One of the most frequent questions I get asked is “Where can I learn more about the Enneagram?” Here are some of the resources that I’ve found most helpful.
The Enneagram Made Easy: Discover the 9 Types of People by Renee Baron and Elizabeth Wagele.
- The Enneagram Made Easy is a helpful starter book for individuals who have never been exposed to the Enneagram before. The book begins by outlining the structure of the enneagram, providing some basic vocabulary to the reader that will be helpful to a new reader as they seek to understand the 9 personality types. It outlines the 9 Enneagram personality types, gives exercises for work each type can do in order to live more healthily within their type as well as information for different types on how to better engage one another. This is a great starter book for those new to the Enneagram.
The Essential Enneagram: the Definitive Personality Test and Self-Discovery Guide by Dr. David N. Daniels and Dr. Virginia Ann Price.
- The Essential Enneagram provides one of the easiest assessments for Enneagram typing where the reader is able to select from a series of descriptive paragraphs, which they feel describe them most accurately. Each paragraph letter corresponds to a designated enneagram type in the answer key. This test is more efficient than the series of questions typical of the longer online typing assessments. The rest of the book is organized by type, providing brief descriptions of each as well as brief descriptions of how two individuals of differing types likely interact with one another.’
- Enneagram in the Narrative Tradition is the website headquarters for one of the two major Enneagram Traditions, the other being the Enneagram Institute. I personally have been more exposed to Enneagram in the Narrative Tradition because of how well it dovetails into ministry, which in and of itself is fraught with narrative. This website provides resources, including a typing assessment that goes into more depth than the one in The Essential Enneagram. It also provides additional primary source resources about types, subtypes, passions, vices, facets of life that enneagram study can benefit as well as opportunities for further study, certification et cetera.
The Spiritual Dimension of the Enneagram: Nine Faces of the Soul by Sandra Matri
- The Spiritual Dimension of the Enneagram spends a great deal of time exploring the shadow of each Enneagram type. Part of what makes the Enneagram unique among personality typing profiles is that it not only describes positive, healthy attributes, but also ones that are unhealthier if left unchecked. Maitri’s book looks deeper into the root of these vices, the passions that inspire them, and offers opportunities for each personality type to work to cultivate the corresponding virtue in order to find a healthier balance in his or her life. Note: This is one of the denser resources in this list and is better if you have a working understanding of the Enneagram first.
The Enneagram: Understanding Yourself and Others in Your Life by Helen Palmer
- Author Helen Palmer is one of the founders of the Narrative Tradition of Enneagram study. Part I of Palmer’s book provides history for the Enneagram, an orientation to how the Enneagram functions both as a diagram and as a typing system. Palmer then continues providing much more thorough information for each of the 9 personality types. Palmer delves into topics like formative childhood experiences that could likely have attributed to an individual leading with a specific type in the Enneagram, motivations, virtues/vices, and relationship characteristics. She closes each chapter with information about subtypes for each of the nine types, environments that each type finds attractive or unattractive, and information on how each type can thrive in a healthy fashion.
- This second book by Helen Palmer focuses on interpersonal relationships, work and personal relationships specifically. Palmer opens the book with a brief overview of the 9 Enneagram types. The remainder of the book is divided into chapters detailing the strengths and struggles of each of the personality types in relation to each of the others in work, romance, or both. This book will prove helpful in my research of the Enneagram as it relates to interpersonal interactions and expands that topic much further than any other book I’ve looked at. The goal of this book is not to tell the reader who they should or should not date or work with, but instead helps explain interaction with each of the other types, their strengths and pitfalls.
- This book is by the founders of the Enneagram Institute, the second major Enneagram tradition. This book follows a similar train of thought to Helen Palmer’s The Enneagram, but some would argue it favors a more Psychology based framework.
The Enneagram Institute Website
- This is the online headquarters for Don Riso and Russ Hudson’s work on the Enneagram. What is nice about this website is that includes the Riso-Hudson Enneagram Type Indicator (RHETI) which is one way to determine what Enneagram type you lead with. NOTE: While the test is indeed helpful and provides you with a great deal of information about your type the only true way to find your type is to self identify so be sure to look at the other types as well. The Essential Enneagram provides great short synopses of all the types and another method to discover what type you lead with.
- While the Enneagram Institute test costs money this is a free version that I like. This website will also provide you with a lot of information about your type. Again note that the only true way to identify your type is through self identification. The test is merely a tool that can aid you.