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The Enneagram Personality Test and Its Impact on the Workplace and Team Development

Personality trait testing and behavioural profiling are key parts of understanding what makes you, or your colleagues, tick.

It can be a fantastic psychology tool used by HR teams and managers to better understand the motivations, strengths and weaknesses of themselves and other employees.

One that you might not have heard of is the Enneagram of Personality.

What is the Enneagram of Personality?

Its origins are disputed but most modern claims reference Bolivian-born teacher, Oscar Ichazo, as the leader in producing the contemporary Enneagram and its nine personality types.

Source: The Enneagram Institute

The Enneagram is a model of the human psyche, which is understood and taught as a “typology of nine interconnected personality types”, or “enneatypes”. These types are all referenced on a geometric figure, as below, to indicate the connections between each personality type.

Source: The Enneagram Institute

Why does it matter in business? It has long been held as a typology in business management, as well as spirituality, to gain insights into workplace interpersonal-dynamics, self-awareness, self-understanding and self-development.

How does it work?

After completing the quiz - there are various short tests online for free, or you can pay $12 online for the official, longer Enneagram Institute test) - you will be given a number, which is then linked to a particular personality type.

Of course, the whole shape of the Enneagram will enlighten you with secondary personalities based on the traits you’ve revealed during the test. It’s important if you want to use the Enneagram seriously, to review all of your personality types as, although your first personality type is most “you”, your other types will reveal how you behave, and how people perceive you, in the workplace.

The Enneagram figure itself is divided into various elements for some real analysis into your personality, behaviour and traits.

Spend time looking at the “centres” - the instinctive centre, the thinking centre and the feeling centre - for further analysis into how your personality affects you in each of these respects. Also, look at the “wing”, this is what represents your basic personality type, and therefore, the one that dominates your overall personality.

Source: The Enneagram Institute

If you’d like to analyse your results in greater detail, use The Enneagram Institute’s official explanation.

How to put your results to use

Take time dissecting your personality test and consider going through a Myers-Brigg test, a similar personality test with four possible results. You can also undertake emotional intelligence training.

All of these will help to build bridges and break down barriers between your team.

These barriers often exist because we don’t realise how we are portraying ourselves and/or how another person ‘ticks’. Understanding their core personality and motivations can have a great positive effect on building team morale and trust.


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