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Enneagram Personality Test

Enneagram Personality Test

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The Enneagram test, also known as the Enneagram of Personality, is a psychological model of nine personality types, each of which carries their own drives, fears and characteristics.

With its origins in the distant past, the modern model of the Enneagram was developed in the twentieth century, leading to the currently used personality test.

Through a series of questions, the Enneagram personality test offers insights into:

  • Who we are
  • Why we behave the way we do
  • How we can be our best self

There are plenty of theories on the origins of the Enneagram, ranging from Pythagorean mathematicians to fourth-century monks to Ancient Egypt, but the modern Enneagram model owes its format to minds such as Oscar Ichazo, the Bolivian-born founder of the Arica School in the 1960s, the Chilean psychiatrist Claudio Naranjo, and more recently, Don Riso and Russ Hudson.

Knowledge of your Enneagram type can prove useful when seeking insight into your personality and self-development.

What Does the Enneagram Test Assess?

The Enneagram test uses a series of questions with answers ranging from 'accurate' to 'neutral' to 'inaccurate' to decide which of the nine personality types is your best match.

The test also points to your secondary personality type, known as your ‘wing’, and the role of the center that your personality type falls into.

The Enneagram personality test can be complemented by a further test, the Instinctual Variants Questionnaire, which produces your score for the three instincts:

  • Self-preservation
  • Sexual
  • Social

How Can You Use the Results?

At the core of the Enneagram test is the process of understanding ourselves, our drives and fears, and how to be our best selves.

The most intuitive use of your test result is self-development but as with any personality test, a knowledge of your strengths and weaknesses can inform the career paths that are suitable for you.

What Are the Enneagram Personality Types?

What Are the Nine Enneagram Personality Types?

The nine personality types fall into three groupings:

  • The Feeling center: Types 2, 3 and 4
  • The Thinking center: Types 5, 6 and 7
  • The Intuitive center: Types 8, 9 and 1

The order of the personality types, running from one to nine, does not point to any personality type being better or worse than another. Each is of equal value.

Let's explore each one:

1. The Reformer

  • Strengths: Hard-working, ethical and honest
  • Weaknesses: Can become resentful, overly critical and hampered by perfectionism
  • Motivations: To be useful, beyond criticism, and to make everything the best it can be

As their name would suggest, Reformers want to change the world for the better. They have a strong sense of justice and are sure they know exactly how things should be done. They are conscientious, well-organized and strive to live up to a high moral standard.

Following their sense of mission and ethics, however, can lead Reformers to overthink things, and in so doing, delay taking action. They can become critical, of themselves and others, and feel that they must exercise self-control to the point of resentment and impatience. Reformers often feel they must justify their actions.

Key factors of this personality type include:

  • A strong sense of justice
  • Conscientiousness
  • Being well-organized
  • A sense of mission
  • The drive to improve the world around them
  • The desire to be a good person
  • The need to be in the right and beyond criticism
  • The fear of becoming corrupt or making mistakes

In a work environment, the Reformer is a conscientious, well-organized employee with an eye on the well being of the organization and its mission, sometimes to the point of self-sacrifice.

However, this relentless work ethic can lead to burn-out, resentfulness and becoming highly-critical of colleagues who do not meet the Reformer’s standards. Reformers do not handle failure or delay well.

Lessons to learn at work include:

  • Learn to compromise sometimes
  • Take time to look after yourself to avoid burn-out
  • Swap perfectionism for a ‘good enough for now’ approach

Famous Reformers include Mahatma Gandhi, Joan of Arc, Anita Roddick (founder of The Body Shop), Michelle Obama and Harrison Ford.

2. The Helper

  • Strengths: Caring, a good communicator and sincere
  • Weaknesses: Seeking validation through others, possessiveness and manipulating others
  • Motivations: To be needed and appreciated, to prove their self-worth and to express their emotions

Helpers are friendly, caring and generous-hearted individuals who help others to see the best in themselves. They genuinely want to help people and can exhibit a high level of empathy towards those they encounter.

Helpers are the altruists of the Enneagram personality types and feel unconditional love towards mankind.

At their most insecure, however, Helpers can become possessive, use flattery to make connections, and may base their worth on what others think of them and through self-sacrifice.

