09 April 2022

Review: What's Your Enneatype? An Essential Guide to the Enneagram by Liz Carver & Josh Green

The Enneagram of Personality, or Enneagram (pronounced enn-ee-uh-gram) has been around for centuries and is a model containing nine interconnected personality types. Each of the personality types is referred to as an Enneatype, and they're represented in an enneagram nine-pointed shape.

What's Your Enneatype? An Essential Guide to the Enneagram by Liz Carver & Josh Green describes these nine Enneagram types, and encourages the reader to identify their own type and recognise the types of people close to you. Represented by a series of colours and numbers in the book, it's hoped the reader will go on to use this knowledge to better know themselves, understand and improve their relationships and continue to grow as an individual.

So, what are the nine personality types? Here they are:
What's Your Enneatype? An Essential Guide to the Enneagram by Liz Carver & Josh Green book cover

Type 1: The Improver/Reformer/Perfectionist
(Life Strategy: "I must be perfect and do what is right.")

Type 2: The Helper/Giver/Be-friender
(Life Strategy: "I must be helping, caring, and needed.")

Type 3: The Performer/Achiever/Actor
(Life Strategy: "I must be impressive and look accomplished and successful.")

Type 4: The Romantic/Artist/Individualist
(Life Strategy: "I must be understood uniquely as I am.")

Type 5: The Observer/Investigator/Theorist
(Life Strategy: "I must be knowledgeable and equipped.")

Type 6: The Loyalist/Skeptic/Doubter
(Life Strategy: "I must be secure and safe.")

Type 7: The Enthusiast/Optimist/Epicurean
(Life Strategy: "I must be enjoying myself and avoiding pain.")

Type 8: The Challenger/Protector/Advocate
(Life Strategy: "I must be strong and outside the control of others.")

Type 9: The Peacemaker/Mediator/Reconciler
(Life Strategy: "I must maintain peace and calm.")

Would you believe I was able to identify the enneatype of others before feeling confident of my own? I've been doing some soul searching, and I think I'm a Type 1. According to the authors:
"Enneagram Ones are focussed, hardworking, precise, detail-oriented people who operate from a strong sense of personal ethics. Some Ones are perfectionistic, but all are principled, focused and critical. They carry a heavy load on their backs, weighed down by a strong sense of personal integrity, a sense of responsibility, and a focus on a higher purpose. Ones love people deeply, and they are sensitive of others. Much of their senses of fairness, objectivity, and ethics are rooted in their love for others." Page 26
The authors also go on to say:
"A One's motivation has to do with right and wrong. They want to have integrity and be ethical. They want to correct mistakes, avoid blame and criticism, and even be beyond criticism." Page 28
Warning signs include extreme pride, a rigid mindset and being stressed by mess. All of this rings true for me, and I'll be trying to implement what I've learned about my personality type. This includes working on managing my expectations of myself and others and realising I don't have to right every wrong I come across. Phew, that's going to be hard work!

I'm a complete beginner on this topic and this is the first book I've read about Enneagrams so I'm not going to compare the content of this book to other information out there about the Enneagram or Enneatypes. However, I did find some of the elements within the book quite complex and didn't assimilate all of the information on offer; the wings and subtypes were a little much.

Nevertheless, self awareness and understanding why we think and act the way we do is powerful knowledge, and something that comes with age and maturity. However, since reading The Four Tendencies by Gretchen Rubin, I've learned that self awareness and personal growth can be fast tracked with the right tools by exploring books like these and being open to self scrutiny and reflection.

In trying to ascertain which type my husband is, I was reminded of the many personality constructs - like the Myers-Briggs and the DiSC model - and that this kind of social science is akin to an academic sorting hat.

Many reading this will have undergone some kind of personality test in the past for work purposes. I've done a few as part of team building and bonding exercises in different workplaces over the years. But I'd love to know, do you find any value in personality tests? Do you know your enneatype? Feel free to share your thoughts in the comments section below. 

Reading What's Your Enneatype? An Essential Guide to the Enneagram by Liz Carver & Josh Green has given me food for thought and much to chew over.

My Rating:

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