The Essential Enneagram

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  • Edition: Revised
  • Format: Paperback
  • Copyright: 2010-05-11
  • Publisher: HarperCollins Publications

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The most fundamental guide to the Enneagram ever offered, this book features effective self-tests for the simple, accurate, and confident determination of your own personality type. Daniels and Price provide step-by-step instruction for taking inventory of how you think, what you feel, and what you experience. They then guide you in your discovery of what your type means for your personal well-being and your relationships with others, and they show you how to maximize your inherent strengths. Brimming with empowering information on each of the nine personality types--Perfectionist, Giver, Performer, Romantic, Observer, Loyal Skeptic, Epicure, Protector, and Mediator--this one-of-a-kind book equips you with all the tools you need to dramatically enhance your quality of life.


Essential Enneagram
The Definitive Personality Test and Self-Discovery Guide -- Revised & Updated

Chapter One

What is the Enneagram?

The Enneagram is a powerful and dynamic personality system that describes nine distinct and fundamentally different patterns of thinking, feeling, and acting. “Ennea” is Greek for nine, and “gram” means a figure or something written. Hence, the Enneagram personality system is represented by a diagram of a nine-pointed star within a circle. Each of the nine patterns is based on an explicit perceptual filter and associated driving emotional energy. This is congruent with the way our neurons operate according to the interwoven flow of information and energy. These patterns determine what individuals of each personality type pay attention to and how they direct their energy and behavior. Underlying each of the nine patterns is a basic proposition, or belief, about what we need in life for survival and satisfaction.

Each one of us developed one of the nine patterns to protect a specific aspect of the self that felt threatened as our own personality was developing. As you discover your Enneagram personality type, you will discover more about your original whole self. ?You will also understand more about the unconscious motivation from which you operate.

Discovering your Enneagram personality type can help you learn how to bring positive change into your life. It can help change the way you relate to yourself and others as well as give you a greater understanding of the circumstances and issues facing you. ?Moreover, it can give you powerful assistance in integrating the personal and spiritual aspects of your life, integration being the linkage of differentiated elements.

What Is The Essential Enneagram?

We developed The Essential Enneagram as a simple and accurate way for individuals to identify their Enneagram personality type and as a guide for further personal, professional, and spiritual development.

The Essential Enneagram Test consists of nine short paragraphs that describe the fundamentals of each of the nine personality types. You administer this test to yourself by reviewing the nine paragraphs and choosing the three paragraphs that seem most like you. Next, you put the three selected paragraphs in order, beginning with the one that is the most like you. This process takes only a short time to complete.

You then proceed with an adventure in self-discovery by following the process described in this book, which guides you through the basic terminology of the Enneagram, the determination of your personality type, a comprehensive description of your type, the key discriminators differentiating each type from every other type, and a series of practices for self-development—including practices tailored specifically to your type.

A distinctive feature of the Essential Enneagram Test is its validation by extensive research. ?We conducted a validity study of just under one thousand individuals. The results of our research show that the Essential Enneagram Test has a high level of validity and reliability. We have included a summary of this research in appendix B (pages 115 to 116).

By using The Essential Enneagram in the way described here, you can discover, confirm, and verify your Enneagram personality type with a high level of confidence. Please bear in mind that the purpose of the Enneagram and this book is not to label you but to aid you in your journey of self-understanding and self-development. Remember that you are a human being that just happens to have a personality structure or type. By knowing your Enneagram personality type, you can become aware of the habits of your personality that limit you, and you can free yourself from those habits.

The Process of Self-Discovery and Self-Development Using The Essential EnneagramThe Essential Enneagram will guide you step-by-step through the process of taking the Enneagram personality test, discovering and confirming your correct type and pursuing a path of self-development once you know your personality type. Here we provide an overview of that process. When you have read this overview, keep reading and you will see how to begin.

Taking the Essential Enneagram Test

  • First, you will read the Essential Enneagram Test instructions and take the test, which involves reading nine short paragraphs and choosing three of them.
  • Then you will turn to page 9 to find out how the paragraphs you chose are linked to the Enneagram types.

Discovering and Confirming Your Correct Type

  • The Type Determination pages and the Type Description pages are the two key tools you will use to discover and begin to confirm your type. ?You will find it useful to read the explanations of both the Type Determination pages and the Type Description pages.
  • Then go to the Type Determination pages of the type associated with your first-choice paragraph. The Type Determination pages will guide you to the appropriate Type Description pages and provide instructions on how to confirm your correct type.
  • You can further confirm your correct type by referring to the “Summary of Type Discriminators,” beginning on page 56.
  • The final step is to read “How to Confirm and ?Verify Your Type” on page 69.

    What to Do When You Have Discovered Your Type
  • First, read the five general principles that apply to all nine Enneagram types and follow, as desired, the practices based on those five principles.
  • Then read and follow the five self-development practices associated with your specific type.

How to Begin

Follow the instructions below and complete the Essential Enneagram Test on pages 5 to 7.

Essential Enneagram Test Instructions

Following are nine paragraphs that describe nine different personality types. None of these personality types is better or worse than any other. Each paragraph is meant to be a simple snapshot of one of the nine Enneagram types. No paragraph is intended to be a comprehensive description of an individual’s personality.

1. Read the descriptions and pick the three paragraphs that fit youbest. Each of the nine paragraphs may describe you to some degree, but choose the three that seem most like you.2. Number these paragraphs from 1 to 3, with 1 being the paragraph that seems most like you, 2 the paragraph next most like you, and 3 the third most like you.

In making your selections, consider each paragraph as a whole rather than considering each sentence out of the context of its paragraph. ?Ask yourself, ?“Does this paragraph as a whole fit me better than any of the other paragraphs?”

If you find it difficult to choose the three paragraphs most like you, think about which descriptions someone close to you would select to describe you. Because personality patterns are usually most prominent before we begin work on personal development, you may also ask yourself which of these patterns would have best described you before you began any such work.

Essential Enneagram
The Definitive Personality Test and Self-Discovery Guide -- Revised & Updated
. Copyright © by David Daniels . Reprinted by permission of HarperCollins Publishers, Inc. All rights reserved. Available now wherever books are sold.

Excerpted from Enneagram: The Definitive Personality Test and Self-Discovery Guide by David Daniels, Virginia Price
All rights reserved by the original copyright owners. Excerpts are provided for display purposes only and may not be reproduced, reprinted or distributed without the written permission of the publisher.

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