Key factors of the Helper personality include:

  • Empathy
  • Sincerity
  • Friendliness
  • Generosity
  • Self-sacrifice
  • The desire to be loved, needed and appreciated
  • The fear of being unwanted and unloved
  • May seek their own worth in the opinions of others

At work, as in the rest of their life, Helpers are all about making connections. They can be warm, considerate and supportive of their colleagues. Helpers will remember birthdays, provide a shoulder to cry on and do their best to create an inclusive environment.

The flip-side to this is that unless they feel that their efforts are appreciated, they can become intrusive, resentful and overpowering.

Lessons to learn at work include:

  • Do not turn into a people pleaser to feel appreciated
  • Recognize, place a value on and state your own needs
  • Build self-worth that is not dependent on the opinions of others

Famous Helpers include Nancy Reagan, Eleanor Roosevelt, Lionel Richie, Dolly Parton and Bishop Desmond Tutu.

3. The Achiever

  • Strengths: Charming, driven and competent
  • Weaknesses: Prone to being a workaholic, self-deceit and basing their self-worth on their success
  • Motivations: Recognition of their accomplishments, to set themselves apart from others based on their success and to be admired

When it comes to polished confidence and charm, the Achiever has it all. This Enneagram personality type strives to succeed, is popular, attractive and ambitious.

These are highly driven individuals who attract admiration through their accomplishments. At their best, they can be generous, authentic and gracious role models.

When the Achiever does not feel fulfilled, however, they can become overly concerned with their status and reputation, over-competitive, and dependent on the recognition of others.

They can easily become a workaholic to such an extent that they lose sight of who they really are in their drive to succeed.

Key factors include the following:

  • Ambition and drive
  • Attractiveness and charm
  • Diplomacy
  • Status consciousness
  • The drive to be valuable and worthwhile
  • The need for attention from others and their admiration
  • The fear that they are worthless
  • Prone to being a workaholic

In a work environment, Achievers are productive and energetic high-performers. They can ‘read the room’, intuitively finding their place. They understand what is expected of them and exactly how to achieve or even excel in those expectations.

However, they may lose sight of themselves in their drive to make a good impression, experience self-doubt, suffer from exhaustion and ultimately become isolated from their colleagues.

Lessons to learn at work include:

  • Take a break and check-in with yourself regularly so you do not suffer from burn-out and self-deception
  • Find self-worth, instead of worth earned by the recognition of your success by others
  • Realize the value of reality over status

Famous Achievers include Bill Clinton, Muhammed Ali, Madonna, Barbara Streisand and Jamie Foxx.

4. The Individualist

  • Strengths: Creative, emotionally deep and compassionate
  • Weaknesses: Moodiness, can become withdrawn and can avoid what they see as mundane tasks
  • Motivations: To be seen as a unique individual, to be surrounded by beauty and to be balanced

Individualists are creative, emotionally self-aware and honest, and have the strength to withstand great suffering. They accept themselves, the good and the bad, and seek to understand their own self-development.

At their best, they can be both inspirational and creatively inspired.

The down-side to this self-awareness is the need to protect their uniqueness as a safeguard against their faults and how the world sees them.

The Individualist sees themselves as different from anyone else and that others, therefore, cannot understand them. They may feel self-conscious, incomplete and fall into melancholic moods as a result. In such a frame of mind, they may withdraw from others.

Key factors of this personality type include:

  • Sensitivity
  • Self-awareness
  • Emotional honesty
  • Creativity
  • Feeling unable to fit in
  • Drive to express their individuality
  • Desire to create an identity and find their significance in the world
  • Fear they have no individual identity and do not matter

An Individualist at work often brings a unique viewpoint to the tasks and missions at hand and is happy to face difficult topics that other colleagues may avoid. They are happiest when working in a beautiful, artistic environment.

Individualists do not enjoy what they see to be mundane tasks and may slip away into their internal world when faced with work that does not inspire them.

Lessons to learn at work include:

  • Learn to focus on mundane tasks and not become demotivated or procrastinate
  • Do not compare yourself with others
  • Do not withdraw from others

Famous Individualists include Jackie Kennedy Onassis, Edgar Allen Poe, Billie Holiday, Judy Garland and Nicolas Cage.

