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Who are you? Does an Enneagram test help or confuse?

27th July 2011

Enneagram Test Results type score summary

Fives are basically on some level estranged from the rest of the world, consequently, their mind is usually their best friend.

They like to analyze things and make sense of them (that is their anchor), this makes them great inventors and philosophers. The immense inner world of fives can cause them to lose touch or interest in reality.

Sevens are optimistic thrill seekers that see life as an adventure.

They are always thinking of new possibilies and adventures. This constant zest for life is often just escapism. Once things lose there fun they are no longer interested, so many projects go unfinished. Essentially, they avoid the difficulties of life because they fear being overwhelmed by them.

Fours are all about being unique and creating their own distinct culture.

They experience the highs and lows of life more intensely than other types. This makes them great creative forces (artists, writers, filmmakers). Fours often feel like misplaced children, and they long for a sense of real family.

Ones are idealistic perfectionists.

They are rooted in morals and ethics. They live with an overbearing internal critic that never rests. They can be very judgemental and don’t understand how most people can be such slackers. Other people don’t understand why they are so uptight.

Threes derive self worth from success in the external world.

They are highly skilled at adapting themselves in whatever way necessary to achieve success.

This external success driven image often comes at a price of having a personal identity and they may lose site of who they really are.

Twos are defined by their empathy of other people.

They are uniquely gifted at tuning in on the feelings of others. This makes them great networkers. They feed on their connection to others, love of friends and family. However being too caught up with other people can drain them, and cause them to lose track of their own personal well being.

Sixes are defined by anxiety.

They are gifted in their ability to see the dark and light sides of life (and of people and situations around them). This insight into possible outcomes makes them useful planners. However since they are never sure what will prevail they are always on edge and cling to predictable structures/systems for peace of mind.

Eights are natural leaders.

They are straight forward, direct, large personalities, that are unlikely to back down to adversity. They have a talent for motivating others. They have a strong sense of justice and are often protectors of the weak. However, they also have short fuses and can become domineering tyrants.

Nines are open minded optimists.

They are able to see everyones point of view, and have a natural desire for making peace. Consequently, they are effective mediators. They often live by the ‘go along to get along’ creed. However their openess to other people can cause them to lose site of themselves and their own happiness. Traditionally, the personality type you score highest on is considered your Enneagram type, so you are a:

(In truth, you are a combination of all the personality types so examine all your scores.)

And there is a difference between WHO you are and HOW you behave, especially if you behaviour has been modified by NINE years of boarding prep and public school, a virtually all male university college (Balliol College, Oxford in the 1980s).

And Cognitive Behavioural Therapy that I have used to undo and reknit who I am and want to be.

What can you share?

I come from a family where the person who goes to work is not the person at home, where lives are distinct.

Or were meant to be.

Put Bill Gates and Steve Jobs through the Kirton Adaptor Innovator personality inventory and what do you get?

Re-reading the Steve Jobs biography with four months in hand before another MAODE module I am struck by what it tells you about Gates and Jobs and how self-evidently one is an adaptor ‘doing things better’ while the other is an innovator ‘doing things differently’.

This drawn from doing a KAI personality inventory and all the reading around these tests for B822.

I came out at 144 on a scale of 160; I’d envisage Jobs as somewhere on the outer edges of 150 while Gates gets a 20 or 30, neither would be in the 60-130 zone for two thirds of respondents.

If they ever did one of these are the results known?

As most managers do observation and experience of a person’s behaviour and responses must suffice.

I feel a desire to revisit H807 ‘Innovations in E-learning’ while mixing it up with B822 ‘Creativity, Innovation and Change’.

I can do this through the 1000+ entries I have here and by refreshing my mind from the current and archived blogs of others blogging here currently (though few if any blog there way through the MBA programme and I am yet to find anyone blogging about B822).

Mind-dumps and daisies: the perfect way to prepare for and plan for an exam

Not only did I write one of these in my OU MBA Module exam (B822 Creativity, Innovation & Change), I even drew it as the essay plan for one question. Large and bold with space to annotate my six ideas into each petal and to scribble down some thoughts on the introduction and conclusion (up and down the stem).

I doodled mnemonics on the themes  around the petals.

I gave myself 5 minutes per theme and 10 minutes to get into and out of the topic.

I suppose I wrote 200 to 350 words per theme.

Pegging works. 

They may not look very pretty but anagrams, sayings and mnemonics all have their place. However, you have to fix them in your head, which includes all of the senses. 

I had to visualise a couple of my mnemonic lists (VAN BECK CLIMB)as a short walk through our house seeing hockey sticks and flippers in the porch at the front door (playfulness), a woman sitting on the stairs with a broken tennis racket (adopt a set to break sets), at the top of the landing another woman cuddling an infant (it was always there, nurture it), then a massive Damien Hirst butterfly picture on the wall (broad picture, local detail) and so on ... people in a room, riding a bicycle (oh yes!), then for key components of a 'messy' problem '[I could use a colourful swimming costume: ICUACSC) a photograph of James Mason perched on the end of springboard with a Russian looking girl called Olga Mitroff.
In both cases I used this in the exam, quoting 'Mason and Mitroff' and drawing in what I saw as I walked through the house. 

I ended up with 5 mnemonics per block, some only three letters, as in VATCC and CAPO.

VATC the caveats to using a personality inventory:

  • Validation
  • Acceptance
  • Technical considerations
  • Cost
That's 15 which a week on I still know as: POVCC, MHIVE, and MDMAP ...if you can see it these are 'point of view', 'Maldhives' and 'Mindmap'. 
These 15 key letters gave me the longer mnemonics and phrases. All of this I practiced and on the day filled a 'rough book' in 10 minutes. When it came to looking at the questions, with one exception, the fit was immediate. With the third I had to cherry pick from what I had laid out. 
It took time to embed these pegs in my cerebellum, but if you want to sit down to an exam, turn the question page and develop a knowing Mona Lisa smile this is the way to do it.
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