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People often only see one side to someone’s personality, but there are levels. ~ Ross Lynch

Where are all my social media quiz lovers? I am obsessed with quizzes and truth be told I have taken way more time I want to admit. Which Hogwarts house do you belong to? Done…Ravenclaw! What Greek Goddess are you? Check…Athena! What is your Spirit Animal? Boom, a majestic phoenix rising from the ashes! Ok that last one was a lie but who can proudly proclaim they are a Honey Badger? With my affinity for quizzes, I was so excited when a new one was suggested during a personal growth course, the Enneagram Personality Test. Unlike the silly ones I do on Buzzfeed the Enneagram is a tool to learn more about yourself and help you communicate and connect with others.

Simply put, the Enneagram test assigns you to one of nine distinct personality types. Each corresponds to a number that denotes one personality type. Most people will see a little of themselves in each of the nine types, but typically one will be a standout and score the highest, this is your basic personality type. Depending on which test you take you will either be given just a personality type, or a personality type and a wing assignment. The Enneagram Institute explains it like this “Your basic type dominates your overall personality, while the wing complements it and adds important, sometimes contradictory, elements to your total personality. Your wing is the “second side” of your personality, and it must be taken into consideration to better understand yourself or someone else.”

*From Doist Blog (this image is not my personal work or property but found on public domain)

I personally have used what I learned from the test in therapy to learn about myself, in my marriage to better understand and communicate with my spouse, and in my work to connect and facilitate positive communication with co-workers and clients. The Enneagram lays out the nine personality types, each with a unique lens that they reflexively view the world. An example I always use is how my husband and I’s motivational styles are totally opposite and how it plays out when we workout together. I try to motivate through cheering him on and complimenting him. He hates it, and always gets annoyed with me. He tries to motivate me by being challenging me “Is that really the heaviest you can go, I don’t think you’re giving your all”, which crushes me and I feel like I am letting him down. Through communication and sharing how we receive motivation we realized we were handing out motivation how we would want it, and not how our partner needed it. This is just as true in a work setting.

Using the Enneagram at work can benefit you by:

· Helping identify strengths and blind spots of personality styles in the workplace.

· Creating a more cohesive work atmosphere by reducing conflict and aiding in effective communication.

· Encouraging diversity and decreasing judgment through understanding of individuality.

· Allowing you to tap into individual strengths to perform at maximum potential.

· Understanding how to best motivate and encourage each other.

I encourage everyone to not only take the test but dig into the information at the Enneagram institute not only can you dive into your personality type, but you can learn about relationship combinations and see how different personality combinations are compatible and struggles they might have.

Now some fun! We want to get to know each of you better and share more about ourselves! What is your Enneagram number???

Check out mine! 6 is the Loyalist, and 5 in the Investigator. When I searched Enneagram 6 wing 5, I found a site that described my type as the Guardians and another the Defender! I really can see myself in most of the traits shared.

*Graphic credit to Grace Church US:

One point that was mentioned in my description was communicating with a 6w5 mentions giving space to recharge and think, while offering support as needed. This is me; I don’t like someone breathing down my neck or coming at me aggressively, and I always walk about from a conversation and need to sift through it and process alone.

I also loved the breakdown of things that energize us and what causes stress. Motivating things are reliability in jobs and relationships, feeling valued, fighting for the underdog (the only form of confrontation I will do) and problem solving. On the flip side we get stressed by the feeling of rejection, inconsistency, making decisions without all the info, and confrontation. These are just a few quick tips that are actionable and can foster rapport within any relationship including the workplace.

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