What is an enneagram?
The enneagram is a typology which attempts to capture a person’s essence, soul and substance. The enneagram typology contains 9 types. Various proponents of the enneagram have various labels for the 9 types. The table below provides a brief description of the 9 types as well as a list of some of other labels that have been used for each type.
|Type||Brief Description reproduced verbatim from the Enneagram in Business section of the Enneagram Institute Website.||Some Other Labels for this type used in the Literature|
|Type 1||Reformers: Principled, purposeful, self-controlled & perfectionistic. The rational, orderly type. Dislike sloppiness and error, attracted to order and high standards for self and others.||The Perfectionist, The Judge, The Giver.|
|Type 2||Mentors: Caring, generous, people-pleasing & intrusive. The helpful, interpersonal type. Dislike solitude and impersonal dealings, attracted to service and making personal connections.||The Helper, The Caretaker.|
|Type 3||Achievers: Adaptable, self-developing, efficient & image-conscious. Ambitious, focused, excelling, driven. Dislike ineffectiveness and lack of ambition, attracted to success and recognition.||The Motivator, The Performer, The Succeeder.|
|Type 4||Designers: Intuitive, expressive, individualistic & temperamental. Artistic, dramatic, and self-absorbed. Dislike uniformity and regulation, attracted to creativity and putting their personal mark on things.||The Artist, The Symbol Maker, The Romantic, The Individualist.|
|Type 5||Investigators: Perceptive, innovative, secretive & detached. Curious, provocative, and eccentric. Dislike intrusions on their time and space, attracted to depth and learning.||The Thinker, The Observer, The Watcher.|
|Type 6||Troubleshooters: Committed, responsible, anxious & suspicious. Engaging, loyal, and likable. Dislike unpredictability and rapid change, attracted to clear structures and foresight.||The Loyalist, The Questioner, The Devil’s Advocate, The Defender.|
|Type 7||Enthusiasts: Spontaneous, versatile, talkative & scattered. Accomplished, upbeat, and impulsive. Dislike limitations and routines, attracted to new possibilities and excitement.||The Generalist, The Adventurer, The Epicure, The Dreamer, The Materialist.|
|Type 8||Challengers: Self-confident, decisive, willful & confrontational. Powerful, commanding, and hard-driving. Dislike indecisiveness and indirectness, attracted to strength and strategic action.||The Leader, The Assert-or, The Boss, The Confronter, The Chief.|
|Type 9||Peacemakers: Calm, reassuring, agreeable & complacent. Easygoing, accommodating, and receptive. Dislike tension and conflict, attracted to harmony and stability.||The Mediator, The Preservationist.|
In general the approach to using the enneagram has been to identify our type to help understand ourselves and our relationships in personal and professional spheres. Here we intend neither to offer a discourse on the enneagram and it’s uses nor provide a tool to assess your type. A good site for information on the enneagram is at the website for the enneagram institute. A good book is one by Don Richard Riso and Russ Hudson called the “The Wisdom of the Enneagram”. What we do offer at this site is a visual representation of your enneagram.
A Visual Represenatation of the Enneagram
A core emphasis of psychological testing and questionnaire design and validation tends to be on obtaining classifications which are mutually exclusive and collectively exhaustive. There are sophisticated measuring instruments to assess enneagram types and these can assess one’s type and the assumption in this area of testing as in others is that our core essence belongs predominantly in a single bin.
When I was in graduate school I came across my first enneagram book, a book by Reverend William J Callahan call “The enneagram for Youth: The counselor’s manual”. I had the hardest time determining my type as I could see, in myself, features and qualities of many of the types.
There were no internet questionnaires assessing type at that time and I self-rated myself on each mentioned attribute of each type and came up with my scaled score on each type. Then I plotted these scores on 9 spokes of a circular figure with each spoke representing a type. The types were ordered with the highest score on the vertical spoke and successive lower scores alternating between the left and the right of this vertical spoke as in the figure below. My highest score is for “Symbol Maker (Type 4)” followed in decreasing order by “Peacemaker”, “Caretaker”, “Watcher”, “Defender”, “Performer”, “Materialist”, “Chief” and “Judge”. The labels that I used were those in Callahan’s book. This produced a holistic visualization of where I was centered. Such a holistic approach does find support in Riso and Hudson who note that “No matter what type you are, you have all nine types in you, to some degree. To explore them all and see them all operating in you is to see the full spectrum of human nature.” Later in this page we describe how you can get a similar free graphic.
A Free Holistic Enneagram Graphic
To obtain our free holistic graphic you would need to get your score on each of the 9 types. The free brief questionnaire called the The free RHETI sampler, which takes about 10 minutes, is available at the enneagram institute website. This provides the scores for each of the 9 types to enter into our spreadsheet. The results of the RHETI sampler can be somewhat granular as it is based on just 36 items. For $10 you could get similar more reliable scores using the full RHETI or QUEST-TAS questionnaires at the enneagram institute website. These questionnaires take about 40 minutes to complete. However for many readers the free RHETI sampler scores may suffice. A few tied scores are likely with the RHETI sampler and a random ordering is applied to the ties before the graphic is plotted.
The default data and graphic which displays is based on a recent QUEST-TAS test which I took. My bottom two types are identical to those in the crudely derived enneagram from my university days and two of the top three types are the same.
To get your free enneagram spider plot enter your 9 scores corresponding to the types in the yellow column in the blue column titled scores and look at your chart.