iClassPro Blog

Enneagram in the Workplace

August 15, 2018

What is the Enneagram?

You may have recently heard about the Enneagram. The Enneagram is a powerful tool for personal awareness and group cooperation. “Enneagram” comes from the Greek words ‘ennea’ (nine) and ‘grammos’ (a written symbol). This nine-pointed symbol represents nine distinct personalities. Each Enneagram type has a different pattern of thinking, feeling, and acting that comes from a deeper inner motivation or worldview.

How can it help your team?

By understanding the primary Enneagram types of you and your coworkers, natural gifts are fully appreciated and self-made limitations understood. People report that they are more able to find deeper satisfaction in their work, and in their relationships, when they more fully comprehend the natural way they and others think, process and respond, based on their type.

In businesses and organizations, having insight into the Enneagram can have dozens of use cases such as understanding relationships, improving communication, and knowing the best way to handle difficult people. It empowers us to make new and more successful choices, more intelligent decisions. It also enables us to tap greater resources in others.


How to identify your employees?
To use the Enneagram in your business, it is important for everyone to have an awareness of their type. After everyone has been appropriately “typed”, it is important to note that people are more than their personality type and no one is wholly one type. Applying and studying the Enneagram enables us to "get out of the box" of our personality type, and become more flexible and creative rather than stuck in habitual patterns of thinking, feeling, and behaving.

The official test can be taken for at https://tests.enneagraminstitute.com/ Free versions of the test can be found online at https://enneagramtest.net/ and https://www.eclecticenergies.com/enneagram/test


Type One - The Perfectionist

Principled, purposeful, self-controlled, and perfectionistic. Ones are responsible, thorough, and hard working with high standards for themselves and those around them. Their challenge is to balance their critical thinking with acceptance and appreciation, and to know when “good enough” is more productive than “exactly right.”


Type Two - The Giver

Generous, demonstrative, people-pleasing, and possessive. Twos are positive and people-oriented. They make excellent communicators and will support the best interests of the organization. Highly empathetic, they know what other people feel and need. Their challenge is to practice good personal boundaries and to choose more carefully when and how much they help others.


Type Three - The Performer

Adaptable, excelling, driven, and image-conscious. Threes have tremendous productivity. Enthusiastic and highly motivated, they quickly move into action to accomplish results. Their challenge is to take the time to listen to others, build good relationships, and develop more long-term strategy. They need to watch out for personal burnout due to “workaholism.”


Type Four - The Romantic

Expressive, dramatic, self-absorbed, and temperamental. Fours focus on authenticity, meaning, and aesthetics. They value excellence in all things and they want to make a personal connection to their work and to the people around them. Their challenge is to learn to tolerate the mundane aspects of work, to reduce their emotional reactions, and to not take things too personally.


Type Five - The Observer

Perceptive, innovative, secretive, and isolated. Fives are excellent thinkers and strategists. They seek to develop technical expertise and accumulate knowledge. They need lots of privacy and autonomy. Their challenge is to be available to other people when possible, to communicate warmth, and to recognize human assets other than mental intelligence.


Type Six - The Loyal/Skeptic

Engaging, responsible, anxious, and suspicious. Sixes focus on figuring out what’s going on around them to create safety and structure. They are loyal, dependable, and they are especially good at anticipating problems and creating solutions. Their challenge is managing their suspicion and doubt so that it doesn’t de-motivate themselves or other people.


Type Seven - The Epicure

Spontaneous, versatile, acquisitive, and scattered. Sevens are quick thinking, adaptable, and positive in their outlook. Where other people see problems, they see opportunities. They enjoy multiple interests and multiple options. Their challenge is to acknowledge problems and limitations and to bring their attention back to the present and the task at hand.


Type Eight - The Protector

Self-confident, decisive, willful, and confrontational. Eights are good at taking charge of their environment. They know how to mobilize to get things done. They make good leaders, and they will stand up for the positions and the people they care about. Their challenge is to moderate their forcefulness, to become adaptable in different situations, and to avoid creating unnecessary conflict.


Type Nine - The Mediator

Receptive, reassuring, complacent, and resigned. Nines are steady and balanced in their approach to work and relationships. They can see all sides of an issue and are able to bring people together in a spirit of cooperation and harmony. Their challenge is to stay focused on the priorities and to stick up for their own position, even if that involves discomfort or conflict.


An awareness of the types and how they interact together, when applied correctly, can lead to harmony in the workplace. An understanding of the Enneagram by managers can lead to better team management while understanding amongst employees can lead to better and more efficient collaboration.