The Enneagram: A Guide to Better Communication and Collaboration at Work

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What is the Enneagram and how can it help me at work?

Have you ever wondered why some people excel at certain tasks while others struggle? Or why some teams work seamlessly together while others seem to clash at every turn? If so, you may find the enneagram to be a valuable tool in understanding yourself and your colleagues better.

So, what exactly is the enneagram? In simple terms, it is a personality system comprised of nine distinct types based on their core motivations. Each type has its own unique strengths, support needs, communication styles, and patterns of behavior.

Now, you might be thinking, "How on earth can this help me at work?" Well, let me break it down for you.

First and foremost, the enneagram can help you gain a deeper understanding of yourself. By identifying your type, you can uncover your core motivators and fears, which can shed light on why you behave the way you do in certain situations. This self-awareness is crucial in personal and professional development, as it allows you to recognize and work on your blind spots. 

Furthermore, the enneagram can also enhance your relationships and collaboration with your colleagues. Once you have a good grasp of your own type, you can begin to understand the motivations and fears of others. This insight enables you to communicate more effectively and empathize with different perspectives. For instance, if you

How can I use the Enneagram to better understand my coworkers?

The enneagram is a powerful tool that can help us understand ourselves and others on a deeper level. By exploring the nine different personality types through the lens of the enneagram, we can gain valuable insights into our coworkers' motivations, behaviors, and strengths. Here are a few ways you can use the enneagram to better understand your coworkers:

1. Identify their enneagram types: Simply start by taking our FREE ENNEAGRAM TEST or engage in discussions about the different types. Understanding their enneagram type can provide you with a framework for understanding their core fears, desires, and motivations.

2. Recognize their strengths: Each enneagram type brings unique strengths to the workplace. By understanding your coworkers' enneagram types, you can better appreciate and leverage their individual strengths. For example, if you have a coworker who is a type 1, known for their attention to detail and strong work ethic, you can involve them in projects that require precision and organization.

3. Understand their communication styles: The enneagram can shed light on different communication styles based on each type's core motivations. 

4. Foster empathy and compassion: The enneagram teaches us that each type has its own set of fears and struggles. By understanding

How can I apply the Enneagram when communicating with my colleagues and supervisors?

The enneagram can be a powerful tool for improving communication with your colleagues and supervisors. By understanding the different personality types represented in your workplace, you can adapt your communication style to meet their needs and improve your relationships. Here are a few ways you can apply the enneagram in your workplace communication:

1. Identify your own type: Before you can effectively communicate with others, it's important to understand your own communication style. Take the time to explore the enneagram and determine which type best describes you. This self-awareness will help you recognize your strengths and weaknesses in communication. This is what we teach in our “Enneagram Foundations” training for businesses.

2. Recognize the types of others: Once you have a good understanding of the enneagram, try to identify the types of your colleagues and supervisors. Pay attention to their behaviors, motivations, and communication preferences. This will help you tailor your approach when interacting with them. 

3. Adapt your communication style: Each enneagram type has different communication preferences and needs. For example, some types may value direct and assertive communication, while others may prefer a more diplomatic and collaborative approach. By adapting your communication style to match the needs of others, you can foster better understanding and cooperation.

4. Practice active listening: Effective communication is not just about speaking, but also about listening. When engaging with your colleagues and supervisors, make a conscious effort to practice active listening. This means fully focusing on the speaker, asking clarifying questions, and summarizing what they say to ensure you understand their perspective accurately.


What are the best ways to use the Enneagram to resolve conflicts between coworkers?

Conflicts between coworkers are inevitable in any workplace. However, finding effective ways to resolve these conflicts is crucial for maintaining a harmonious and productive work environment.  Good conflict is when we are taking on the problem together instead of the conflict being directed at each other. One valuable tool that can be used to address conflicts is the enneagram.

The enneagram is a personality framework that helps individuals understand their core motivations, fears, and behaviors. By recognizing and appreciating the different personality types within a team, conflicts can be resolved more effectively. Here are some of the best ways to use the enneagram to resolve conflicts between coworkers:

1. Increase self-awareness: Encourage each coworker to explore their own enneagram type and understand their strengths and weaknesses. This self-awareness will help individuals recognize how their own behaviors and reactions contribute to conflicts.

