Category Archives: In Their Own Words

Three Little Words

panel (2)

For the past three years, I’ve had the good fortune to be able to gather together panels of all nine Enneagram types. A total of 21 people have answered questions about their type and described how they would respond to a series of hypothetical scenarios.

I previously posted some of the responses from the first panel, which took place in 2015. But I thought it would be interesting to share and compare those answers to the question what three words best describe your type? with the answers from the 2016 and 2017 panels.

What three words would you use to describe your type?

(It should be noted that the 2016 and 2017 panels consisted of six first-time and three repeat panelists. No one has been on a panel more than twice.)

Type 1
(two different people)

2015: True to type, I don’t know which words to choose. Even though you said it didn’t have to be “right,” I still couldn’t choose.

2016: obedient, fair, and persistent

2017: responsible, competent, and rule-bound

Type 2
(three different people)

2015: helpful, sentimental, and people-pleasing

2016: sociable, diplomatic, and thoughtful

2017: helpful, kind, and loving

Type 3
(two different people)

2015: organized, efficient, and productive

2016/2017: driven (with a capital D), adaptable, and confident

Type 4
(two different people)

2015: sensitive, curious, and open-minded

2016: sensitive, introverted, and open-minded

2017: I couldn’t think of only 3 words to describe myself, so I came up with a few more: “desperately seeking connections that I’m not really sure I want.”

Type 5
(two different people)

2015/2016: observant, reflective, and isolated

2017: scattered, creative, and introverted

Type 6
(three different people)

2015: concerned, aware, and loyal

2016: loyal, highly aware, and intuitive

2017: committed, reliable, and questioning

Type 7
(two different people)

2015: spontaneous, accomplished, and multi-talented

2016: a little bit of stubbornness, a leader, and a bit of a control-freak

2017: adventurous, social, and visionary

Type 8
(three different people)

2015: independent, competent, and untrusting

2016: driven, independent, and practical

2017: agenda-driven, demanding (of self and others), and innovative

Type 9
(two different people)

2015: compassion, time alone, and resistance

2016: empathic, receptive, and nurturing (being a mediator, too)

2017: insightful, creative, and empathetic

In Their (and YOUR) Own Words

voices2During the past two years, treatment of several heart-related health issues has significantly impeded my progress. For an 8w7 such as myself, the situation is annoying at best and excruciating at worst. But I have taken charge of the treatment, to the extent that I can, and am taking steps to get back on track.

That means getting back to disseminating the responses from the past two Annual Enneagram Panels, preparing for this year’s panel in June, and completing the book I’ve been wanting to write for two and a half years.

So this month, I will be posting responses from the 2016 panel. Look for the first such post by the end of the week. (You can find links to responses from the 2015 panel by entering “panel” in the search box.)

The Annual Enneagram Panels are the most popular topic of my Monthly Meeting of the Mind (& Brain) series. The 2015 panel was kind of a lark. I had scheduled the topic in advance but didn’t plan on having a panel until I realized I actually knew enough people who knew their types that I could have a panel.

Fingers crossed, I hastily invited 9 individuals, and all of them accepted my invitation. I sent them a list of questions to prepare answers for, along with four situations to respond to. I didn’t ask them to tell me in advance what they were going to say, which meant things could have turned out poorly. But it was a huge success. Everyone did extremely well. And a tradition was born.

I change up the participants and add new situations each year. As a result I’m accumulating quite a bit of information from people about their experience of being their type. And audience members really respond to the people on the panels, no matter how much or how little they know about the Enneagram or about their type.

That’s the focus of the book. In Their Own Words will be (primarily) a compilation of voices of different people expressing their differing experiences, thoughts, and feelings about their type, along with their reactions to a series of vignettes.

The responses won’t be limited to people on the panels. I’m expanding the invitation to include people who know their type and would like to contribute to helping others learn about the Enneagram. If you are interested in being part of the project, please email me at with “in their own words” in the subject line, and I will email a list of 12 questions. For Part 2, which I’ll be focusing on later, I will send you several vignettes to respond to. (Note: Names or other personal identifiers will not be included in the book.)

Thank you for your interest in the Enneagram and in Nine Paths. I look forward to a much more engaged year!