Finding your core Enneagram type is a process of self-discovery to be enjoyed over a period of months or even years.
And I totally appreciate the slow, reflective method doesn’t suit all personality types so below are a few different methods to choose from.
Reading a book on the Enneagram
This is the method best suited to the explorers who love reading and savouring each step on the self-discovery journey.
The best Enneagram book out there is, still to my mind, Don Riso and Russ Hudson’s 1999 work – The Wisdom of the Enneagram.
At the beginning of each of the chapters on the 9 types is a quiz which will help guide you to your core type. But it’s a big, thick book and the spiritual style of some of the writing at the beginning and end of the book doesn’t work for everyone.
Which is why we recommend The Essential Enneagram: The Definitive Personality Test and Self-Discovery Guide by David Daniels and Virginia Price
Since I became a coach in 2007, I have introduced 100’s of clients to the Enneagram by providing them with a copy of this book for self-study of their personality type as part of their Coaching Package.
The Daniels and Price method is to read through 9 short paragraphs and find the 3 most like you and then cross reference them with the corresponding short chapters.
People who come on the Understanding Yourself and Others with the Enneagram course get a copy of this book as part of the package.
Online psychometric test are common place so why not go there straight away?
The main reason is these types of test can never be 100% accurate, but when a test tells us we are a certain type most of us believe it, and then spend time trying to make the box fit, rather than relying on our own judgement.
Plus you might get lots of information on the type the system tells you you are, but nothing on the other types so you have nothing to compare it with.
Online test results also vary according to the mood you are in when you complete the test. Often when people complete the test at work, they may come out as the stress point of their type. Or a different type other than their core type, due to conforming to the work norms that shift them out of their normal personality type.
If we bear the above in mind then online tests are a quick way of probably finding your type. However, we often suggest using the book method first, before completing an online test as back up.
The Enneagram Institute’s RHETI test has a good reputation and found to be reasonably accurate in peer reviews. This test is inexpensive at $12.
That said, when I first completed the RHETI test, I was still employed in the finance industry doing a high profile, stressful job. The way I answered the questions at the time, identified my type as an 8, which is definitely not my type, but did reflect the way I was behaving at work.
I’ve not used this test much myself or with clients, but the Truity Enneagram test is free and you get an 18 page report! This is a lot of information to process on what may or may not reflect your core type, so if you are tempted to go ahead with this online test, (it is free after all) do please treat the results with a bit of caution.
The other test that we use from time to time with our clients is the Integrative iEQ9 Report they offer 2 versions at £46 and £90. If you do go in this direction then I suggest you buy the cheaper one, there is a huge amount of information to process which would take you a month of Sunday’s with a coach to process properly. (Which of course is what they are trying to sell you!)
They state the iEQ9 test is 95% accurate. Well, I know myself pretty well by now and have done lots of Enneagram training so I was able to recognise that it had got my Instinctual Variant stack in the wrong order. But even after all this time when I first got the report I doubted myself and gave my power away to the test for a while, thinking it was right and I was wrong!
Wow – just went online to find a picture of these cards to find they are out of print and available at $869.97 second hand on Amazon. I really like my set but maybe I should sell them instead!!!
I don’t get to use these cards much but this is actually one of my favourite ways of helping people who are stuck (usually 9s) to identify their type. The cards are placed on a table and at high speed the client is asked to keep or reject the card by swiping left or right! The pile of 90 cards is thus reduced to 10 -15 cards, then we turn them over to see how many of each type have been selected.
I did this with my then 15 year old daughter, she selected 8 out of 10 cards for her type at high speed and with lightening accuracy. So this is actually a great way of introducing friends and family to the Enneagram over a bottle of wine.
Shame you can’t buy the cards, but maybe I can offer a side line in card rental ….
Attending the Understanding Yourself and Others with the Enneagram Course!
Need I write more??? Of course the best method is to come on one of my courses which takes you through the 9 types over 5 Modules, and also includes lots of explanation on how the whole Enneagram system works.
Please go to the booking tab for the next course, or email me on firstname.lastname@example.org to register your interest.