2. Foster empathy: Understanding the enneagram types of coworkers can help build empathy and compassion. Each type has different needs and fears, and by recognizing and acknowledging these differences, coworkers can better understand each other's perspectives and motivations.

3. Communication styles: The enneagram highlights that each type has a different communication style. Recognizing these differences can help coworkers adapt their communication to be more effective when resolving conflicts. For example, a Type 1 might appreciate direct and clear communication, while a Type 9 might prefer a more gentle approach.

4. Conflict resolution strategies: The enneagram offers insights into how different types tend to respond to conflict. By identifying the typical patterns and behaviors of each type, coworkers can proactively work

How can I use the Enneagram to develop better leadership skills?

Coming Soon: Nine Leadership Styles Mini-Course from The Art of Growth (check back later for link)

The enneagram is a powerful tool that can greatly enhance your leadership skills. By understanding your own enneagram type and the types of those you lead, you can develop better self-awareness and team awareness, leading to more effective leadership.

Firstly, take the time to discover your own enneagram type. Knowing your type can provide valuable insights into your leadership style, helping you leverage your strengths and address any blind spots or weaknesses.

Once you have a clear understanding of your own type, learn about the other enneagram types. This knowledge will allow you to better understand and relate to the individuals you lead. You can only motivate someone if you know how they are motivated. This will foster better relationships and collaboration within your team.

Next, use the enneagram to develop self-awareness. The enneagram helps you identify patterns of behavior and tendencies that might be hindering your leadership effectiveness. By recognizing these patterns, you can work towards personal growth and development. For example, if you tend to be overly controlling as a leader, the enneagram can help you understand the underlying fears that drive this behavior. With this awareness, you can consciously work on letting go of control and trusting your team more.

Furthermore, the enneagram can be used as a tool for team development. By having each team member discover their

How can I use the Enneagram to create a productive and positive team environment?

The enneagram is a powerful tool that can be used to create a productive and positive team environment. By understanding the different personality types within your team, you can tailor your approach to communication, delegation, and motivation.

First and foremost, the enneagram helps you understand yourself and others on a deeper level. This self-awareness is crucial for effective leadership, communication, conflict resolution, and collaboration. When you understand your own tendencies and those of your team members, you can navigate conflicts and challenges more effectively.

One way to use the enneagram to create a positive team environment is by fostering better communication. Each personality type has different communication styles and preferences. Some team members may prefer direct, concise communication, while others may appreciate more context and detail. By being mindful of these differences, you can adapt your communication style to ensure everyone feels heard and understood.

The enneagram also helps identify each team member's core motivations and fears. For example, some individuals may be driven by a need for security and stability, while others may be motivated by a desire for recognition and achievement. By understanding these underlying motivations, you can create a more motivating and rewarding work environment. You can assign tasks and projects that align with each team member's strengths and provide the necessary support and resources to help them succeed.

In addition, the enneagram can improve team dynamics by fostering empathy and understanding. When team members understand and appreciate each other's unique perspectives, they can collaborate more effectively and make better decisions together. The enneagram provides a framework for understanding different personality types and their strengths and weaknesses. This understanding can help team members appreciate the value that each individual brings to the team and facilitate better collaboration and cooperation.

Another way to use the enneagram is to address conflicts and challenges within the team. By understanding the underlying motivations and fears of each team member, you can better navigate disagreements and find solutions that work for everyone. For example, if one team member tends to avoid conflict and another is more confrontational, you can use this knowledge to facilitate a more productive conversation and find a resolution that satisfies both parties.

Using the enneagram as a tool for team development can also enhance team cohesion and trust. Depending on the type, trust if first build on Character, Care, or Competency. When team members have a better understanding of themselves and others, they can develop stronger relationships and build trust within the team. This can lead to better collaboration, increased productivity, and a more positive and supportive work environment.

To effectively use the enneagram for team development, it is important to involve everyone in the process. Encourage team members to take the enneagram test and share their results. Host team workshops or training sessions to discuss the different personality types and how they can contribute to the team. Create opportunities for team members to collaborate and communicate based on their enneagram types, allowing them to leverage their strengths and support each other's growth.

We've designed our own Enneagram Typing Test based on the self-reporting of individuals and expert knowledge and training

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