Introduction to the Enneagram for the Workplace

Chris Heinz

Chief People Officer at EnergyCAP, Inc.

Learning Objectives

Self-awareness, healthy teams, and employee engagement don't happen by chance; they take design and effort. The Enneagram personality system is being used by top organizations around the world to improve all three areas. When that happens, everyone wins. But what is the Enneagram? Who uses it today? How can the workplace benefit from it? Learn about the basics of this ancient personality tool, identity the nine core drives of human behavior, and appreciate the value that each drive brings to the workplace. Presented by a certified Enneagram practitioner who is using the Enneagram to create an award-winning workplace.

Key Takeaways:

  • Understand the basics of the Enneagram personality system

  • Identify the nine core drives of human behavior

  • Appreciate the value that each core drive brings to the workplace

"I found that greater self-awareness builds healthier teams, and in turn, that improves employee engagement. "

Chris Heinz

Chief People Officer at EnergyCAP, Inc.


Thanks so much for watching today’s presentation, which is an introduction to the Enneagram for the workplace. Maybe you’ve heard about the Enneagram tool out there, and you’re just curious what it is and what it can bring to the workplace.

My name is Chris Hines. I’m the Chief People Officer for a software company called Energy Cap Inc., where I help employees grow and become more self-aware. I found that greater self awareness builds healthier teams, and in turn, that improves employee engagement. We have found that through greater self awareness through tools like this, teams are healthier, and engagement increases, which is good for everyone.

If you’re interested in this topic, please engage with us at the bottom of this presentation. I also have multiple resources on this topic in my website, You should know I’m certified in the Enneagram. I use it in our workplace, as well as some workplaces outside of our business, and so I’ve used this a lot and seeing the value and worth of the Enneagram tool in the lives of organizations. Sit back, relax, and let’s talk through an introduction to the Enneagram for the workplace.

What is the Enneagram? Well, if you google Enneagram, you’re going to see a lot of different shapes. This is the shape I prefer to use because it’s simple. I like the language of the nine drives of the Enneagram—the nine motivational drives, nine core drives. You’re going to hear terms like what’s your number, what’s your type, and so forth. I really like this idea of the nine drives, in terms of your core motivational drive, sort of why you’re doing what you’re doing.

First, what is the Enneagram? Simply, the word means nine figures in Greek. Enneam means nine, gram means figures or points, and so literally, nine figures in Greek. The history of the anagram actually dates really far back to about the fourth century A.D., when some of the origins of the anagram were being laid. This goes much farther back than most personality tools these days. Now, the original use was in Christian spirituality. Some other religions have added to it and the psychological world have used it pretty heavily. Today, it’s being there’s a resurgence, it’s being rediscovered. Maybe you’ve heard about the enneagram through some popular online quizzes, podcasts even. There’s some very popular books out there. Many people are rediscovering this ancient tool of the Enneagram. Here’s the thing: its use is not just limited to sort of religious psychological world. Today, it’s being used in the business world. I think businesses are coming alive to the value that the Enneagram can bring.

Let’s look at some of the organizations worldwide that are making active use of the Enneagram, because it drives self awareness, drives healthy teams, drives employee engagement. Everybody wins when you improve in those areas. Maybe that’s why these big organizations are using this tool. You got to ask if they’re using it, maybe they’re onto something. You’ve got Disney, Stanford Business School, Salesforce actually uses it as part of their hiring process. Not administering the test itself, but paying attention to clues in interviewing and behavioral activities to see maybe they can discern what types people are. Johnson and Johnson uses it, the Federal Reserve System, the billion dollar company Dropbox, uses it so much that Drew Houston, the Co-Founder of Dropbox, said this, “Over the last few years, I found myself looking at all my important relationships through the Enneagram lens. I wish I had discovered it much earlier.” Even though these organizations use the Enneagram, I’ve found it largely underutilized in the business world and the professional world. Maybe because its roots aren’t quite business related, but now we’ve seen organizations innovating it and using it. One of the things I love about this tool is that no one owns it—it’s open source. Just like I created this wheel of colors to simplify the look and feel of the Enneagram, others can innovate and not worry about copyright or anything like that because no one owns the Enneagram.