5. The Investigator

  • Strengths: Independent thinker, intellectual and ahead of their time
  • Weaknesses: Can become detached and wrapped up in their thoughts, can neglect their well being and may not easily trust others
  • Motivations: To understand the world around them, to seek their own truths and be protected against the unexpected

Investigators are innovative thinkers who are driven to understand how the world around them works. They are inventive and focussed, easily developing complex ideas and concepts. They are curious and have a relentless drive to question the truth, seeking to arrive at their own conclusions.

This rejection of what everyone else believes to be true can, however, lead the Investigator to become withdrawn and preoccupied with their thoughts, which in turn can often mean that Investigators are seen as eccentric, intense and even nihilistic.

Key factors of the Investigator personality include:

  • The ability to develop complex concepts
  • Curiosity
  • Independence
  • Innovation
  • Insightfulness
  • The desire to be competent and capable
  • The drive to be knowledgeable and prepared for any threat
  • The fear of being of no use and helpless

In a work environment, the most talented, diligent and enthusiastic researchers are generally Investigators. They are drawn to learning to a point that they may fail to interact with their colleagues and become detached. Having said that, they will happily express the new truths that they reach.

Investigators are generally more comfortable dealing with people on a one-to-one basis than in a group, although even that can exhaust them emotionally.

Lessons to learn at work include:

  • Know when to end your research and reach a conclusion
  • Consider the impact that insensitive comments and aloofness may have on your colleagues
  • Do not reject or look down on the opinions of others

Famous Investigators include Albert Einstein, Vincent Van Gogh, Ursula K LeGuin, Mark Zuckerberg and Jodie Foster.

6. The Loyalist

  • Strengths: Loyalty, co-operative nature and strategic thinking
  • Weaknesses: Self-doubt, a need to be supported and guided, and suspicious of others
  • Motivations: To feel secure and supported, to have certainty in their life, and to predict any threat

As their name would suggest, the Loyalist can be extremely loyal to the people around them and to their own current beliefs and values.

They are caring, responsible and trustworthy individuals who have a knack for seeing risks and problems long before they arise. The Loyalist can be relied on to be supportive and co-operative.

The loyalty shown by this Enneagram personality type, however, does not always stretch to themselves.

The Loyalist will often ignore their well being to stay loyal to others or to a belief. In their need for security and support, they will often switch allegiances and beliefs, fiercely defending whichever is current to their needs.

Loyalists find it difficult to develop self-awareness, relying on the opinions and support of others instead.

Key factors include the following:

  • Closely concerned with security
  • Reliability and responsibility
  • Good work ethic
  • Trustworthiness
  • Talent for trouble-shooting
  • Drive to be secure and be supported by others
  • Self-doubt and suspicion of others
  • Fear of having no support or guidance

At work, the Loyalist is a supportive, co-operative team-member. They are excellent trouble-shooters, not only recognizing future risks and problems but also developing strategies to cope with those risks. They may idealize their leader or managerial figure, a situation which can become problematic should that individual fail to maintain the Loyalist’s lofty expectations of them.

Lessons to learn at work include:

  • Reach your own conclusions instead of relying on the opinions of others
  • Do not let your self-doubt lead to worry and procrastination
  • Accept that people are human and should not be idealized or followed with blind loyalty

Famous Loyalists include Sigmund Freud, J Edgar Hoover, Malcolm X, Jennifer Aniston and Ellen DeGeneres.

7. The Enthusiast

  • Strengths: Idea generators, versatile and adventurous
  • Weaknesses: Can be scattered, impatient and make bad decisions
  • Motivations: To be free and happy, to avoid suffering and pain, and to be stimulated

In the same way that Loyalists can foresee risks and problems, Enthusiasts also have a knack for anticipating what may happen. However, the Enthusiast handles this foresight with optimism and a sense of adventure.

Enthusiasts are always on the go, picking ideas seemingly out of the air. They find it easy to adapt to new situations and challenges.

This constant adventuring can often lead to the Enthusiast becoming scattered and overwhelmed by just how much new information they have taken on board.

Reluctant to turn to their own inner self-guidance, the Enthusiast will often try everything to find out what works, again adding to their sense of overwhelm.

