A lot has led me to read this book. It started when I visited Michael Hyatt in Tennessee to film a project, and Michael and his team asked me if I heard of the Enneagram and if I knew my number. Someone was a type 3 with a 4-wing, another person said they were a type 1, and another said she was confused at first but did some more digging to learn she was a type 9.
I was confused at first too, but they explained that your Enneagram number is sort of like a profile of the kind of person you are, the best parts of you, the worst parts of you, what you like and dislike, how you respond to situations, and what your superpowers and weaknesses might be. By knowing the kind of person you are through the lens of the Enneagram, you better understand who are others are too and why they do what they do. It can help you in not just your business, but in your most personal relationships, too.
I was intrigued, but immediately thought of a bunch of other profile tests that I’ve taken before, like Strengthfinders, just to name one of the many. But they said it was unlike anything else and it was definitely worth researching.
To further explore the Enneagram, The Road Back to You is the book that was recommended to me by Michael and his team, and I’m so glad I picked it up. Honestly, they were not kidding. It’s been a game changer.
Now, my wife April and I discuss the Enneagram almost every day, and my COO and I actually required our entire team to take a test and learn about the Enneagram so we could have a better understanding of each other and how to better communicate with one another.
There are a lot of books out there that explore the Enneagram, but this book was the easiest to read by far, and although it did get deep at times, it wasn’t super technical and boring like some of the other books about this topic. This book really explores the purpose of understanding people better, and not just who people are, but why they are the way they are. It’s not just about looking at the good traits in people, but also the potentially negative ones, per personality type, too. This is why I agree with many people’s assessments about Enneagrams in general—it’s a love/hate relationship.
It’s not about flattering, and it’s not about putting down. It’s just about who people are, how they behave in certain situations (both healthy and unhealthy), and using that knowledge to have a better understanding, to grow our compassion and empathy. The Enneagram is a tool for connection, not a weapon. For example, if you know your spouse is a certain number, using that in a demeaning way (i.e. “that’s such a 5 thing to say”) will not help and is not the purpose.
If you’re curious, I learned that I identify as a 3, also known as The Achiever.
Type 3s are feeling-based types, but we channel our emotional energy into getting things done. We take the initiative and work hard to accomplish our goals. We can be very image-conscious, which is both a good and a bad thing. We can worry too much about how others feel about us and take criticism way too personally because we literally want to please everyone. On the positive end, we celebrate our wins, but not too long as we’re often already looking for the next thing to achieve. On the not-so-good, we crave recognition. If we aren’t getting recognized for the work we do, we feel unworthy and unimportant.
April, my wife, knew all of these things about me, but when she read more and more about the type 3, it gave her a better understanding of why I do certain things—not that it’s bad, it’s just who I am. I won’t get into specific details, but this allowed her to accept some of the things that perhaps were a little bothersome to her. Again, this is about improving because of understanding. Not trying to change a person, but having compassion and empathy for them.
April is a type 6, which is known as The Loyalist. She doesn’t need recognition like I do—that doesn’t energize her (and is probably why she’s not on social media posting anything ever)—but she wants to make sure things are okay, solid, and secure. She’s super loyal to her friends and family, almost to a fault sometimes because it’s hard to let new people in. When they’re unhealthy emotionally, they can be the very anxious type and emotions take center stage in reasoning (versus logic; trust me, I learned this the hard way), and at their best, they are the most trustworthy of all the types and you can count on them, every single time. They always live up to what they promise.
And it’s this kind of understanding I now have about my parents, my co-workers, some of my friends. It’s fascinating, and this book is an amazing introduction to the Enneagram and how to use it for good.
Initially, I was a little worried about this book and the Enneagram because I generally don’t like putting people into buckets (except when it comes to building your email list segments! Haha!). But I realized that it’s important to do this because there are different personality types, and when it comes to ultimately learning how to better serve people, if you can understand more about who a person is, how they react to what you might say, and what kinds of things will get them to take action or not—what puts them in their happy place versus a negative space—it’ll help make life and building a business much easier.
The Road Back to You is a fascinating read, and I hope you liked it as much as I did! I’d love to hear from you. What’s your Enneagram Type? Have you used that information in your personal and business life?