The following test, tools and questions will help you know what number (and wing) you are on the enneagram.
Do you know your enneagram number?
Even though the enneagram is an ancient typology, it has become quite popular today. Lovers of the enneagram can find books, instagram accounts, online communities and more. In a recent blog post, how the enneagram can make your life and relationships better, I share just a few ways that the enneagram is a helpful life resource.Knowing your enneagram number can help you in understanding your deepest motivations (i.e .how you are wired). Knowing the healthy and unhealthy sides of your type can be a clear path for growth.
How I Discovered My Enneagram Number
Several Christmases ago, my mother-in-law gave everyone in our family a copy of The Road Back to You: An Enneagram Journey to Self Discovery. Everyone dove into the book and became intrigued with discovering our types. With the help of our family member Jordan Jones, a personality consultant and enneagram expert, every one of us dug into the types, discovered our numbers (and wings), and have had many fun, enlightening, and helpful conversations around the family table since that time.
Finding Your Enneagram Number is a Process
As Jordan discusses in the podcast above, finding your enneagram number or type is easier for some than others. There are several ways to approach finding your number; the test alone is not enough for many folks. Although some might discover their type through the test alone, most of us need exploration to determine ours. For most of us, determining our enneagram type is a journey. A process. A path of exploration and introspection.
Steps to Finding Your Enneagram Number
Start By Taking an Enneagram Test
There are myriad enneagram type tests online. Some are free; some are paid. Jordan advises starting with the free test below to get an idea of where you might land on the enneagram type spectrum. I am including a Myers-Briggs test as an added bonus for those who want to know your MB type as well.
- Enneagram test: https://www.9types.com/rheti/index.php
- Myers-Briggs free test: http://www.humanmetrics.com/cgi-win/jtypes2.asp
Read Enneagram Type Descriptions
Once you have an idea of your top 2-3 enneagram types, reading descriptions of each type can help you narrow down even further. There are several places to find good descriptions.
- In Ian Cron’s The Road Back to You, you’ll find descriptions titled “What it’s like to be a _____” that precede that specific type’s chapter. Reading these numbered items and checking off ones that apply to you can be helpful in nailing your number.
- Beatrice Chestnut’s, The Complete Enneagram, has an a fabulous appendix. In Help With Identifying Your Enneagram Type: Discerning the Difference Between Pairs and Types, you’ll see the differences and similarities between types. Example: 7’s and 8’s are similar, but this book points out subtle nuances that help differentiate the two.
Narrow Down Your Number By Understanding Triads
Another way to narrow down your number is to look at the triads that make up the enneagram. Descriptions of each type sometimes focus more on behavior; triads look at motivations for behavior. In The Road Back to You Study Guide, Ian Cron shares the 3 triads and which enneagram types fall into each. In trying to determine your number, look at the triads and how certain numbers tend to react by default in certain situations.
The Gut Triad. Types 8 (challenger) 9 (peacemaker) and 1 (perfectionist).
- First impulse~do something.
- Tendency~act before thinking.
- Underlying emotion~anger.
The Heart Triad. Types 2 (helper) 3 (performer) 4 (romantic).
- First impulse~feel something.
- Tendency~be overly emotional.
- Underlying emotion~shame.
The Head Triad. Type 5 (investigator) 6 (loyalist) and 7 (enthusiast).
- First impulse~think and plan.
- Tendency~to overthink.
- Underlying emotion~fear.
How to Find Your Enneagram Wing
Once you find your enneagram number, you can then move on to finding your “wing.” This number will be flanking your enneagram number. For example, if you are an enneagram 5, you will have a wing 4 or a wing 6. If you are an enneagram 9, your wing will be either a 1 or 8. In some cases, people are “balanced wings” with equal influence from both sides.
Consider an Enneagram Coach
Please note that I am NOT an enneagram expert (but Jordan is:-). In fact, I consult with Jordan regularly (through voxer~a FAB way to communicate~so much better than text or email) with questions regarding the enneagram.
- You can follow Jordan on Twitter @fifthletterllc
- or contact him at firstname.lastname@example.org for seminars, retreats, events or private consulting.
I just love the enneagram and all that we can learn from it to grow personally and relationally. If you have any questions for Jordan or any thoughts to share, please leave them in the comments below. As always, thanks so much for stopping by. Wishing you a joyful, blessed and savvy day!