Enthusiasts can be impatient and impulsive, often leading to frustration and, finally, exhaustion.

Key factors of this personality type include:

  • Extroversion
  • Optimism
  • Adaptability
  • Spontaneity
  • The drive to be happy and free to do what they want
  • The desire to have their needs met
  • Fear of deprivation or suffering
  • Impatience and impulsiveness

An Enthusiast at work will be the colleague who constantly comes up with new ideas, seeks to learn more and more, and has a knack for motivating those around them with their optimism and playful approach.

However, for all their boundless energy at the beginning of a project, they are less positive about finishing tasks. An Enthusiast will cheerfully take on a workload that is beyond their time or abilities to complete without experiencing some level of discomfort.

Lessons to learn at work include:

  • Listen to the opinions of colleagues who do not agree with you, rather than simply dismissing them as negative
  • Be realistic about your workload – just how much can be done in the available time?
  • Finish what you start

Famous Enthusiasts include Benjamin Franklin, John F Kennedy, Katy Perry, Goldie Hawn and Robert Downey Jr.

8. The Challenger

  • Strengths: Good at decision making, happy to take on challenges and at their best, can inspire others
  • Weaknesses: Domineering, confrontational and ego-centric
  • Motivations: To be independent, to be seen as a strong and capable individual, and to be in control

This Enneagram personality type is so-named not just because they can be challenging, but also because they will happily shoulder challenges. They are also key in helping others to similarly take on challenges.

Challengers are confident, assertive and comfortable with decision-making. They can also be protective, reassuring and charismatic.

The flip-side to such a straight-talking and forceful character is that they can also be overbearing, confrontational and seek to intimidate to hide their vulnerability. They may attempt to control others and in turn have anger issues.

The Challenger wants to be in control and indebted to no one, so they may reject or attack others in a bid to maintain their independence.

Key factors of the Challenger personality include:

  • Self-confidence and strength
  • Assertiveness
  • Resourcefulness
  • Being ego-centric
  • The drive to be self-reliant and seen as strong
  • The desire to be in control and protect self
  • Fear of being controlled or harmed
  • Controlling and domineering

In a work environment, the Challenger is straight-talking, assertive, and often protective of their team and colleagues.

At their best, they will not only take on challenging workloads themselves but will enable colleagues to do the same.

They are happy to be in charge of a project or team due to their need for control, but if they become displeased with a colleague, the Challenger can become confrontational, angry and aggressive.

Lessons to learn at work:

  • Learn to delegate instead of attempting to maintain control of everything
  • Develop listening and motivational skills
  • Recognize and appreciate the different skill sets that colleagues bring to the table

Famous Challengers include Martin Luther King Jr, Ernest Hemingway, Serena Williams, Susan Sarandon and Matt Damon.

9. The Peacemaker

  • Strengths: Have a talent for bringing people together, stable and harmonious
  • Weaknesses: Can avoid conflict and harsh truths, be ambivalent, and dismiss details to reach a simple solution
  • Motivations: To create harmony, to avoid conflict and to maintain the world as it is

Peacemakers value both inner and outer harmony above all else. This personality type is supporting, stable and trusting.

Generally, Peacemakers have a healthy balance between spirituality and being well-grounded and centered. Peacemakers are creative, optimistic and have a talent for uniting individuals into a group.

The downside to the Peacemaker’s drive to establish harmony is their avoidance of conflict.

Often, they will take the easy and less stressful path to avoid factors that may disturb the harmony they seek. Unfortunately, such a path may not always lead to a satisfactory destination for the Peacemaker.

This personality type can be complacent, stubborn and at times of strife, may withdraw into their internal world.

Peacemaker key factors include:

  • Creativity
  • Optimism
  • Supportive nature
  • Drive to create inner and outer harmony
  • The tendency to go with the flow to avoid conflict
  • Complacency
  • Resistance to change
  • Fear of separation and loss

At work, Peacemakers make excellent mediators because they can see differing viewpoints and bring conflicting parties together. They are easy to speak to, encouraging, and able to create a safe environment for their colleagues.

However, Peacemakers may not always handle tasks that require an eye for detail well because they tend to seek an obvious or simple solution. They may resist or avoid conflict, and hence make bad decisions that enable them to escape.

