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The Essential Enneagram: The Definitive Personality Test and Self-Discovery Guide -- Revised Updated

3.68  ·  Rating details ·  1,529 ratings  ·  154 reviews
The First and Only Scientifically Determined Enneagram Personality Test and Guide

A centuries-old psychological system with roots in sacred tradition, the Enneagram can be an invaluable guide in your journey toward self-understanding and self-development. In this book, Stanford University Medical School clinical professor of psychiatry David Daniels and counseling psycholog
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Paperback, 116 pages
Published May 26th 2009 by HarperOne (first published July 1st 2000)
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Average rating 3.68  · 
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 ·  1,529 ratings  ·  154 reviews


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Kristine Sprunger
Jul 19, 2013 rated it it was amazing
as a writer, this is the BEST guide for creating believable characters.
Kaytee Cobb
Mar 20, 2017 rated it did not like it  ·  review of another edition
all that this book did for me was confirm that I'm a 2. I don't feel like I learned much of anything about myself as it was SO bare bones regarding each type. I'm hoping that the other enneagram books I have will help me dive deeper into what my type really means, how I interact with others (I believe my husband to be a 3), and help me to learn more about the enneagram and its modern applications. I have to assume there are better options out there for all of this, so don't waste your time or mo ...more
D Peterson
Apr 14, 2020 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Since the beginning of this Covid 19 quarantining, I've been fairly certain that there's a better way to do this.  Holed up at home and tracking the models and the numbers non-stop, I remain a skeptic.  Nobody knows as much as they think they do about this virus, but the powers-that-be are making drastic and long-reaching decisions as if they do know.  Big mistakes are being made.  But I continue to obey the rules. 
I'm worried and already feeling overburdened by what it's going to take to rest
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Panda Incognito
Apparently, because I'm a One, this means that I have forgotten the eternal truth that I am "already perfect the way I am." I rolled my eyes at a similar line in another book that I just reviewed, but this book's version of the message enraged me, because it wasn't just a poor wording choice. It's a false worldview that the authors want to shove down your throat. Their research on the Ennegram is interesting, and I liked the resources that explain the similarities and differences between certain ...more
Hayley
Jun 13, 2011 rated it did not like it  ·  review of another edition
This book starts by giving the reader nine paragraphs they are to read and then it asks them to choose the three paragraphs that describe them the most and the order in which they best describe them (ie. first, second, and third.) The book then tells the reader which types they most likely could be based upon the paragraphs that they chose. The book then briefly describes how the stress and security arrows of the types work and how the information pages for each type are laid out. The reader is ...more
Katrine Austin
Sep 04, 2015 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Still a five star book, enjoyed this with book club last night. Glad to see other folks found it of interest too. Great tool for self growth and introspection. And 13+ years after the first time I Enneagram'd, I'm still the same type (Type 7 Epicure) and it feels good to see how much I've grown into myself since 2007.
Alexis Allen
Jul 08, 2020 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: summer-20
A pretty solid read. I, personally, didn't learn a ton from this book, but I did become very reinforced with the knowledge that I am SUCH a type 3. If I read this before I was into the whole Enneagram thing this totally would've gotten a 5/5 because it's so clear and concise. After finishing this, I do feel like I know myself and my peers better. The Essential Enneagram helped me understand why we react the way we do and how to be mindful of that when showing reactivity. This book also wrapped u ...more
Ruth Strackany
Aug 03, 2020 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
So this book is super short and a quick read. It’s not as in depth as I’m sure many other enneagram books are but what I loved about it is that it a) feels totally on target in the key summaries of each type. And b) the super practical daily practices to deepen ones understanding of oneself and others and grow beyond the limitations and challenges of your own personality. It feels like a great starting point but gives surprisingly on target and in depth practical skills to utilize.
Bethany
This was helpful and informative. Easy to understand. So why do I still not understand what type I am? 🙄
Nui Blue
I am still very interested in the viewpoints and the theories, but personally I found it very negative-focused.
Andrienne
Oct 27, 2019 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
I wanted to know my type and this book was straightforward. No frills descriptions that are helpful and clear.
Lorena
Feb 15, 2018 rated it really liked it
This is a really good introduction to the Enneagram. I've struggled in the past to identify my Enneagram type, and I don't think I would have been able to using the just the initial test at the start of this book. However, after reading the type determination and type description pages, reviewing the very helpful summary of type discriminators, and considering the explanation of the three centers of intelligence in Section 2 (which I wish had been included earlier in the book), I felt very confi ...more
Mokawawi
Apr 16, 2011 rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
I like the fact that your "discovered" personality type is not fixed. You have a personality for when under stress and another when in security. I actually related to this distinction. The personality also comes with wings and look a-likes which confuses me. I got some insights about my self but i want to check it out with outside friends to check their credibility.


