group or situation.

Originally published at Pursue What Matters

Share your comments below. Please read our commenting guidelines before posting. If you have a concern about a comment, report it here.

You might also like...

The enneagram for self-care
Community//

Enneagram for Self-Care with Natasha Smith

by Caitlin Ball
Enneagram leader in the office
Community//

Find Out Your Leadership Style Based on Your Personality Type

by Matt Russell
Community//

Can you fix an introvert?

by Hans Schumann

Sign up for the Thrive Global newsletter

Will be used in accordance with our privacy policy.

Thrive Global
People look for retreats for themselves, in the country, by the coast, or in the hills . . . There is nowhere that a person can find a more peaceful and trouble-free retreat than in his own mind. . . . So constantly give yourself this retreat, and renew yourself.

- MARCUS AURELIUS

We use cookies on our site to give you the best experience possible. By continuing to browse the site, you agree to this use. For more information on how we use cookies, see our Privacy Policy.