The Wisdom of the Enneagram was originally published in 1999. It has since served many thousands of people around the world who are searching to understand themselves more fully and, as importantly, their relationships with all the many different types of personality they come into contact with.
Riso and Hudson documented their research and developed a model called the Enneagram which states that in their view we all have one of nine possible personality types.
It is very important to note that no one ‘type’ is superior to another, we are who we are, however we can change in positive and negative ways. I am an ‘8’ and, after studying this approach for 10 years and taking the various tests both online and in this book, have always come out this way. Interestingly, though, as I have increased my personal awareness, especially in times when I’ve been ‘in the zone’ i.e. ‘integrating’ as the authors describe it, or becoming ‘melancholic’ or ‘disintegrating’, my type follows a path of integration to the best side of being a ‘2’ i.e. a Helper or the downside of a ‘5’ Investigator and I lock myself away from the world to sort my problems out on my own. (I no longer do this now that I am aware and share much more freely). Interestingly, having used the material in a professional context, I referenced and embedded it in my own book ‘Customers are FICKLE™’, also reviewed on this site by Roger.
The nine types are also sub categorised into 3 areas and you can easily relate to this by asking yourself how you make decisions. Types 2 to 4 are ‘Heart’ people, 5- 7 Head people and 8 to 1 ‘Gut’ people. I have always made my most important decisions with my Gut, irrespective of any logical analysis like ‘pros and cons’ etc.
The book is almost 400 pages long and talks in depth about our passions, fears, desires and distortions that make our lives and interactions so challenging and interesting, so in a short review like this its difficult to relate the depth and quality of the material and how, if you embrace it, it has the potential to change your life in many positive ways.
In my view if everyone adopted the principles in this book and maybe combined them, as I have, with Neuro Linguistic Programming (NLP), then they would not only become more centered in their outlook, but happier, confident and more enabled to meet and enjoy productive relationships with a far broader range of personalities than they ever have before. If someone could write a sequel that incorporated how to relate to different international cultures as well, the world would be a happier and safer place……..
The ancient symbol of the Enneagram has become one of today’s most popular systems for self-understanding, based on nine distinct personality types. Now, two of the world’s foremost Enneagram authorities introduce a powerful new way to use the Enneagram as a tool for personal transformation and development. Whatever your spiritual background, the Enneagram shows how you can overcome your inner barriers, realize your unique gifts and strengths, and discover your deepest direction in life.
The Wisdom of the Enneagram includes:
Two highly accurate questionnaires for determining your type;
Vivid individual profiles, focused on maximising each type’s potential and minimising predictable pitfalls; Spiritual Jump Starts, Wake-Up Calls, and Red Flags for each type; Dozens of individualised exercises and practical strategies for letting go of troublesome habits, improving relationships, and increasing inner freedom;
Revealing insights into the deepest motivations, fears, and desires of each type.
Highly accessible, yet filled with sophisticated concepts and techniques found nowhere else, The Wisdom of the Enneagram is a strikingly new fusion of psychology and spirituality. It offers an exciting vision of human possibility and a clear map of the nine paths to our highest self-expression.