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Each member of the Choice team has a unique personality, sensibility and point of view. We recognize this through words, actions, decisions and reactions. But deeper than this, we’ve discovered one another using valuable personality tests, including the Enneagram. For those of you who live outside of the Enneagram-obsessed Nashville bubble, this personality test is a set of nine distinct personalities noted by a number 1 – 9.  Although it is normal to relate to parts of each number, one number will arise to be each person’s basic personality type. 

 

As a team, we are aware of each team member’s Enneagram number and how that unfolds in our group collectively. In this blog post, we are sharing what the Enneagram has taught each of us and how we are using it as a tool in our personal lives and in the business. 

 

What the Enneagram has taught me: 

 

One of my favorite college assignments was taking personality tests. Myers-Briggs, StrengthsFinder, DISC assessment, all of it. I loved it. But it wasn’t until I took the Enneagram test and researched my number, did I feel completely known and completely exposed all at the same time. 

 

As a type 2, it is in my nature to help. I feel my greatest highs when I am able to provide something for someone that they otherwise would have struggled with or been unable to do altogether. But what I also learned about myself is that I have a hard time vocalizing my own needs. Moving forward, I’ve challenged myself (and believe me, it’s a challenge) to speak up when I need help. This has especially come into play as I began my new position with Choice, all while planning a wedding, serving in multiple volunteer positions, overseeing the build of our new home, and serving my family and friends in the way that I enjoy doing. 

 

I learned to admit when I cannot do something myself, and to ask for help when I need it. 

 

Maddie is an Enneagram 2. 

 

Artwork credit: @brushandbarley

 

What the Enneagram has taught Heather: 

 

I am 100% a better leader, a better wife and a better mother because of the Enneagram. Plus, I know myself more intimately than ever before. I had no idea that one tool could be so beneficial to various aspects of my life. Several years ago I was introduced to the Enneagram through Ian Cron, when I took his personal assessment to help determine my number. When I received the results (I’m a one, the Perfectionist), it was like a light came on to guide me from that point forward. I devoured Ian’s book, The Road Back to You. And, one day when I was driving from Atlanta to Nashville, I listened to every episode of his then podcast (also called The Road Back to You) with co-author Suzanne Stabile. I will never forget the episode covering Enneagram 1 (my number) because it was a couple who both were ones and who were raising children and sharing how difficult it was to work through the unhealthy aspects of being ones. I sobbed through the entire episode. I felt known, understood and seen. It was incredibly revealing. Since that time, I’ve read books, including The Sacred Enneagram and listened to podcasts (a few of my favorites listed below) which have continued to enhance both my understanding of the enneagram, but also the ways to utilize the information once I have it. My husband is a nine (the Peacemaker). I have one son that is the same number as me and one son that is different. I have a team full of ones, twos and threes. And what all of this information has helped me to do is understand the dynamics of our relationships – what motivates them, what do they dread, do they appreciate praise or feedback, how will they feel connected and loved by me and how can we remain in our healthiest dynamic for the most beneficial relationship possible. Now, during our interview process when adding a new team member to Choice, we have them take an Enneagram assessment and consider the results as a part of our selection process. The team dynamic and our company culture benefits when we know this about each other and how to leverage that information for ultimate success. I am a huge fan of the Enneagram and encourage you to consider how it can enlighten you personally. 

 

Some great podcasts or podcast episodes on the Enneagram:

 

Heather is an Enneagram 1. 

 

What the Enneagram has taught Kerry: 

 

The Enneagram has taught me so much about myself and every person I know. From my marriage, friendships, and how I choose to spend my time, to my strengths, weaknesses, and the way I lead each team member at Choice, I use insight from my Enneagram number and others around me to communicate, plan and support others almost every day. In my marriage, I have a better understanding of what is important to Jake (he’s a 9), what areas he may like to lead, and how he deals with conflict. It’s been illuminating, as well as provided insight that reduces stress and allows us to champion each other’s strengths. In my friendships, I’ve found that I can support my friends in different ways based on their needs. At work, it’s helped me understand where my coworkers are coming from, celebrate each of them in a way that is meaningful to them individually, facilitate hard conversations better, and avoid misunderstandings. Overall, I love knowing what I am good at – and getting energized when those opportunities come along – and knowing what I find challenging – and preparing myself ahead of time for what may be stressful or hard. It’s been an absolute gamechanger for better understanding myself and those I am around daily. 

 

Kerry is an Enneagram 1. 

 

Artwork credit: @brushandbarley

 

What the Enneagram has taught Devin Lee: 

 

I’m the first to tell you that I do not like personality tests. I’d rather get to know someone than make assumptions due to a number or series of letters. However, this summer, I listened to Annie F. Downs Enneagram series, and when I heard my number, I found myself in tears. It felt so good to relate to someone about our constant need to assist others, and I learned that I think I need other’s permission to relax/treat myself. This was a real game-changer for me. At first, I asked my husband to randomly remind me to sit back and relax or go to the movies by myself (my real love language). Now that I’m in the routine of it, I actively try to treat myself like I treat others! 

 

I’m still not a fan of knowing other numbers right away, but I do see the benefit of knowing your number as well as people close to you.

 

Devin Lee is an Enneagram 2. 

 

What the Enneagram has taught Sarah: 

 

I will never forget the first time I did the Enneagram test. It was initially frightening to see how a number could fit so closely to my personality; however, it was encouraging to know there was a helpful tool to allow me know myself more. The Enneagram has been a game-changer for me in relationships as I have learned how to communicate more effectively based on other people’s numbers. One of my favorite podcasts on the Enneagram is Sleeping at Last. The songs they created evoke so many emotions based on your number and have provided healing for me in the lyrics. I know my number does not define me or encompass all of who I am, however, I daily see the benefits of being accurately informed on this test.

 

Sarah is an Enneagram 3. 

 

Artwork credit: @brushandbarley

 

As a team, it is clear that Enneagram has become a tool we use often to support and understand one another. It is a daily reminder that although we may feel one way internally, others can experience stress, joy and everything in between quite differently. It promotes empathy and patience within our group. Let us know how you are using the Enneagram in your life in the comments below! 

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AUTHOR: Maddie McGarvey
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