Good introduction to the enneagram
Readable and thorough introduction to the enneagram.
Everyone’s talking about the Enneagram (a sort of personality test/tool for self-reflection based on the seven deadly sins), and so this book is a very timely one. After a brief introduction to the enneagram, it goes through the nine types. In each chapter there’s a brief description of the type, examples of the type in practice: in children, at work, in relationship, and sometimes a biblical example. The most helpful parts are the suggestions of practices to become more emotionally healthy, depending on which type you are. It’s fairly fast-paced and conversational in style.
Although this is a wonderfully succinct and thorough introduction to the enneagram, I struggled with some elements of the book.
One quibble was that, rather than quoting people directly who are that type, and allowing them to describe how they fitted it, they described people they happened to know who fit the description; sometimes those descriptions of behaviour felt superficial, and were often more negative than positive.
I also felt uncomfortable by the inclusion of ‘celebrity examples’, because the enneagram is about motivation rather than behaviour, and they don’t know which enneagram type celebrities are. Likewise, Leigh Kramer and Tara Owens (my two favourite Enneagram experts) have always taught me that the enneagram describes adult personalities, so I was uncomfortable with labelling children’s personalities when children are still forming and discovering themselves.
Aside from these minor complaints, it’s a real achievement as a readable and thorough introduction to the nine types of the Enneagram. It really fills a niche in the market, between the excellent but more basic ‘Enneagram Made Easy’ and Rohr’s and Miso and Hudson’s more clinical and academic tomes on the Enneagram.
Get it to see what all the enneagram fuss is about, and listen to their excellent podcast to hear guests talking about their own type to get more nuance.