Summary: An orientation to the Enneagram focused on relationships.
The Path Between us is my third book on the enneagram this year. I have been skeptical about the enneagram, but the more I read the more I can see the value of the enneagram as a framework for understanding both yourself and others.
In the end personality tests and psychological models are not really for navel gazing, but for assisting us to become a better people and to related to others better. The Path Between Us has roughly the same summary of the enneagram as The Sacred Enneagram and Mirror for the Soul, but the focus of the three is quite different and I think while not the most introductory, The Path Between us has the right focus of helping the reader related to others well.
Each of the chapters has the same basic format, a description of each of the numbers of the enneagram and several illustrations and quotes about that number. Then a description of how that number relates to other people of different numbers and the same number. There are notes about what numbers work together well and how to overcome common problems between numbers.
The real advantage of the enneagram as a model is that it is focused on health and inherent weakness and strengths. Being a particular number is not determinative of future behavior or an excuse for why someone does not need to change. Built into the conceptual model is the concept of change and growth, while acknowledging that we have been created in a particular way. As the enneagram has gained in popularity there has been push back. Some of the push back is valid as much because of misuse or misunderstanding as much as a weakness of the system.
Like a lot of mental models, the benefit is the structure of the system and that it gives a language to describe the world around us. That model is not reality, but a system to help us understand the reality. If the enneagram does not work for you as a mental model, do not use it. I can see how it can be helpful personally. And I think that like all other personality profiles and relationship models, there are weaknesses.
Of the three books I have read so far, I think this was the most personally beneficial, but like I said on the review of the last one, I am not sure whether this is more because it is more helpful or because I understand the system more. However, the framing of this book as helping the reader to understand how to relate to others well moves the enneagram from personal growth to corporate growth and I think that is helpful.