Step 1: Learn about the nine types from the inside out.
Although the types are often used to describe personality, they actually describe a type of focus underneath personality.
- Type 1 focuses on acceptability and correctness.
- Type 2 focuses on appreciation and attentiveness.
- Type 3 focuses on esteem and affirmation.
- Type 4 focuses on significance and authenticity.
- Type 5 focuses on comprehension and objectivity.
- Type 6 focuses on assurance and questioning.
- Type 7 focuses on enthusiasm and anticipation.
- Type 8 focuses on empowerment and assertiveness.
- Type 9 focuses on harmony and accommodation.
These nine types of focus strongly influence personality and lie at the core of the Enneagram personality types.
Step 2: Learn about the variations within type.
There are subtle differences between people of the same type that aren't accounted for by that type alone. Several concepts are often used to describe subtypes or variations within each type to account for these differences. This may involve looking at multiple types for one person instead of just one type (e.g., wings, Tritype) or looking at other factors in addition to type (e.g., instincts).
Step 3: Learn how the many other concepts and references fit in with the types.
Although understanding the nine types and their variations are more than adequate for making use of the Enneagram types, there are many other concepts and references used in explaining and understanding the types. You can choose to use them or not, but it helps to at least know what they are so that you don’t get lost when someone brings them up in discussion.
Free tests written by the author are available on the book’s website to help you determine your Enneagram type and its variations. You can find those links in the book.