Have ya ever wanted to understand yourself better and why you behave a certain way? Maybe you wanna pursue personal growth and improve how you react in times of stress.
Or maybe you want to learn how to better communicate with your spouse and respond with grace instead of frustration.
Well, many of you are probably familiar with or have at least heard of the enneagram test. I personally have gone back and forth on how I feel about it (more on that later), but when used properly, it can be a powerful tool for growth and empathy.
And that’s what this episode is all about.
In case you missed it, we recently held a giveaway on the SHE Instagram page (which, if you don’t already, go follow that, girl!).
The winner of the giveaway got to be on the SHE podcast to share her expertise and ask me any question she wanted. The winner was enneagram coach Morgan Maxey.
We talked about all things enneagram (the good and the bad), and Morgan asked me my tips for getting your message out there.
So buckle up for a fun journey exploring all things enneagram!
The Maxey Co
Morgan Maxey is the founder of the The Maxey Co., an enneagram coaching business helping people build positive relationships. Morgan has coached individuals all over the country about the power of the enneagram and how to use it to better understand yourself, your work, and the people around you.
She and her husband also share their passion for the enneagram by speaking at churches, sororities, and businesses around the country.
And guys, let me just pause here for a moment because Morgan and her husband Robby have the cutest story of how they met.
They randomly crossed paths on numerous occasions, including a Southwest flight. You can hear about their story in this video. Let’s just say it’s way too cute and it’s got me feeling all the feels! 💑
Anyways, Morgan is a gem and she answered all my tough questions about the enneagram. So, let’s not keep you on the edge of your seat any longer – it’s time to dig in!
Does the Enneagram Put You in a Box?
Okay, so one of the things I’ve struggled with the most when it comes to the enneagram is the feeling that it’s another thing that puts me in a box. Or at least it makes me feel like I’m in a box.
It’s so easy to say “Well, I’m doing this because I’m a three” or “Well, this is how I am, so I’m gonna do this…”
And in some ways, as much as the enneagram has a lot of benefits like helping you better communicate with your spouse, I also saw how it could be used for poor behaviors.
So I asked Morgan about this challenge and she had a really good response.
Morgan quoted enneagram expert Ian Cron who said, “The enneagram doesn’t put you in a box. It shows you the box you’re in and how to get out of it.”
When the enneagram is viewed like that, it moves away from being an excuse for poor behavior and instead becomes a tool for growth.
The enneagram can help us see the negative qualities we act out in seasons of stress, so we can be working towards growth in those areas.
I really liked that perspective, because almost anything can be used in a negative way or a positive way. It really comes down to your intention.
So yes, show grace. But also, don’t forget to do the hard work of growth.
How to Find Out Which Type You Are
For those of you who wanna explore what type you are, but aren’t sure where to start, Morgan suggests taking a test like the free one on truity.com.
Once you have your results, look deeper into your top 3 types, not just your number one. Most people have qualities from multiple types.
Then, if you’ve got a cozy corner set up and some time to kill, Morgan recommends reading the book “The Road Back to You.”
By the end of the book, you’ll hopefully narrow it down to one or two types that describe you.
Help! I’m Still Not Sure Which Enneagram Type I Am
If you’re still scratching your head, wondering which type you truly are, I feel you!
I’ve gone back and forth on whether I’m type 3 or type 7 too many times to count.
But, Morgan has some helpful tips to help get you unstuck.
She suggests that you ask yourself a few questions.
What motivates you? What do you struggle with? How do you make decisions (based on how you feel, what you think, or your gut instinct)?
She also says to pay attention to how you communicate. For example, if you tend to say “I feel” a lot, then that’s a pretty good sign you’re type 2, 3 or 4, which are all part of the feeling triad.
Each number also has a different orientation to time.
- Types, 4, 5, and 9 are all past-focused.
- 1, 2, and 6 are all present-focused.
- 3, 7, and 8 are all future-focused.
So ask yourself. “Do I tend to focus on the future, and if I do, why? Is it because I want to experience something new and exciting or is it about building a business and gaining authority?”
Morgan also pointed out that sometimes we don’t wanna be associated with a specific type because it has a negative stigma around it. But it’s all about how ya view it.
Take type 3, for example. You could have the negative view that they just want to achieve all the things and be admired. But the truth is that they have a great gift for inspiring. They’re great motivators and leaders who can inspire others to go after what they want in life.
It’s all about how you view it.
The Enneagram and the Church
I hear a lot of people express their concerns about the enneagram in relation to the church. So I asked Morgan to share her thoughts on the subject.
She explained that whenever she talks about the enneagram, she also talks about it in relation to the fruits of the spirit. There are ones that come more naturally to each of us and others that we need to grow in.
Morgan also sees the enneagram as a way to help guide you on how you can better serve others and the church.
As with any tool, it can be used negatively or positively. I think a lot of it depends on what your heart posture is and what you plan to use it for.
It can be a tool to help grow or it can be something you obsess over and use to box yourself in.
(So, go with the growth mindset).
The Enneagram and Relationships
One way the enneagram can be useful is in relationships.
For Morgan, the enneagram really helped her to better understand her husband. Instead of just seeing him as someone who always wants to have fun when she wants to get stuff done (and being frustrated by that), she can now better understand why he does that and she can show grace towards him.
While Matt and I have never been super into the enneagram, I can see how it helps show us how we complement each other. It can also help us understand why we react in certain ways and how to respond to each other in a healthier way.
Morgan’s Questions for Me
We got to have a little extra fun in this episode, since Morgan was able to ask me anything she wanted.
Now, thankfully she didn’t ask me about an embarrassing moment or something.
Instead she asked me, “How do you go about getting speaking engagements?”
Great Q. 👏👏
If you want some more in-depth teaching in this area, check out the episode I did with Jessica Rasdall, all about how to become a speaker.
But here are my tips for Morgan:
- First, you need to define the two to three markets you really want to work with. Maybe you want to speak at churches and sororities, or maybe you want to speak to businesses or schools. Get really clear on that before you do anything else.
- Second, make sure you have some video footage you can use to pitch yourself. When I started speaking, I hosted my own event and recorded it. I then used the footage and put it on social media, which helped me get a lot of requests. Don’t just wait until you get an invitation from someone. Start hosting your own events and reaching out to places you’d like to speak at.
- There are a few different stages to professional speaking. The highest tier, of course, involves all the glamorous gigs you imagine when you dream about public speaking. But it takes time to get there. The first stage usually involves honing in on your message (what you’re going to say and what your audience will gain from it), providing value, and really drilling into your niche. You’re probably not gonna make money, but you will set yourself up for success later. In the second stage, you may start to speak more regionally and get some type of reimbursement. But you’re going to be focused on selling something like a book or coaching sessions to help generate additional income.
- When pitching yourself, make sure you clearly explain what you would talk about (include the title and a glimpse into the content), and explain exactly what the audience will gain from your talk. Make your presentation an easy yes for the person you’re pitching to.
Wanna Learn More?
Alright, friends, if you’re ready to dive in and hear all about the enneagram, then tune in now!
- Details about the enneagram types
- The strengths and weaknesses of tests like this
- How to test yourself
- What to do if you’re stuck on which type you are
- How the test can be used to better understand loved ones
- How to get your message out there
Once you’ve filled your ears and brain with all the enneagram knowledge, let me know in the comments: What type are you and how are you going to use the enneagram to pursue growth?
P.S. If you want to learn even more from Morgan, go check her out at The Maxey Co!