I have a love-hate relationship with personality and motivational assessments. On one hand, they’re the best thing since sliced bread. The assessments allow us to look into ourselves and “see” who we are and what motivates us.
I know this. I’ve taken plenty of these assessments. From StrengthsFinders 2.0 to the Fingerprint 4 Success to the Myers-Briggs assessments, each test opened up my eyes to a new aspect of my personality and motivation.
Taking the assessments, I can look at the results and agree with them. I can see where the results expose a truth about myself. But then the danger begins to creep in.
We can use these assessments to excuse our bad behaviors. We can say “I’m a Type One on the Enneagram. It’s okay that I’m abrasive ” or “My strength zone isn’t tending to the needs of others. I won’t do that.”
While I’ve noticed this more so with the Enneagram Personality Assessment than any of the previous assessments I’ve taken, the danger is still there for the other assessments as well. We will use our results to explain away our bad behavior.
What Are The Enneagram Types?
It’s important to understand the types of the Enneagram assessment. Each type is represented by a number. Below, you will find a listing of the Enneagram types and a simple definition as defined by the Enneagram Institute.
1. THE REFORMER
The Rational, Idealistic Type: Principled, Purposeful, Self-Controlled, and Perfectionistic
2. THE HELPER
The Caring, Interpersonal Type: Demonstrative, Generous, People-Pleasing, and Possessive
3. THE ACHIEVER
The Success-Oriented, Pragmatic Type: Adaptive, Excelling, Driven, and Image-Conscious
4. THE INDIVIDUALIST
The Sensitive, Withdrawn Type: Expressive, Dramatic, Self-Absorbed, and Temperamental
5. THE INVESTIGATOR
The Intense, Cerebral Type: Perceptive, Innovative, Secretive, and Isolated
6. THE LOYALIST
The Committed, Security-Oriented Type: Engaging, Responsible, Anxious, and Suspicious
7. THE ENTHUSIAST
The Busy, Fun-Loving Type: Spontaneous, Versatile, Distractible, and Scattered
8. THE CHALLENGER
The Powerful, Dominating Type: Self-Confident, Decisive, Willful, and Confrontational
9. THE PEACEMAKER
The Easygoing, Self-Effacing Type: Receptive, Reassuring, Agreeable, and Complacent
Your Enneagram Result Isn’t A Free Pass
Because the Enneagram is the latest personality assessment to hit the mainstream, I wanted to take a minute to touch on the dangers of using the Enneagram assessment (or any other assessment) to continue with bad behavior.
It’s easy to think we have a free pass. The assessment you completed did tell you that your personality type is abrasive or challenging. Why shouldn’t I live out these personality traits?
I’ll tell you. You shouldn’t because you weren’t created to be a jerk. You were created to make a difference and positively impact the lives of those around you.
Using a test to excuse being a jerk just reinforces the fact that you are a jerk. Stop using your Enneagram as a free pass to be a jerk.
Instead, you can use your Enneagram results to do something else.
Use Your Enneagram Result To Excel
Your Enneagram results can tell you a lot about you. You can learn to become a better person than you were before the test. That’s the great thing about personality assessments. They give you the opportunity to grow and challenge yourself.
Use the results of your Enneagram to see where you’re doing life well. You may see your personality type lends itself to helping others. Go out and help people then! Or you may see your Enneagram type allows you to captivate others. Do that!
Your personality test results don’t have to hurt people. In fact, you should be using your results to help yourself and others. You can do this if you focus on the right things and use your results in the right way.