By , October 26, 2007 3:37 pm

The Enneagram: Looking At Your Shadow Side 

While the Myers-Briggs Type Indicator (see description and tests at )stresses the positive, our “differing gifts,” The Enneagram helps us to take a brave look at our shadow side, our personal demon, and the motivations driving us.

I find it interesting that, even if someone’s MBTI is exactly the same as mine, the person can seem to be very different from me in how they behave. Especially if I am getting into conflict with the person, I often try to figure out their Enneagram as well to see if that sheds light on the situation.

There are nine basic personality types, refined by degree of interaction with the other types.  They are The Reformer, The Helper, The Motivator, The Artist, The Thinker, The Loyalist, The Generalist, The Leader, and The Peacemaker. However, complexities involve leaning toward one”wing” or the other and passing into a different type when ideal vs. under stress, etc.

Riso’s book, Discover Your Personality Type: The New Enneagram Questionnaire (Houghton Mifflin, 1995) provides a simple description and test for exploring your Enneagram profile. However, Helen Palmer’s work with the Enneagram can lead to somewhat different results. Again, try several tests and see what you learn:

More Personality Tests and a philosophy for conflict resolution through understanding Individual Differences at

Dr. Kathy McGuire


Creative Edge Focusing (TM)

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