At the heart, the Enneagram is this basic personality profiling system of nine core personality types. You can do so much with it. It’s, by no means, simplistic or watered down. Nine, maybe, sounds like a little to explain human nature, but you can do a whole lot with the Enneagram. For example, you can understand people’s talk and communication styles, behaviors, healthy behaviors, unhealthy behaviors, the emotional life, conflict styles, work value, and the roles they often play on teams—all of these areas of work and life, you can understand, and let the tool reveal itself through the Enneagram. It’s very fascinating, and that’s why I think a lot of businesses are really latching on to it.

As we get started and introduce these nine core drives, I want to lay this foundation of what’s called the Centers of Intelligence, because this is a pretty important concept in the tool of the Enneagram. It goes like this, centers of intelligence are our go-to responses when life happens. All of us have a primary go-to response. We may respond to life through our head, by thinking about matters of life, and work and relationships. We call this IQ, right? We are primarily experiencing life through our mental faculties. Something happens, maybe we take a step back. We think about it, we say, “Hey, I just need to think about this a little bit more.” We put conclusions together, we look at the data, we look at the facts, so you get the idea. We take a really thoughtful approach to life.

Another option is through the heart center of intelligence, or the feeling center—we call EQ. These folks experience life through the emotions, needs, and also the responses of others. Where’s the head center folks step into a room, and there may be thinking about what’s going on here, and trying to deduce what is happening, someone from the heart center walks into a room is very in tune with the emotions in the room, or is checking in to say, “Who am I in relation to him? Who am I in relation to her?” It’s primarily a heart feeling, response.

Head, heart, or the third option is what’s called the guts space—sometimes called the body center, the doing center, we can call this GQ. These folks experience life through their basic gut instincts. Something happens, boom, they react—maybe impulsively, maybe they had a strong sense. They just know what they ought to do. They walk into a room, and there may be figuring out who’s in power here, who’s in control, is someone trying to get me to do something I don’t want to do. For example, there’s a very gut level response to communicating to feeling.

Here’s the three centers of intelligence, we primarily experience life through the head, the heart, and the gut. Each drive is tied to a different center of intelligence, which is our main go-to response for how we experience the world. In your workplace, you’re going to have people who are primarily driven by thoughts and thinking by their head, some primarily driven by their hearts by feeling by responding to the to how others are, or through the gut, these basic gut instincts. It’s interesting in a workplace to have all three centers operating at once.

What are the nine core drives? I’m going to do a quick overview of all nine, and then we’ll take a deeper dive into each of the core drives. We’ll start with one, the type one score drive is to perfect; type two core drive is to help; type three to succeed; type four to express; type five to know; type six to secure; type seven to enjoy; type 8 to influence; and type nine is to be at peace. These are the core motivational drives. These are the whys behind what we do. What’s really interesting is when you start to figure out your core drive, then you can pair that with the idea of maybe strengths, capabilities, knowledge, skills. You will understand why you do what you do, but then how you’re getting there. Think about the drive as the direction you’re headed. Think about it, maybe it’s the roadmap. Think about things like strengths, traits, capabilities, abilities, knowledge, skills as how you’re getting there—maybe the tools you have to arrive where you’re going.

Let’s take a deep dive. Maybe you’re already beginning to identify your core drive. A good place to start is maybe identifying your center of intelligence. Then, you’ll understand that there are three choices for your core drive once you identify your center. Maybe right away, you’re seeing these words, you’re like, “I know which type I am,” or maybe there’s two or three as front runners. Listen to the descriptions of these nine chord drives, and try to identify yourself in it. Some folks right away know who they are, some folks take longer. It’s more of a process of maybe taking an assessment, meeting with someone who understands the Enneagram, talking with those who know you well, and putting those insights together. This may not be a quick identification process. This may be more of a journey to find your core drive. Once you find your core drive, you’re gonna want to begin to aim that drive in the right direction, and also grow that drive so you’re maximizing the strengths of your drive and minimizing the shortfalls of your drive. That’s all for the journey.

