The Enneagram personality test has made a splash recently, both in popular culture and in the workplace. You can find the Enneagram test for free online, but if you’re using it for the workplace there is also a paid version that provides additional analysis.
Read on to find out about the Enneagram personality types, how they relate to each other, and what work culture the Enneagram personality test is suited for.
What is the Enneagram Personality Test?
According to the Enneagram Institute, the Enneagram personality test “helps us to see ourselves at a deeper, more objective level.” There are many free Enneagram personality tests, structured like most online personality tests, with a series of multiple choice questions.
The Enneagram personality test was developed by Oscar Ichazo, who founded the Arica School in the 1960s to pass on his teachings. Ichazo used a symbol to describe how personality types fit together, but he didn’t invent the symbol – it dates back to Pythagoras, and was revived by the mysterious 20th century spiritualist George Gurdjieff.
The test has evolved quite a bit since Ichazo invented it. While it is still framed around the three main types, as described below, the total number of Enneagram test personality types has been significantly condensed.
As well as being used in the workplace, the Enneagram is commonly used in popular culture. This might be because the Enneagram personality types are so easy to communicate, using just a number between 1 and 9.
Enneagram Test Personality Types
The 9 Enneagram test personality types fall into three categories: heart, head, and body. Each of these is determined by the type of intelligence that leads you:
- If you’re a heart type, you’re led by your emotional intelligence
- If you’re a head type, you’re led by your intellectual intelligence
- If you’re a body type, you’re led by your instinctual intelligence (you could think of it as being led by your gut).
There are three types in each of these categories. Some have been given different names in different circumstances, but they still represent the same type of personality. Read about all 9 types below:
Enneagram Personality Type 1 (body): the perfectionist / reformer.
This type is rational and idealistic, with clear principles.
Enneagram Personality Type 2 (heart): the giver / helper.
This type places a high value on interpersonal interactions, and is generous but can be possessive.
Enneagram Personality Type 3 (heart): the achiever.
This type cares a great deal about success and how they are perceived by others.
Enneagram Personality Type 4 (heart): the individualist.
This type is sensitive and values living in an authentic way.
Enneagram Personality Type 5 (head): the investigator.
This type is perceptive and seeks to understand the big picture.
Enneagram Personality Type 6 (head): the skeptic / loyalist.
This type places value on safety and security, and likes to be prepared for any circumstance.
Enneagram Personality Type 7 (head): the enthusiast.
This type is always looking for fun and adventure, and can be disorganized.
Enneagram Personality Type 8 (body): the challenger.
This type is concerned with power and wants to control their environment.
Enneagram Personality Type 9 (body): the peacemaker.
This type is easygoing and tends to go with the flow. They tend to prioritize the needs of the group over their own.
What’s With The “Wings”?
Nobody is purely one Enneagram type, and there’s a diagram that shows which two secondary types belong to each primary type. These secondary types are called wings.
Opinion is divided as to whether people have two personality types or three personality types (that is, their main type and one wing, or their main type and both wings). The Enneagram Institute acknowledges this disagreement, and comes to the conclusion that, while some people might have two equally strong wings, most people have one dominant wing. For example, a type 3 could be a type 3w2 (3 wing 2) or type 3w4 (3 wing 4).
What Work Culture Is The Enneagram Personality Test Suited For?
As an established test, the Enneagram is a safe choice for many work cultures. In addition, the test has long been popular with young people, so it will likely prove more popular among your younger team members.
You can find many versions of the Enneagram personality test online, but if you’re facilitating the test on behalf of a workplace, we recommend going with the most reputable option, the test facilitated by the Enneagram Institute.
Is your organization looking for training to help your teams communicate and work more effectively? Get in touch with a member of our team about a custom training today.
- Personality Tests: 6 Top (and Useful) Tests for 2022
- Leadership: Where Everything Rises and Falls
- Pyramid Principle Applied