Oh, yeah about the test itself. It gives u 9 paragraphs to choose the closest 3 to your personality. then it determine your type. th
...more
Angélique (Angel)
Oct 24, 2014 rated it really liked it
Of all the Enneagram resources that I have encountered, this book is the most accessible. It provides a succinct introduction to the 9 types without sacrificing a deep look at the motivations, struggles, and strengths of each type. I found that the self-test is also much better than any of the other short tests I've encountered. It's simple but challenging which primes the reader for the paradoxical challenge that naturally comes with attempting to better understand oneself. My favorite parts of ...more
Christy Baker
Having read far more extensive books over the years on the enneagram, this was a thin, brief review format for me, but straightforward in its type self-identification methodology. The influence of the Stanford clinical psychological testing approach is felt in the far more heavy influence of scientific justification and psychological self-improvement vs. some of the more wisdom and spiritual approaches I've seen in other enneagram books.

The first part of the book focuses on type identification
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David D.  Knapp, Ph.D.
Nov 07, 2020 rated it it was ok
It's been years since I've studied the Enneagram, but one of my big clients uses it in their organization. So I thought I'd read this because it's the book they use in their training sessions.

The book itself is okay, but reading it reminded me of why I'm not a fan of the Enneagram and why many organizations use the MBTI or DiSC instead of it. There are deeply psychological and spiritual aspects to the Enneagram as a personality/behavioral assessment that I believe are inappropriate for the workp
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Justyna
I have always been very interested in personality "types" and "tests" and whatnot, as well as being very into astrology. I believe that some parts of our very nature are ingrained in all of the "data" that make us "us." For example, your birthdate and the time you were born, the very location of your birth, your birth order, etc. I think that the reason we are all so unique is partly because we have this multitude of factors coming into play that, when put into a particular arrangement, produce ...more
Jaymie
Jun 14, 2018 rated it really liked it
4.5 stars. I’ve skimmed this one at different times. The assessment is fair - read 9 paragraphs and pick which best fits you and then read a little more to confirm or fine tune. The descriptions are short - this is not a deep dive. But I liked how the information was structured. And each type’s info followed the same structure so you could compare. Some good differentiation information too. But my favorite part was the section of practices for each type. Some of the wording wasn’t a great fit fo ...more
Amanda
Sep 17, 2018 rated it it was ok
Shelves: 2018
So many enneagram books are long, deep books with hundreds of pages. I love a book that goes in-depth on a subject I'm interested in, but I was also looking for shorter, more accessible enneagram books that I could recommend to friends who might be overwhelmed by 400+ pages. This is not going to be one that I'm likely to lend out. It's short, but didn't seem very accessible. While it was supposed to have a good formula to discover your type, all the instructions and sidenotes just seemed confusi ...more
Teresa
May 26, 2020 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: self-improvement
I keep running into mentions of Enneagram personalities in my books (first Chelsea Handler, then Jen Hatmaker). I'd done an online test and agreed pretty solidly with the output but this was a slightly different test (read a collection of paragraphhttps://www.goodreads.com/search?q=en...# and pick the 3 that suit you best). Of the three, the one you feel suits you most strongly would likely be your enneagram number. And of course, as I was reading the paragraphs I was simultaneously applying the ...more
Alli
May 25, 2018 rated it liked it
I’ve taken the typing test online and read Ian Morgan Cron’s “The Road Back to You” and thought I had my type nailed down. I’ve always thought I was a One but The Essential Enneagram really made me reassess and dig into both type One and Eight. After finishing the book, I’m confident my type was correct, and I feel like this helped me further verify it through reading about security/stress types and wings. It’s a great starting point if you don’t know your type and has good personal development ...more
Daniel Stewart
Feb 07, 2020 rated it really liked it
I recently read this with a group of friends after it was recommended on one of my favourite podcasts. It was advertised as an accessible entry point into the enneagram world that was conducive to group discussions, and overall I'd say it matched that description perfectly. The book contains everything you would expect, a description of all the types etc., but what I most appreciated was how Daniels curated and guided you through the process. Some may complain that it is overly simplistic, but I ...more
Rachel
May 27, 2020 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
This is the best start to the enneagram I have read thus far. It claims to be eerily accurate and it is true! If you came to learn more about yourself, this is the book for you. If you came to learn more about the enneagram and more in depth about each type, I would suggest looking elsewhere. That is the only reason I gave it a 4. It didn’t go into wings, security types, or stress types too much. And the self development section left me a bit disappointed. But again, it is a great place to start ...more
Justin Nichols
3.5 -- Pretty good brief introduction to the enneagram. Whetted my appetite for the 12-week course that my wife and I are going to go through starting this Monday. It seemed like there could have been more elaboration on each personality type, so this left us a bit wanting in terms of really understanding the numbers/types. They had practical steps to take in reflection and action, but, though helpful to some degree, the practices and techniques were extremely specific and formulaic, which was a ...more
Carol Ann
Jul 10, 2019 rated it really liked it
Shelves: non-fiction
This awesome little book is jam-packed with interesting info about personality types. Something I really appreciated about this book is the overall message that the Enneagram is not intended to place you in a box, but instead to help you understand your strengths and limitations and those of others. Clear, concise, doable exercises are provided to help you increase your awareness and transform your limitations into strengths that will ultimately bring you more fulfilling relationships and enrich ...more
Jennie
May 17, 2017 rated it it was amazing
I enjoyed this small, quick book lots and would recommend. I quickly read through because I solely stuck to reading the parts about my number. The authors approach the enneagram a little different with including a whole section on meditations and breathing exercises for each type. This book also helped confirm the number I thought I was. 😊
Steve Watson
Sep 10, 2017 rated it liked it
A short, practical, introduction to this guide to self-awareness. Daniels and Price offer a way to identify your type without the use of multiple-choice tests, very brief overviews of the nine types, and some thoughts using insights gained for increased wellness and better relationship to self and others.
Liz
May 30, 2018 rated it liked it
At this point, I've read too many Enneagram books. This is the bare-bones of Enneagram and won't be helpful to you unless you've read another Enneagram book with more detailed typing questions and descriptions of each type.

