As a coach, my favourite and least favourite thing about the enneagram is that you cannot tell anyone else what type they are! Because the enneagram focuses on core motivations rather than behaviour, only you can decide which type fits how you see the world. This also makes it very difficult to find out your type through a quiz - it's estimated that these are around 60% accurate, so there is a risk of mis-typing. If you agree with the results, it can still be hard to know what they actually mean for you, and they don't tell you anything about subtypes or wings which offer a whole new important level of understanding. That's why exploring your experiences with a coach can be one of the best ways to make sure you understand how to use your new enneagram knowledge to your advantage - and process the insights about your strengths and struggles in an encouraging and nurturing way. Having a mirror held up to you can be wonderfully validating and reassuring, but it can also feel exposing, and coaches can help you to manage this in supportive environment.
But it is perfectly do-able to discover your type on your own; I did! My main piece of advice would be to read descriptions from multiple sources, and listen to people talk about what it's like to be their number. Often, it's hearing something that makes you feel seen and understood that lets you know you're in the right area. My favourite podcast for this is 'The Road Back to You' hosted by Suzanne Stabile and Ian Cron - they have also written a book of the same name that is very good and accessible.
You can also download my free guide to finding your type which provides an overview of the nine types with tips on how to really connect with the content.
However... my experience has been that when given this advice, most people still like the idea of a quick test. If you're one of them, use it as a starting point and don't hold onto the results too firmly without doing some further reading and reflection.
So, if you want a quick way to know where to start, you might appreciate the Quick Enneagram Sorting Test (QUEST) from the Enneagram Institute. Here's how it works:
Choose one paragraph from Group 1 (A, B or C) that you think describes you best. Then choose one paragraph from Group 1 (X, Y or Z) that most describes you. Then match the two-letter code you end up with to the corresponding enneagram number.
A. I have tended to be fairly independent and assertive: I've felt that life works best when you meet it head-on. I set my own goals, get involved, and want to make things happen. I don't like sitting around - I want to achieve something big and have an impact. I don't necessarily seek confrontations, but I don't let people push me around, either. Most of the time, I know what I want, and I go for it. I tend to work hard and to play hard.
B. I have tended to be quiet and am used to being on my own. I usually don't draw much attention to myself socially, and it's generally unusual for me to assert myself all that forcefully. I don't feel comfortable taking the lead or being as competitive as others. Many would probably say that I'm something of a dreamer-a lot of my excitement goes on in my imagination. I can be quite content without feeling I have to be active all the time.
C. I have tended to be extremely responsible and dedicated. I feel terrible if I don't keep my commitments and do what's expected of me. I want people to know that I'm there for them and that I'll do what I believe is best for them. I've often made great personal sacrifices for the sake of others, whether they know it or not. I often don't take adequate care of myself-I do the work that needs to be done and relax (and do what I want) if there's time left.
X. I am a person who usually maintains a positive outlook and feels that things will work out for the best. I can usually find something to be enthusiastic about and different ways to occupy myself. I like being around people and helping others be happy- I enjoy sharing my own well-being with them. (I don't always feel great, but I generally try not to show it!) However, keeping a positive frame of mind has sometimes meant that I've put off dealing with my own problems for too long.
Y. I am a person who has strong feelings about things-most people can tell when I'm upset about something. I can be guarded with people, but I'm more sensitive than I let on. I want to know where I stand with others and who and what I can count on-it's pretty clear to most people where they stand with me. When I'm upset about something, I want others to respond and to get as worked up as I am. I know the rules, but I don't want people telling me what to do. I want to decide for myself.
Z. I am a person who is self-controlled and logical-I don't like revealing my feelings or getting bogged down in them. I am efficient-even perfectionistic, about my work, and prefer working on my own. If there are problems or personal conflicts, I try not to let my feelings influence my actions. Some say I'm too cool and detached, but I don't want my private reactions to distract me from what's really important. I'm glad that I usually don't show my reactions when others "get to me."
- AX = 7
- AY = 8
- AZ = 3
- BX = 9
- BY = 4
- BZ = 5
- CX = 2
- CY = 6
- CZ = 1
As well as getting an idea of which numbers you might be, it's also really helpful to notice which ones you think you definitely are not! Knowing your number is just the start - what we do with that knowledge and how we build on it is the fun part. If you want to explore further and understand what this all means for you, I'd love to work with you.