Lessons to learn at work:

  • Push through uncomfortable situations and tasks, rather than avoiding them to maintain harmony
  • Gather all the information needed to reach a conclusion or finish a job, instead of jumping to an obvious or simple solution without supporting evidence
  • Do not ignore your own needs to keep the peace

Famous Peacemakers include Princess Grace of Monaco, Abraham Lincoln, Jim Henson, Morgan Freeman and Whoopi Goldberg.

Enneagram Personality Test: All You Need to Know
Enneagram Personality Test: All You Need to Know

Which Enneagram Personality Is the Rarest and Most Common?

The rarest Enneagram personality type appears to be the Individualist. However, this perception of rarity may be caused by the fact that most Individualists are introverts who naturally avoid large groups of people, thus reducing the chance of meeting one.

The most common Enneagram personality types appear to be Enthusiasts, Loyalists and Peacemakers.

Loyalists and Enthusiasts are both assertive, confident types who are easy to spot, which again may point to the fact that it is only a perception that these two types are common.

By comparison, Peacemakers are not so obvious because they avoid conflict.

However, the growing popularity of self-help material available would suggest that there is an audience seeking self-knowledge in an attempt to avoid conflict, which would point to a growing audience of Peacemakers.

Wings, Centers and Instincts

All of these factors affect how your Enneagram personality type is expressed:


While your Enneagram personality type is your overall character, your wing adds further elements, personalizing your type to a closer match.

Your wing will generally be one of the personality types on either side of your main personality type.

So for instance, an Individualist (4) personality type may have an Investigator (5) wing or an Achiever (3) wing.

Understanding the characteristics, fears and drives of your wing personality type can further enhance your understanding of yourself.


The nine personality types fall into three centers, each of which has a core emotional response:

  • Feeling (shame) – types 2, 3 and 4
  • Thinking (fear) – types 5, 6 and 7
  • Instinctive (anger) – types 8, 9 and 1

Each personality type has an individual way of coping with their linked emotional response.

For instance, in the feeling center, the Individualist (4) handles shame by concentrating on their own uniqueness. By comparison, the Helper (2) copes with shame by encouraging others to like and value them.


You can further personalize your personality type by investigating your three instinctual scores.

  • Self-preservation is concerned with one’s safety, health, comfort and having sufficient resources to survive.
  • The sexual instinct expresses a drive towards stimulation and an awareness of levels of attraction between themselves and others.
  • The social instinct expresses an awareness of others and how to adapt their behavior to fit in with and serve those others.

For any individual, one of the three instincts will always be dominant, one secondary and one under-developed.

Generally, a separate test called the Instinctual Variants Questionnaire must be taken to discover your instincts scores.

Personal Growth and Stress

If you examine the Enneagram itself, you will see that each personality type is connected by lines to two other types. These connections represent growth and stress.

When the individual is developing in a healthy fashion, they will move towards the personality type that represents growth.

When the individual is developing in an unhealthy and destructive way, they will move towards the personality type that represents stress.

For instance, an Investigator (5) moving in the direction of growth will behave like a Challenger (8), whereas the direction of stress will cause them to behave like an Enthusiast (7).

Does Your Enneagram Personality Type Change During Your Life?

While your behavior may change, either positively or negatively, your personality type will always remain the same.

However, your expression of that personality type may alter as you move between growth and stress, and in relation to your dominant wing and instinct.

Enneagram Test Format

The Enneagram personality test is an online series of questions that ask for a response on a five-point range of ‘accurate’ to ‘inaccurate’.

For instance:

  • Are you a creative person?
  • Do you enjoy working with detailed reports?
  • Do you think people should always follow the rules?
  • Do you think you are different from other people?
  • Do you need an external impetus to motivate you?

How Is the Test Scored and What Will the Results Show?

Your question responses are scored against each personality type to find which is your closest match. Further than this, your responses may be used to find your dominant wing and your instinctual score.

What exactly is included in your results will vary depending on the test organizer.

