This week we are carrying on with the second half of the Enneagram types. Last week we covered types 1-4 so you’ll want to make sure and go back to the last blog post to get the info on those. As I said last week, there are all sorts of personality tests in the world but one of my personal favorites is the Enneagram. The cool part about the Enneagram is that it teaches you all about your personality as well as how other people think and feel. In my opinion, the Enneagram is one of the most comprehensive personality inventories out there. If you’ve never heard of the Enneagram, here’s how it breaks down.
The Enneagram itself is a geometric figure that maps out the nine fundamental personality types of human nature and their complex interrelationships. It is a symbol that is made up of a circle with a triangle and a hexad in the middle that connects to nine outer points. The nine points are what represent the nine personality types – type 1 is The Reformer, type 2 is The Helper, type 3 is The Achiever, type 4 is The Individualist, type 5 is The Investigator, type 6 is The Loyalist, type 7 is The Enthusiast, type 8 is The Challenger, and type 9 is The Peacemaker. Again, if you want to learn more about types 1-4 go back and check out Enneagram Types 1-4. Let’s move onto types 5-9.
Type 5 is The Investigator and is an intense, cerebral type who is also known as the Thinker
They are hyper-aware of their surroundings; they are insightful and curious. They love to pursue knowledge and are able to develop complex ideas. A 5s basic fear is of being useless, incapable, or incompetent and as you can imagine, their basic desire is to be competent. The strengths of this type include the ability to remain calm in a crisis, constantly learning and picking up new skills, and are often ahead of their time. Weaknesses include a tendency to be perceived as condescending, disconnected from their feelings, and isolating themselves from others. This occurs because they are always striving to be independent and so by detaching from people fives oftentimes feel very lonely. In order to effectively communicate with fives, you need to allow them plenty of personal space and time to think and make sure you express your thoughts clearly and logically. Meetings should be productive and worthwhile and make sure you ask for their insight or observations. Like fours, they don’t have time for chit-chat so be direct with what you need. When giving feedback, just be honest about growth areas and offer constructive criticism. Common jobs for fives include engineers, mathematicians, computer programmers, writers, and scientists.
And now what I’m sure you’ve all been waiting for, Type 6 aka the Loyalist aka me. When I very first took the Enneagram test, I tested as a 1 and it completely made sense to me. Ones feel the need to be perfect, they are highly organized, etc. Then time went by and I took it again and tested as a Six. At first, I refused to believe it and I swear I took the test two more times before finally paying for a test and sure enough, it came back as 6 along with an explanation that sometimes sixes misidentify as ones. Then I started studying the six and lo and behold, totally me. Sixes are committed, reliable, hardworking, responsible, defensive, evasive, and highly anxious. Check, check, check, check, check, check, and check. They are often cautious and indecisive but can also be defiant and rebellious. Their basic fear is being without support or guidance and their basic desire is to feel secure. Sixes are good at making responsible and practical choices, honoring commitments, caring for others, thinking about other people’s perspectives, and they are both logical and emotional. However, they can struggle to control anxious thoughts, they tend to expect the worst outcome, and they have high levels of self-doubt and insecurity. The best way to communicate with a six is the help them feel safe and secure by listening and offering support. Again, just like 4s and 5s when emailing them avoid small talk and get to the point. When giving feedback keep it on the gentler side by expressing encouragements and constructive criticism. You’ll typically find sixes as paralegals, bankers, professors, administrative assistants, and caregivers.
Type 7 is the Enthusiast aka the life of the party
Sevens are busy, productive types who are optimistic and spontaneous. While they are highly practical, they can also be scattered and undisciplined. Their basic fear is being deprived or trapped in pain and their basic desire is to be happy. Sevens can think quickly and creatively. They can easily handle change in plans, and they are great at acquiring new skills or abilities. Weaknesses can include difficulty committing to plans in advance, they quickly get bored, and because of this, they can make impulsive or rash decisions. When communicating with sevens be upbeat and optimistic, let them know what you need from them, and include casual conversation and dialog in emails. When giving feedback be honest and constructive. Sevens like to come up with multiple solutions to problems, so let them help you when you get stuck. Good careers for sevens are artists, interior designers, bartenders, tour guides, photographers, and publicists.
Type 8 is the Challenger also known as the Protector
This type is powerful, dominating, self-confident, and assertive. They feel they must control their environment and are often confrontational and intimidating. They love getting into debates and are good at making tough decisions. 8s basic fear is being harmed or controlled by others and their basic desire is to protect oneself. They tend to act quickly and decisively, can lead their team to success, and they are typically fair and logical in their decision-making. Eights struggles with others’ opinions, following rules or orders, and being perceived as being intimidating. When it comes to communicating, be upfront and direct, allow them to share new ideas or suggestions, avoid casual conversation, and share feedback respectfully and constructively. Because this type strives for control, in order to resolve conflict with an 8, stand your ground and call them out on their inappropriate actions while also considering their side. You’ll find 8s working as lawyers, ad execs, politicians, marketing strategists, and business owners.
Chad and I recently watched The Last Dance on Netflix which is the docuseries about Michael Jordan. If you haven’t watched it, you should because MJ really is an impressive human. During the show, I kept wondering which Enneagram type he is so naturally, I Googled it. There is a strong debate on whether he is a 3 or an 8. Remember, threes are the high achieving type but I’m convinced he’s an eight. I mean, look, he’s powerful, dominating, and self-confident. He led the Bulls to multiple wins, he’s a logical decision-maker and strives to control his environment. Hello? And as I mentioned, marketing strategists and eights go hand in hand. Do you know how much money this man has made in his career, which let’s be honest, playing basketball was only for a short time all things considered? He’s made his money through strategic marketing. MJ if you’re reading this post, take the test and let us know what you are once and for all.
Type 9 is the Peacemaker
This type is easygoing, accepting, trusting, and stable. They are good-natured, kindhearted, and supportive. But for all those wonderful traits, they can also be too willing to go along with others in order to keep the peace. The basic fear of nines is the loss of connection and their basic desire is to be at peace not only within themselves but also in the world around them. What makes a nine a great peacemaker is their ability to see multiple perspectives, remaining calm and adaptable, reassuring those around them, and being open-minded. Weaknesses associated with nines are the tendency to minimize problems, avoiding difficult or upsetting situations, and being passive-aggressive rather than addressing conflict head-on. The best way to communicate with a nine is to encourage them to be open about their needs and ideas but avoid pressuring them to share their opinions or feelings. Allow room for small-talk and personal connection and avoid being overly negative or critical when giving feedback. Nines make great counselors, veterinarians, social workers, diplomats, and religious workers. This is Chad’s type which is why I think we go together so well. I need support, he wants to give it. I’m the pessimist, he’s the optimist. I struggle with anxiety and he’s stable. Plus, he’s really cute too.
And there you have it – those are the 9 types of the Enneagram. If you still haven’t taken the test to figure out which type you are, you can go here and take the thing: https://www.crystalknows.com/enneagram-test. Take the test and let me know what type you are! You can either email me at firstname.lastname@example.org or you can leave a comment below. You can also check out this site: https://www.enneagraminstitute.com/type-descriptions which I hope you will because there is a lot of great information as well as a deeper dive into the wings of each type and how each type interacts with the other types. For example, if you are a 5 and your partner is a 3, it’ll show you how to communicate with one another and where there may be areas of improvement for you. It also talks about how to work with each type in a professional setting. All in all, I think the Enneagram is one of the best tools out there when trying to determine how to best lead a team at work or to work on the relationships in your personal life.