Three Benefits of The Enneagram

Three Benefits of The Enneagram

Written by David Seibel | 9.12.2019

Although my last post describes some potential issues using the Enneagram, I do see some benefits as well. I am fairly familiar with the Enneagram, Strengthsfinder, Myers-Briggs, Disc Profile, and even  Which Friends Character Are You? and Which Winnie the Poo Character are you?

With all the talk about self-awareness and emotional intelligence, I have wanted over the years to at least be informed on what tools people are using in order to become ‘smart with their feelings.’ I have found some of the following benefits in using the Enneagram and tools like it.  

The Enneagram can be a tool to catalyze relationships.

The Enneagram can be a tool to catalyze relationships.

#1: It can be a common starting point

CS Lewis said, “Friendship is born at the moment when one person says to another: ‘What! You too? I thought I was the only one.” In other words, the Enneagram can be a tool to catalyze relationships. It could help you understand something about yourself or others that had previously been a mystery and created confusion and chaos. 

I have had a number of meaningful conversations over the past three years that started with a reference to the Enneagram and ended in a much weightier place.

The Enneagram and other tools like it have helped me see the hidden deformity of my soul.

The Enneagram and other tools like it have helped me see the hidden deformity of my soul.

#2: It can deepen your relationship with God

Calvin famously said in The Institutes, “Nearly all wisdom we possess, that is to say, true and sound wisdom, consists of two parts: the knowledge of God and of ourselves.”  In other words, the Enneagram could help me to know myself more and then in turn, understand more about the Trinitarian God.

More specifically, the Enneagram and other tools like it have helped me see the hidden deformity of my soul.  All sin is disordered passion and the Enneagram can zoom in on some of my disordered passions in order that I may run to the Cross of Christ seeking forgiveness and transformation.  The Enneagram can in part help me diagnose sin but it lacks the power to cause transformation.

I am eager to maintain the unity of the Spirit in the bond of peace and the Enneagram can help me see how some of my behaviors could hinder the advance of that unity.

I am eager to maintain the unity of the Spirit in the bond of peace and the Enneagram can help me see how some of my behaviors could hinder the advance of that unity.

#3: It could glorify defective behaviors

Although it pales in comparison to the teaching power of the body metaphor in 1 Corinthians 12 or Romans 12,  the Enneagram can describe some insights into different personalities. While some folks gain energy from social interactions, others are drained. While some folks love to be presented tasks to be completed, others are much more driven by relationships. 

I have personally found it really helpful to know how I can dominate a conversation if I am not careful. I found this out through the Five Voices test and I have now effectively removed an obstacle to obeying Philippians 2:3 ‘value others above yourselves.’

I am eager to maintain the unity of the Spirit in the bond of peace and the Enneagram can help me see how some of my behaviors could hinder the advance of that unity. Again, the tool can merely expose some of the weaknesses within a group; it lacks the transformative power to meaningfully change.

One unique offering…

of the Enneagram is that it shows how people are not static but have different ‘wings’ to their personality. In other words, people behave differently depending on their setting. These tools can prevent us from making assumptions about why people are different and teach us to believe the best even when we don’t understand.  I do believe this is a tool that should be used with caution.

As Head of School at Coram Deo Academy, Dave Seibel aims to cultivate a generation of scholar-disciples who are passionate about learning. He is husband to Brooke and father of four future Coram Deo students. He is a graduate of Wabash College, Marian University and in final Master of Divinity course at Southern Seminary.

As Head of School at Coram Deo Academy, Dave Seibel aims to cultivate a generation of scholar-disciples who are passionate about learning. He is husband to Brooke and father of four future Coram Deo students. He is a graduate of Wabash College, Marian University and in final Master of Divinity course at Southern Seminary.

Share This

Share This

Share this post with your friends!