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If you’ve been paying attention, you may have noticed the advent of the Ennegram. The Enneagram is the latest personality assessment used in a widespread way. The Ennegram is what I would describe as the “Strengthfinders” of the last five years.

This test is particularly unnerving because it leads with your weaknesses, and in a very unsettling way seems to “read your mail” and uncover your blind spots. The blind spots you thought were mostly swept under the rug.

Here’s why I think the Enneagram is so helpful.

Don’t we all, more or less, know what our strengths are? At least for the most part, our strengths are not our blind spots. We lead with what we think our strengths are. We are hired based on our strengths. Our strengths are reinforced over time. We rely on our strengths.

But our weaknesses, especially in a type-A place to live and work like Washington DC – our weakness is what we try to hide at all costs. The Enneagram pulls out our weaknesses and puts them on display.

Again - why would I think that is helpful?

Here’s the thing. Most of us are terrified to admit our weaknesses until we finally unveil them and gratefully discover that it’s not that big of a

deal. That everyone has them. And in sharing our weaknesses, it takes the “taboo” off of discussing them and ultimately can lead to improving upon them.

The Enneagram takes the shame out of the equation and just lays it out there to be what it is. It assesses our personality makeup (not always 100% accurate so take it for what it’s worth) and suggests ways that these personality traits emerge “in sickness and in health.”

Which leads to the best discovery of all – every personality trait can be either an asset or a liability. It just depends on what you do with it.

So what’s your Enneagram?



You can take the test for free here Mail Reading!


Brooke M. Birkey, Director of Client Services
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