Have you ever bought a car, one you think is unique and as soon as you own it, you notice the same model everywhere you go?
The Enneagram (pronounced ANy-a-gram) is like that for me. A fellow member of my speaking mastermind group suggested I read the Wisdom of the Enneagram when I was wrestling, yet again this spring, with what to be when I grow up.
I borrowed the book from the library and answered 75 quiz questions for each of the nine personality types. I later learned they are available online, see http://www.enneagraminstitute.com/
Over the last three decades I’ve taken a number of personality tests, Myers-Briggs-type measurements of who I am. Some measure me in colours, (I am blue or green or red, depending on the test). Some peg me by letters, CV or IF. Others use animal names to describe the personality types: owls and otters come to mind. Some tests are like horoscopes.
No test has ever come as close to pegging me as the Enneagram did.
In June, I signed up for some ten-minute business coaching. To my surprise, my coach was familiar with Enneagram. She was able to suggest actions to improve my habits that fit with who I am. She helped me focus on my gifts and find tools to work around my weaker areas.
Here is what the Enneagram has taught me so far: I am a Seven, the Enthusiast. I love new beginnings. One of my obstacles to success is my propensity not to finish things, and Enneagram said, especially educational pursuits.
It’s true. I’ve taken several courses and never written the exams so I could get the piece of paper. The knowledge has always been what interests me; the accolades are less important.
But accolades and various pieces of paper matter to the world, especially when one is a leader and expected to show proof of one’s ability to do the job.
A light came on for me. I had agonized whether I would finish my Toastmasters path. I had just one project to go to achieve Distinguished Toastmaster, (DTM), a rather arduous one-year commitment to mentor four Toastmasters clubs. I decided to change my life: to get my DTM by the end of the Toastmasters 2014-2015 season. I’m already three months into the year commitment. And I will finish.
The final bit on synergy I want to share with you (remember that new car?): a few weeks ago I attended a business women’s networking meeting where I met Eileen Head, a lovely woman who spoke about her failed 35 year marriage and how she was using the Enneagram to help others heal their relationships.
Having survived two failed marriages myself, it wasn’t hard for me to imagine how much more enhanced relationships would be if we understood ourselves better. Truly knowing the way others see life would make it easier to collaborate and reach mutually beneficial solutions.
I’ve included a link to Eileen’s business. www.EileenHead.com I urge you to discover your own Enneagram and consider calling on Eileen to help you heal your relationships using this amazing tool.
The best part for me about Enneagram was its declaration of my greatest gift: the joy of living. This is so true of me and now that I know it for sure, I look for ways to celebrate and help others celebrate life everyday.
There is wisdom in the Enneagram.