Let’s first work on identifying and understanding these nine core drives. First, we have the type one. We envision this with this perfect diamond perfectly cut. Now, the type one is from the gut center—you might remember the instinctual center. Type ones are driven to live the right way, correct what is wrong, and create a perfect world. There’s this idealism that these type ones live with—this sense of goodness and righteousness. Some really strong strengths that they bring. They’re known to make improvements, uphold the moral order and principles, so they’re really reliable and dedicated and doing things right. Achieving those ideals, bringing themselves and others up to that level of idealism is really important to ones. They’re moral people, they have strong values, strong beliefs. They really help us to achieve that place of order and perfection—least they’re aiming for it. Sounds great, right?

There are some shortfalls for the type one. They can be judgmental and critical toward themselves and others. Type ones often describe this inner critic in their head, that’s always pointing out how they’re wrong, what they can do better because of it—perfection is really key. Imperfection, really difficult for type ones. For that reason, they may be oversensitive, because to admit blame and mistake and imperfection, is to sort of say, “I’m wrong.” There’s this really short line between doing something wrong and being wrong, and type ones can sometimes struggle with that. They may struggle with getting past their own beliefs, so they can be known to be kind of stubborn. They can’t quite get into the mindset of others, because they can’t get past their own thoughts, beliefs, values, and so forth. They also may avoid others who aren’t as good. Remember, type ones are driven by this sense of perfectionism and idealism. If they’re working with someone, they’re not perceiving as quite good enough to the task, they’ll just avoid and withdraw. Type ones are awesome in the workplace because of the improvements they make and the reliability and dependability, idealism, but there are some shortfalls that may limit their effectiveness. So, that’s the type one.

Let’s move on to the type two. Now, we’re moving past the gut center of intelligence, we’ll come back to them for eight and nine. Now, we are heading into the heart center so we can keep going sort of chronologically here in order. The type two’s drive is to help. Type twos, we envisioned with this safety ring, ready to help others in times of need. Type twos are driven to help others feel needed and do things for people. They love being active, being busy doing things for people’s felt needs. Some great strengths the type twos bring to our world—they’re known as caring people who offer like tangible practical help to those in need. They’re very approachable, loving, sacrificial, even. Type twos are really attuned to other people’s feelings and other people’s needs. They will walk into a room and go, “I know what she needs, I know what he needs,” and they want to offer that help. They’re focused on getting tasks done for people. They’re great at helping and supporting and helping others kind of be the best they can be. There was a very practical means.

Great strengths they offer, but there are some shortfalls for type twos. They may push help on to others, maybe offering help, that’s not really needed, or they may offer help with strings attached. They appear very loving, altruistic, sacrificial, but they may attach some conditions or strings internally to that help. They kind of keep track to make sure everyone’s even. They may also ignore their own needs, because they’re so attuned to the needs of others, that they’re either unaware or ignoring their own feelings and needs. They rarely feel comfortable taking care of themselves because there’s this identity crisis for some twos where they feel like if I’m needy, then I’m not going to be valuable to others, because my value comes from helping others. They need to readjust their sense of identity and worth away from needing to help others to feel valuable, and adjust to maintaining the value as a created individual. Type twos may also hold grudges, when they’re not appreciated. They can have a very good memory, and will kind of hold grudges, and hold resentments when they feel like they’re not being appreciated. There’s the trap, they want to appear altruistic, giving sacrificial just because they they want to serve people, but deep inside, they may remember when they’re not thanked for the help they’ve offered. That’s the type two.

Let’s move on to the type three. The type three’s drive is to succeed. We envision this as this brilliant shooting star that all can see. Type threes also live in the heart center, and I’ll explain why they’re in the heart center. Overall, type threes are driven to be productive, to be efficient, and to be viewed as successful. They really want others to view them as successful. Image can be pretty important to them, and so that’s why there they are in the heart center. Enneagram teachers teach that type threes are perhaps the least connected to their feelings, but they are checking in and comparing themselves with others and with the view of success. That’s why they’re in the heart center, because they are comparing themselves and, in a way, focused on the responses of others, and are they viewed as successful and viewed as achieving their goals, and so forth.