It does have a useful comparison of each type to other types to help clarify types that can look the same, e.g. Ones and Threes are distinct in x, y, and z ways.
Julie
Feb 06, 2020 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: self-empowerment
This is the most accurate personality test and guide I've come across, and I wouldn't have found it if not for my therapist. It's really helped me better understand my thoughts, feelings and actions towards myself and to others. Having been able to talk to my therapist in more depth about these types does significantly help though.
Deb
Mar 02, 2020 rated it it was ok
Shelves: nonfiction
Definitely an overview--this is a small book with a test to take to determine your type. It didn't help me figure mine out definitively. One very helpful piece is where the author differentiates each type from every other and why some might look similar but what is essentially different about them. Must be read in conjunction with other books and sources.
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Dr. David Daniels is a clinical professor of psychiatry at Stanford University Medical School and is also one of the world’s foremost developers and teachers of a system called, “The Enneagram.” He is a co-founder, along with Helen Palmer, of Enneagram Worldwide, one of the leading schools for teaching the enneagram system.

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“Personal Development The ultimate goal of my development: To realize that we all are unconditionally and equally loved (accepted and appreciated for who we are) and that our worth and well-being come from within. How I can further my personal development: Paying attention to my own needs and well-being. Using anger/resistance as a signal that I feel discounted and that something inside me matters. Noticing feelings I may be blocking out when I turn from my real priorities to substitutes, such as TV, food, errands, or chores. Noticing when my ruminating keeps me from setting priorities and taking action on them. Accepting discomfort and change as a natural part of life. Practicing loving myself kindly and equally to loving others. What hinders my personal development: Feeling that I don’t count. Feeling that I don’t deserve to pursue my own agenda. Giving everything equal importance and, consequently, missing my real priorities. Avoiding the discomfort and disruption required for change. At the core, believing that to be valued and loved I must blend in and go along to get along. How others can support my development: Encouraging me to express my own position. Asking me what I want and what is good for me, and giving me time to figure out the answer. Supporting me when I act responsibly toward myself. Allowing me to acknowledge my anger. Encouraging me to set and keep my own boundaries, limits, and priorities.” 0 likes
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