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June 16, 2022

How the Enneagram can help your work life

Addie Maze – Associate

Although there is no such thing as a perfect work environment, learning how to work with your coworker's strengths and weaknesses (instead of against them), will help create a positive work environment and improve company morale. What if I told you there is an online test that could help you do this?

The Enneagram is an online personality test that classifies individuals into nine personality types. Each one has its own unique characteristics, but they are all interconnected with one another, meaning one individual may show characteristics of another type depending on their modd, stress level or other factors. Using the enneagram can allow you to boost your relationships by having a deeper understanding of who they are.

Here are the summarized versions of the nine types:

  1. Perfectionist- likes things done right, has a good moral compass
  2. Helper- enjoys feeling wanted and helpful to others
  3. Achiever- values respect and admiration
  4. Romantic- wants to be unique and find meaning in the world
  5. Observer- like to understand a concept fully before acting on it
  6. Loyalist- wants to provide support and comfort to others
  7. Enthusiast- seeks adventure and contentment
  8. Challenger- passionate about justice and finding new ways to go about a problem
  9. Mediator- enjoys harmonious relationships and peace in the world

Defining yourself with a number might seem like you’re putting yourself in a box, but using the Enneagram doesn't mean you aren’t one of a kind. The Enneagram helps you understand why you function, react, solve problems and communicate the way you do. It will provide you with a list of how to take advantage of your strengths, and ways to overcome your weaknesses.

Using this system in the workplace will help your team better understand what your needs are, as well as your coworkers. For example, I am a four on the Enneagram, so I tend to be hypercritical about my weaknesses. Yes, if I get yelled at too often, I will shut down and cry myself to sleep (not that I know that through experience or anything…). To motivate a four, celebrating their success goes a long way to build up their confidence. Researching your coworker's Enneagram types can help you motivate them and how to deal with them during conflict.

Other ways the Enneagram can help the workplace:

-Lets you recognize your coworkers’ needs and cultivate deeper relationships

-Helps you understand more about yourself in order to work more efficiently

-Gives you ideas on how to relax after work for your specific personality type

-Learn your boss's leadership style

If you are a leader in a business, having your employees take an Enneagram test will benefit everyone. If you aren’t in a place of power, simply asking coworkers if they know their Enneagram number will open the conversation. You can find the Enneagram test here. I recommend sending it out to your coworkers as well, your mind will thank you!


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