From an ennegram intro: The Enneagram is mainly a diagnostic tool of one's emotional outlook on life. It will not cure one's problems, but may help point out their underlying fixations. It is also useful as a guide to how other people see the world differently. From browsing a few resources on the web, I get the impression that it is mostly used for self-help and that the scientific theory behind it needs some work. For an hour of browsing joy, I'd advise 9types.
To get right to the core: my type is number 9, "the mediator". The 9types website gives the summary "the withdrawn approval-seeker". The sentence I like most from the main description of type 9 is: Inertia is in fact a chronic problem for 9s, who often find it hard to get started on things. However, this inertia can also work to their advantage, because once started 9s can make slow-but-steady progress, becoming surprisingly relentless in their pursuits.
Getting started on my study. Just getting down to work. Major problem. It took me 9 years, but with a slow but steady progress I did finish it. I even went on to get a PhD. Even with kids running around the house.
One thing I also recognise: the distaste for conflict. If people start to irritate eachother, I often feel bad. I sometimes try to quiet the short-term irritation down. To this there is one exception. In a next entry in this personal capabilities series I'll describe my belbin teamroles. My strongest teamrole is "monitor", which means I have keen sense for major things that are wrong. If some decision in a group is really wrong or has some serious drawbacks, I'm known to say so and to oppose it. I was, for instance, one of the persons at the core of the most serious conflicts (solved, btw) at my former student club C.S.R.-Delft because something was wrong there. Somewhat out of character for a type 9!
A work-related comment that sounds mostly fitting: Relaxes in the absence of friction. Wants things to feel comfortable and to run without hassle. Wants the "job family" to get along. Has a deep desire to have good feelings on the job, between authority and employee. (From work).
For those who know the enneagram theory: I'm a 9 with a 1 wing.
The most benefit I got out of the enneagram theory is from a summary of callahan's "the enneagram for youth". It contrasts the way you probably behave when you're OK with the way you probably behave when you're a bit in the shit:
Not everything applies, but it was a help to recognise certain things.
To close this off, an example type 9: Eisenhower. To make the types more clear, many webpages include examples of well-known persons divided by type. For me, I'm not talking about Eisenhower-the-president as I don't know anything about that period. I'm talking about Eisenhower-the-general. Eisenhower is definitively not the best general of the second world war, someone like Erich von Manstein would kick his butt. But he was a great diplomatic general, coordinating the combined efforts of the US and the UK armies. Trying to keep both Patton and Montgomery more-or-less happy. Smoothing things. I'm still under the impression that the US-UK cooperation in the second world war was much smoother than the UK-FR cooperation in the first world war. So Eisenhower has a 9's inertia to keep on going, despite occasional setbacks, homefront pressures, a multi-national conglomorate of armies. And he's got the 9's desire to smooth things out.
My name is Reinout van Rees and I work a lot with Python (programming language) and Django (website framework). I live in The Netherlands and I'm happily married to Annie van Rees-Kooiman.
Most of my website content is in my weblog. You can keep up to date by subscribing to the automatic feeds (for instance with Google reader):