Friday, February 20, 2009 by Dave Blum

The beauty of the Enneagram is:

1) You don’t need to take a multiple-choice exam to determine your type; you simply read a list of descriptions and decide, on your own, which type best fits you.

2) Each type has at least two off-shoots: a positive side and a negative side.  As Blei explains it, “each gift has a dark side. Much like the yin-yang symbol, there is a little shadow in each gift and a little gift in each shadow.”

I am clearly a 7–an enthusiast/dreamer.  Jen is, without a doubt, a 1–a reformer/perfectionist.  Interestingly, when I’m under stress, I act like one of my off-shoots and basically become a 1 (like Jen).  When I’m feeling secure and good about life, I resemble (or “go to”) a 5 (thinker).  Jen, on the other hand, goes to 7 (like me) when secure and to 4 (romantic) when under stress.

It’s not unusual to hear the following conversation around our household:

Jen: “Which movie do you want to see tonight?

Dave: “I’m a 7.  You know how hard it is for me to decide.  All the choices sound delicious!”

Jen:  “Well, I’m a 1.  My gut is tellng me the right movie to see is Revolutionary Road.”

Dave:  “Can’t we just drive around and see which theater is least crowded?”

Jen:  “Oh, don’t be so P!”


To determine your own Enneagram type, check out Ian Blei’s site and take the free assessment.    I’m guessing you’ll find the Enneagram useful for team building exercises and team building activities, and for generating team building ideas.  It’s also great for networking events and dinner table conversation.  🙂