06 Aug Why do a personality assessment?
Do you prefer to be centre-stage, or backstage? Do your friends call you the party animal, or the home-body? Are you a dog-person or a cat-person? Do you have more sociopathic, or more psychopathic tendencies?
Personality-assessments can range anywhere from “Which Disney princess are you?” to “Is this person a danger to society?” Although personality-indicators are harder to define than physical ones, we can all agree on two things:
People are different. If they weren’t, we wouldn’t have Ryan the accountant and Ryan the firefighter.
Some people are similar, gathering themselves in sports teams, clubs and tribes.
So, while you may be as unique as a snowflake, with fingerprints like no one else, there are many who share your eye colour, height, tone of voice and blood type. In the same way, your personality has qualities unique to you, but also qualities we can approximate to larger groups.
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How can a personality assessment help me?
With better self-awareness, we are better able to develop, grow and moderate our impact on others. A personality assessment can act like a mirror, helping you see yourself more clearly. And the more accurately you can see yourself, the easier it is work on yourself.
So which personality assessment is best?
Personally, I like to use the Enneagram. It is a few thousand years old, with mysterious mystical origins. Since it’s made a come-back about a century ago, the Enneagram has evolved into an incredibly sophisticated, in-depth model to help map out the architecture of human personality.
Why do the Enneagram?
It is nuanced
Myers-Briggs is one of the most well-known and widely used personality assessments. It was developed in the 1940’s, and is constructed from four polarising variables:
extraversion vs introversion;
intuition vs sensing;
feeling vs thinking and
judging vs perceiving
These four parameters will score you as one of 16 personality types. (4×4=16)
The Enneagram, on the other hand, defines the self from three core aspects: emotions (heart), thoughts (mind) and instinct (body). It then states that we orient ourselves towards one of these aspects in 3 different ways. This leads to the formation of 3×3 = 9 primary Enneagram personality types.
But it doesn’t stop there. For each type, there are also wings and instinctual subtypes, leading to a total of 9x3x3=81 different personality variations. In recent years, further development of the model (called tritype Enneagram), could allow for differentiation of the Enneagram primary types into at least 216 variations!
By comparison, although we work with 4 primary colours, there are millions of variations on these. The Enneagram helps us acknowledge both the “primary colour” of your personality, while allowing for the diverse variations that your unique culture and upbringing have brought about.
For an Enneagram type 4 wing 5 like myself, who especially values individuality and complexity, this is great news! Telling me that I am one in 216, sounds a lot more appealing (and accurate) than one in 16!
It asks why
When we think of change, we often get stuck on the superficial questions: “How do I break that bad habit?”; “What can I do to boost my confidence?”; “Can I hack my productivity?”
We forget that our lives are woven together like an intricate web. Each piece interlocks, supports and is supported by every other piece. If, for instance, I want to get rid of my smoking habit, I need to understand and address the core motivations, fears and desires that support it.
With the Enneagram in the background, it becomes a lot easier to address the root issues. While a type 3 and a type 1 both have a propensity to work themselves to the point of burn-out, the core reasons why this happens are vastly different for each.
This level of awareness helps us get to the core diagnosis quicker, so we can take the best route to support our own healing and growth.
It doesn’t restrict you to your type
Many feel that the Myers Briggs restricts them. “The assessment says that I’m an introvert, but it depends on a lot of things. With my friends, I am very outgoing, but at work I am more quiet and reserved.” or “If I did this test as a child, the results would have been completely different!”
The Enneagram, on the other hand, offers a path of development. Although the assessment may score you as a type 2, your path of development can lead you to show up more like a well developed, healthy type 4.
Instead of labelling you a triangle, the complexity of the Enneagram offers you the opportunity to expand from triangle to a pyramid to geodesic dome. It is entirely possible to stay true to yourself, and transcend yourself.
Where can I get the assessment?
You have 2 options here:
1. Book an Enneagram coaching session with me, for a discounted rate of £80. I will then send you a code to do your Enneagram assessment, and debrief the results with you in a 1-hour online call.
2. Purchase the Enneagram assessment yourself here: https://www.integrative9.com/GetYourType/.
If, after you’ve done the assessment yourself, you’d like me to help you navigate the results, feel free to book a session with me here. I’d be honoured to partner with you on this incredible journey of discovery!