How learning about numbers changed my life.
Maybe you’re like me and have heard the word “Enneagram” thrown around in conversations or in podcasts and have wondered what they are talking about. It’s like listening to friends go on and on about a movie you haven’t seen. You’re just not part of the conversation. Now you can be. Read on to find out what all the buzz is about.
This summer one of my favorite podcast hosts, Annie F. Downs, did a series of podcasts she called “Enneagram Summer.” I listened to every one of them and was fascinated by how differently people think and act. I starting thinking about my family, co-workers, and friends and wondered what number they were. Learning about each number made such a difference in how I relate to those I love, that I wanted to make sure you knew about it too!
Photo by June Liu
So what is Enneagram? It’s “an ancient personality typing system that identifies nine types of people and how they relate to one another and the world. The Enneagram is a powerful tool for understanding why we behave the way that we do, and how our motivations are largely determined by personality. It provides a framework for how we can begin to live into our most authentic selves, and also reveals the wisdom that each personality type can offer to others.” -Ian Cron, co-author of “The Road Back to You,” a book all about the Enneagram.
My husband and I recently drove from Kansas to Ohio and back listening to Annie Down’s podcast, “That Sounds Fun” explaining each Enneagram number. We were able to have incredible discussions as we stopped the podcasts to ask questions like, “Is that how you really feel?” or “Wow, I never understood that about you before.” My husband is an “Eight – The Challenger” and I’m pretty sure I’m a “One – The Perfectionist.” Aghh!
Photo by Aaron Burden
I learned that Eight’s are very passionate and have more energy than any other number. That communication with an Eight needs to clear and not beat around the bush or they don’t get it. I tried this one out recently with my husband, hinting that we had company coming over and the kitchen table was really dirty. He was sitting there working on his laptop and just kept on working. My subtle hint that I needed his help passed right by him. Then I said, “Hey, babe, could you wipe off the kitchen table for me?” My clear, concise request got his attention and he did it.
One’s come off as critical because they can see the errors others miss and want to make it better or just want a task to be done correctly. They seem judgmental to others when they are really just trying to help. It explained to me why I can drive by a house and see how it needs to be fixed to have more curb appeal and why I want to do that – to make it perfect! One’s also have an inner critic which explained why I was always so hard on myself.
Photo by Christopher Harris
At the beginning of each podcast, Annie talks with an Enneagram coach, Beth McCord, who gives a brief description of the number to be discussed on that show. Then Annie has two guests, one male and one female, both the same number who discuss what it means to say be say a “Two – The Helper.” The discussions are light, fun and insightful and will give you grace and understanding for others as you learn how they think and what motivates them.
I wanted to share this information with you because it has made such a difference in my life on understanding especially my husband and son and a few friends who I know what their number is. Below are links to books, websites, and podcasts that will give you tons of information on the topic. I highly suggest you start with Annie F. Down’s Podcast – “That Sounds Fun.” She is so easy to listen to and is a great place to get your toes wet and see if you want to dive in further. I’m heading toward the deep end. (photo credit: Photo by Briana Tozour )
START HERE: Click on the title to listen or find out more.
Annie F. Downs “That Sounds Fun” podcast with Enneagram expert – Suzanne Stabile. Then listen to the podcasts about numbers One-Nine.
Michael Hyatt’s “Lead to Win” podcast, The Power of Personality. A show for leaders and entrepreneurs who want to understand and work better with their employees. Show discusses three personality tests with the Enneagram being one of them.
The Road Back to You – By Ian Cron and Suzanne Stabile. A book by two Enneagram Experts.
The Path Between Us – An Enneagram Journey to Healthy Relationships. By Suzanne Stabile. * (Ian Cron and Suzanne Stabile also have their own podcast called: The Road Back to You, which I recommend after listening to Annie F Down’s podcasts on Enneagram.)
Your Enneagram Coach by Beth McCord is also another great website. Beth is coming out soon with material narrowing in on couples and how their Enneagram types can function best together.
I hope this information will peek your interest and get you started on your own Enneagram journey. I’d love to know if you discover your number and how it has affected your life.
(Featured Photo by Clem Onojeghuo )