For most of her life, Katie Ruley has been fascinated by the complexities of personality.
With a bachelor’s degree in psychology and a master’s in human relations, Ruley studied nearly every personality test over the years, from Myers-Briggs to the DISC assessment. But when the avid reader learned about an ancient tool called the Enneagram four years ago, she says it changed her life.
Comprised of nine numbers that correlate to nine core motivations, the Enneagram can be traced to Greek philosophy, Ruley says. It was brought to the United States in the 1960s and used exclusively among Christian spiritual directors, though it has gained popularity in recent years through social media.
“I felt like someone was reading my diary,” Ruley says of learning about her number (1). “I’d never seen language put to some feelings I had felt.”
Most personality tools examine behavior, she says, while the Enneagram examines the motivation behind the behavior, so self-awareness is key.
“You’ve got to understand your inner workings to understand where you’re going to land (on the Enneagram),” she says. “Also, depending on your (emotional) health, it’s a little tricky because you can look like another number.”
Through her consulting business, Enlighten Enneagram, Ruley works with individuals, couples and companies to help people determine their number, how to move toward health and how to interact with other numbers.
“This, in turn, will enhance your life, or business, in numerous ways,” she says.
She launched the company in April with the encouragement of her husband and four children.
“The Enneagram has helped me love people better,” Ruley says. “I really feel so passionately about it. I feel like I’m bringing something beautiful to the world.”