Hey, everyone! Welcome to episode 129 of Voices of Your Village! A mama posted into our Facebook group asking about the Enneagram and there was this fun thread going on, when another mom popped into the thread to say she worked with the Enneagram. So, I asked her to come on and join me for a podcast episode because the Enneagram test is something I am so new to, but fascinated by. I think of it as one of those personality tests, but it is the most accurate thing I have found. We use it for Seed, everyone who joins my team takes the test so I have a better idea of how to best show up in relationship with them.
In this episode, we are diving into how the Enneagram can show up in your partnership, your relationships, and in parenthood. I am so jazzed to share this one with you guys! Let’s dive in!
The mama who joined me for this conversation is Danielle Frankel. In this episode, I asked Danielle to talk about each type and to name them. She hesitated to do so on-air and then sent me an email afterward explaining how the Enneagram is hard to go over in just one conversation, and how it is better to learn about it in depth. This hesitancy to name the types has power and each word brings with itself associations for each of us.
There are nine archetypes according to the Enneagram Institute:
1 - The Reformer (previously known as The Perfectionist)
2 - The Helper
3 - The Achiever
4 - The Individualist
5 - The Investigator
6 - The Loyalist
7 - The Enthusiast
8 - The Challenger
9 - The Peacemaker
Danielle told me that since the Enneagram test is so complex, it can be difficult to cover all the ground in one podcast episode. So, as you go through The Enneagram Institute's descriptions of each type, she would like you to take the time to notice:
1) Are there any archetypes names or details that you either really want to describe you, or would feel repulsed by if they did? Take note. This will be useful later as it may tell you something about yourself.
2) You will likely see pieces of yourself in most of the detailed descriptions. Keep in mind that we all have access to all 9 types within. Try to focus less on the behavior or action that's described and more on what might drive that behavior. If the driver doesn't line up with why you might do something that looks similar, it's likely not your type.
3) Once you've read through the different names and types you may or may not have an idea of your own. Remember, this is not good or bad, it can take a long time to figure it out. Return to your early notes. After reading the details, what do you see about what you most liked/ were put off by in your first response?
This approach will likely help you to narrow down your own archetype, and give you a place to begin the work. As we discussed in the podcast, if something is showing up for you in a certain type, chances are you have some work to do there. Use the opportunity to dig in a bit and see what you can uncover. You can use the "lens" of different types to try them on and see how they fit.
Danielle was introduced to the Enneagram in 2009, when she was in grad school, as a part of a developmental community. She was always really interested in these types of “personality tests” but when she found the Enneagram it felt to her like finding a new language for an intuitive feeling that otherwise went unspoken. She spent all of last year studying the Enneagram and has been so thrilled to help introduce it into the mainstream.
Before we dove into answering the questions you lovely villagers posed, I asked Danielle to start at the beginning of it all by answering: What is the Enneagram? She told me that the Enneagram is a framework that you can use to better understand personality types. It comes from a diverse background with crossover from several spiritual communities and psychology. The basic premise is that all humans operate off of nine primary archetypes.
If you are interested in doing your own Enneagram test, Danielle and I recommend the Enneagram Institute Test. It is twelve bucks and is currently noted as the most reliable test available. If you are interested in pursuing more information about the Enneagram, here are some reputable sources that Danielle recommends checking out Don Riso and Russ Hudson’s work at the Enneagram Institute, Helen Palmer, David Daniels, and Wendy Appel. And for more of Danielle Frankel, you can find her at SofteningToSoul.com or at the Softening To Soul tag on Facebook.
Thanks for such a lovely chat, Danielle! And thank you, my lovely Villagers! I wouldn’t want to be on this journey with anyone else. Take care of yourselves out there.
Until next time,