Beyond your Enneagram personality type, your results may include:

  • Your score against each personality type
  • Your dominant wing and an explanation of how this affects your personality type
  • Your instinctual scores and how they affect your personality type
  • Your center and details of how your personality type copes with the linked emotional response
  • An explanation of your personality type, either basic or in-depth
  • An explanation of all the personality types
  • The best and worst expression of your personality type
  • How you can use your understanding of your personality type for personal development

Is the Enneagram Test Accurate?

This can be a difficult question to answer for a number of reasons.

First, the concept of ‘accurate’ for some people will really mean ‘useful’. How easy is it to apply the test results to yourself and use them for self-development?

This is where the assistance of an Enneagram expert can be useful to help you interpret your results.

Second, the format of the test may vary between different test organizers. Some tests may be extensive, such as that available from the Enneagram Institute itself, while others are intended to be short and fun.

The more questions involved in the test, the more likely your results are to match you to the correct personality type.

Third, for the results of your test to be accurate, you must be brutally honest when answering the questions.

This may mean that you have to consider the questions more deeply than you usually would. Alternatively, you may feel that one answer is the acceptable one to choose, rather than the actual truth. There are no right or wrong answers in the test, only answers that are true for you.

Finally, not everyone will like their results. Certain personality types may be deemed to be more favorable over others, on a personal basis or culturally. This dissatisfaction with a result may lead to rejection on the basis that it is inaccurate when it is actually undesirable.

What Careers Are Suited to Each Enneagram Personality Type?

While the Enneagram personality test is not designed to point out which career type might suit you, it does point to characteristics and drives that you can match to particular career paths.

1. The Reformer

Ideal careers include:

2. The Helper

Ideal careers for the Helper include:

3. The Achiever

Ideal careers include the following:

  • Attorney
  • Agent
  • Entrepreneur
  • Marketing director
  • CEO

4. The Individualist

Ideal careers include:

  • Therapist
  • Graphic designer
  • Artist
  • Author
  • Social media manager

5. The Investigator

Ideal careers for the Investigator include:

  • App or game designer
  • Researcher
  • Scientist
  • Engineer
  • Analyst

6. The Loyalist

Ideal careers include the following:

7. The Enthusiast

Ideal careers for this personality type include:

  • Travel writer
  • Actor
  • Photographer
  • Content creator
  • Chef

8. The Challenger

Ideal careers for the Challenger personality include:

9. The Peacemaker

Peacemaker ideal careers include:

  • Therapist
  • Human resources manager
  • Mediator
  • Social worker
  • Teacher

Where Can You Take an Enneagram Test?

There are a range of both free and paid Enneagram tests to be found online. Some will offer an initial free test but ask for a fee to release either a full report or a more in-depth result.

Enneagram Institute

You can take the Enneagram personality test through the Enneagram Institute. The cost of the test is $12.

The test results are made available in a PDF and include:

  • Your scores across the nine personality types
  • A full explanation of your three top-score personality types
  • Scores for all three instincts
  • The option to receive bonus content for your personality type


The Enneagram personality test is free to take through Truity, as is a basic result which includes:

  • Your personalized Enneagram chart showing your score for each personality type
  • Your personality type
  • A brief explanation of your personality type
  • Your percentage score for each personality type
  • One of your ‘Top 3 Superpowers’, for instance, optimism, with a brief explanation

To unlock your full report, the cost is $19.

Open-Source Psychometrics Project

This is a free test which gives a basic bar-chart result of your personality type. It offers no explanation but points to online sources for further information.


TrueSelf claims to offer not only your Enneagram personality type but also your ‘TrueType’ and your ‘Instinctual Type’.

The TrueSelf Enneagram personality test is free to take. Results include:

  • Your personality type
  • Your three highest-scoring personality types
  • Explanation of your personality type

TrueSelf also offers the opportunity to view the results of people you know to find out how your two personalities interact together.

Eclectic Energies

Eclectic Energies offers the option of two tests – the Classic Enneagram Test and the Enneagram Test with Instinctual Variant. Both tests are free.

The results of your test can be read online or in a downloadable PDF and include your personality type and wings, and your scores for each personality type in order (highest to lowest).

Final Thoughts

The Enneagram personality test can offer valuable insight into your characteristics, drives and fears, and a path towards self-development.

Use it as part of your career exploration or career planning process to learn more about yourself and your future career path.

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