The Enneagram Test (And All Its Glory)May 23, 2018

I hope you’ve got some time and patience for today’s heartfelt, informative, and lighthearted post!

About a year and a half ago I started weekly counselling sessions. While my physical health had been in a terrible place for quite some time and I was just starting to look for answers, I figured working to fix what was happening physically would be fixed faster and more wholly if I worked on the emotional and mental state of my being too. Wellness, to me, is a collective whole of many different parts. Just like bingeing on McDonald’s after a productive hour at the gym would be considered a disconnect, to address so many physical ailments without talking through it (and other things) with a professional felt like a disservice to myself.

In addition to seeing a counsellor one on one, my husband Andrew and I also started marriage counselling. We both agree it’s been a tremendous blessing and bright spot in our marriage. Not because our marriage has been saved or ‘fixed’ (it wasn’t ever broken) but because all things of value require upkeep, monitoring, tweaking, and intentional time away from familiar environments. Did I mention our counsellor has a therapy dog present in our sessions? Ha! We love our Monday biweekly sessions and encourage all of our married friends to find someone they too can meet with from time to time. That’s a post for another day because I have much more below!

The first week of counselling we were both asked to take the enneagram test.

And so began my fascination with the highly popular personality test you’ve probably heard of.

The first time I took the test was over a year ago, and at a time where I felt in a lot of ways like I was in bad physical, mental and emotional health (to which my counsellor would agree). I ended up with personality type 3 called The Achiever. Threes are focused on the presentation of success, to attain validation and in order to feel worthy. The pursue success, are hardworking, connective and highly focused in the pursuit of their goals. Healthy Threes know how good it feels to develop themselves and contribute their abilities to the world, and also enjoy motivating others to greater personal achievements than others thought they were capable of. You can read more on personality type 3 here along with how threes work at their best and then also at their worst (that’s one of my favorite parts of the enneagram; learning about the highs and lows of each personality type).

Then I took the test again a second time about two months ago. At the time it was almost exactly a year from the time of my first test. This round I scored as a personality type 4 called The Individualist. To summarize this type, fours are identity seekers, who feel unique and different. People of this personality type tend to build their identities around their perception of themselves as being somehow different or unique; they are thus self-consciously individualistic. Fours are emotionally honest, creative and personal. Fours are self-aware, sensitive, and reserved. 

In full disclosure I liked my four much better than my three because it felt more like me. And it felt more reflective of me as a whole not just the version of me in a professional capacity. So I emailed my counsellor with the seemingly good news (she had just started her maternity leave so telling her in person wasn’t an option) and she notified me that our core personality number doesn’t actually change BUT can fluctuate depending on our state of health when taking the test. So in bad health one may score one type (like I did scoring as a 3 in 2017) and in another season operating at ultimate health, you can score a different number (like me scoring as a 4 a year later).

Over Mother’s Day weekend we had our team retreat to kick of the 2018 wedding season.

Our team is small but mighty so I always try to find opportunities to connect outside of work with Betsi and Jess in a way that builds both our professional and personal relationships with one another. Our retreat had time for meals, rest, and laughter but we also took time to discuss 2017 wins and blindspots, to have honest conversation about what we can do better this year, and finally, to take the enneagram collectively as a group!

Guys! This was such fun. I wish I would have had Betsi and Jess take the test sooner like I wanted to over the course of the last year. It was a really fruitful experience and taught me a lot as our team leader. And here’s the cool part too: we all scored numbers in the ‘sister group’ of personalities (1, 2, and 3) as you’ll see below. Which probably says a lot about how well Betsi, Jess and I work together personally and professionally. And how when we’re ON the job we really can make magic happen together. We don’t throw that saying around because it sounds good but truly the three of us (and our rotating group of freelancers and Andrew) make magic happen.

If you haven’t met my team allow me to introduce you to Betsi:

Betsi is a personality type 3 with a 2 wing.

You can read more about wings here (remember the 2 wing because it’s important further below in this post!). Her results left me speechless not because they aren’t accurate but because I wasn’t sure what I was expecting! But then again it shouldn’t surprise me so much because Betsi and I are a lot alike especially in work environments when serving others and being creative. We have similar husbands, tastes, preferences, and demeanors; I greatly adore Betsi and her big heart. I’m so grateful for her spirit, hard work, and electric personality.

And this is Jess!

Jess is a personality type 2 with a 1 wing.

I was also speechless when she read off her results! I think my exact response was, ‘What?!’ when she proclaimed she was a 2 with a 1 wing. Type 2 personalities are called The Helpers and twos feel they are worthy only as long as they are helpful to others. Love is their highest ideal. Selflessness is their duty. Giving to others is their reason for being. They go to extra mile and while socially aware, can be extroverted. This says so much about Jess! I love her quiet but spunky demeanor, ability to love well on others (one of my own personal strengths so #kindredspirits), and willingness to always go above and beyond, especially in time crunches and tricky work situations. I’m grateful Jess is a part of the team and a piece of the RBC heart and mission.

(If you’re interested Type 1 personalities are called The Reformers).

And finally, you know this face (me). But for consistency purposes . . .

Here’s the fun part!

I took the test for a third time during the retreat after both Betsi and Jess, and this time I was a 2!

Rhi: 2
Betsi: 3 wing 2
Jess: 2 wing 1

Isn’t that interesting?

I laughed as I read the personality traits of our results; both the traits that are desirable and the ones that might reveal weaknesses in ourselves. The two traits are me to a t! It’s like the enneagram textbook should have my photo right next to it. Did you know a type 2 personality is most likely to abuse carbs and sweets and OTC medication? And a type 3 personality is likely to abuse caffeine and alcohol? To that Jess and I toast our cookies and carb-heavy breads to Betsi’s morning coffee and glass of wine at night.

And here’s a snippet from the enneagram site that inspired a resounding and kind, ‘yes!’ from everyone: Twos are warm, emotional people who care a great deal about their personal relationships, devote an enormous amount of energy to them, and who expect to be appreciated for their efforts. And this one: They are practical people who thrive in the helping professions and who know how to make a home comfortable and inviting. Helping others makes Twos feel good about themselves; being needed makes them feel important; being selfless, makes Twos feel virtuous. Much of a Two’s self-image revolves around these issues, and any threat to that self-image is scarcely tolerated. 

You can read much more about The Helper here. Careful though, you might get sucked in!

This post is a little all over the place but in a nutshell, I’m passionate about counselling and the good that comes from intentional time processing emotions with professionals. I’m passionate about personality tests and tools that can help you (us) understand ourselves, and our relationships with others better. I’m passionate about learning ways to work better as teams regardless of size, type of work, goals, etc. And I’m passionate about sharing ALL of these things here with you in hopes that they inspire and encourage you the same way they have for me.

See, classic two here trying to be as helpful as possible!

Oh! I have to also add my husband is a personality type 9, The Peacemaker. Interesting stuff, I tell you.

What is your personality type? Are you familiar with the enneagram? Do tell below!

Big thanks to Samantha James Photography for taking new headshots for us. We’re grateful. Xo



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