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Enneagram Personality Test: Hayden Brown, Human Behaviour Specialist

Last week I had the opportunity to speak on ‘The Project’ about the Enneagram Personality Test which has recently gone viral. It’s an interesting concept, and I wanted to share some additional insights alongside the segment itself – looking at both the pros and cons for personality tests in general and how you could make the most of them.?
1. They don’t paint the full picture.
You might be surprised to learn that we all have and demonstrate all human character traits and behaviours. In certain situations, and across the different areas of our life. For example, you may be perceived as generous and an ‘extrovert’ with your relationships and family life but come across as ‘selfish’ or more introverted when it comes to your personal finances or work life. The truth is we all have “both sides”, all human traits and qualities, not just the theme or common responses the test labels us with.
2. They don’t consider our individual values.
Our highest values (or priorities) are the number one driver behind our consistent actions and behaviour. That which is most important and fulfilling in our life will hugely dictate our levels of engagement, resilience, and natural problem-solving ability. When you are doing things that you perceive as less meaningful or ‘low priority’, you will greatly increase the probability of becoming more emotionally challenged or demonstrating ‘self-sabotaging’ behaviours.
1. Self-awareness around your own patterns.
Across our lifetime we develop and adopt unconscious behavioural patterns, emotional responses, and what you may call ‘strengths’ as a way for us to cope, protect ourselves, and ultimately navigate the world. Whilst these can be uncovered in greater detail with Depth Psychology; using personality tests as a reflection-based tool can be a useful exercise to identify and reflect on your more common behaviours and ask yourself where they may have come from.
2. Targeted growth & development.
The brain has an incredible ability to ‘re-wire’ itself and our associated patterns and behaviours. This is known as ‘neuroplasticity’.
By bringing your common patterns and responses into conscious awareness, with the right intention and focus and with work you can develop and re-wire new habits and behaviours. Alongside working on previously unknown blind spots and undesired behavioural responses, you may equally choose to play to the strengths you have identified in your assessment.
In summary, personality tests can be misleading. How we respond in one area of our life is not necessarily how we respond in another. However, such tests can be used to give us insights to help us better understand ourselves and our behaviour patterns.

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