Let’s go on to the type four, and this is the last type of our heart center, which are the type fours whose core drive is to express. We see this really kind of vibrant, purplish color. Type four’s core drive is to express. They like drama, they like beauty, they’re in the heart center. They’re probably the most feeling conscious type of all the nine types. They are driven to be known, to express their feelings, and to create beauty. You know when a type four has been around, because often the environment has changed—there’s beauty added to it. All right, things are optimized. They bring some great strengths to the world. They’re comfortable with the wide range of emotions. One day, they’ll be up; the next day, they’ll be down, because they’re comfortable doing that. They don’t feel the pressure to have to be happy all the time, which is often a pressure we put on people in the world.

They do a lot in life and work. Type threes can point to a long list of accomplishments that they’ve performed, they’ve done, and they have a great capacity to perform. You’ll think a type three has done enough, and it’s like, “Whoa, that’s probably where her limit is,” but then, they kick it into second gear, and you realize there’s a whole another part of life to them, which is numbers of things they’re good at. They’re often talented in different areas. Maybe that they’re good at academically, music, athletics, other hobbies, and things like that. They are often talented in different areas. They’ve got great energy moving forward. They’re very efficient. They want to get a lot done in a short amount of time so they can accomplish more. Their view of success may differ based on the setting that they’re in. Maybe you know an employee who is great, she’s very accomplished, and she knows what success looks like in her job, that she steps away, and she’s in a group of moms, and so she will size up, “What does success look like here?” and she will attain that. Then, she steps away and goes, “What is the happy marriage look like?” and she’ll attain success in the marriage. You get the idea, right? Their view of success doesn’t have to be the same in every setting. They can adjust it based on where they are, so they are accomplishing goals, and pretty sizable goals. These folks are “take charge and go” type of people.

A lot of work gets done at the hands of type threes, but they can sometimes fall into workaholism. Just sort of give too much of themselves to work and accomplishments and maybe ignore the rest of their life around them. They may also overlook people on their way to success and forget who got them there. Forget to support people who got them there because they’re just really focused on moving forward and doing what they set out to do. Type threes are maybe two image conscious—caring too much about status, symbols, appearance, branding even. They just may be too concerned about how they appear to others. They may have a difficult time separating their works, so sort of what they’ve done from who they are. What we do is tied to who we are but what we do is not the totality of who we are. Type three is gonna have a hard time separating the two at times, and will feel like they don’t know who they are, if they’re not accomplishing that next best thing, so type threes need to watch that. Alright, so that’s the type three.

Now, we’re gonna move into the head space with the type five. The type five’s drive is to know—you see this magnifying glass here. Type fives are driven to understand, gain knowledge, and preserve resources. They really want to be experts. They really want to know, they want to understand what is before them. More than any other type, type fives tend to worry about the energy they have, and the output that will be called upon them. They sometimes use knowledge to kind of insulate themselves from the cares and the hustle and business of the world. They bring some great strengths to our world. They’re known to pay really close attention to life, to conversations, to information that’s being shared. They’re very precise, very detail oriented. They really want to understand. They are known to be thoughtful and contemplative. They will investigate, will dig deep, want to have intellectual conversations, and really get to the base level of understanding, so they can then draw conclusions and connect the dots and so forth.

One young man said, whose a type four, “I’m the most happy when I’m sad.” What he meant by that was when he’s given a space to be himself and express what is true, which when it’s sad, he likes when he’s given a space to be sad—that makes him happy. What we often do to sad down people, we try to pick them up, we try to reassure them, but sometimes, that’s not real and authentic for folks. Type fours bring this great comfort with how they’re feeling and want to express who they are to the world. They are the ones who create beauty and drama for the rest of us. They are authentic, sincere people. We found the type fours and the type eights, which we’ll learn about, are the two that tend to be most driven toward authenticity, sincerity, that don’t like indirect things, sad that really want to get to the heart, and find meaning in what is being spoken, what is being done when it’s being said. Type fours can also consider things in a new way, and help us consider things in different new ways.

Really great capabilities of the type four, but there are some shortfalls they’re going to want to watch. They may not be content often, always feel like something’s missing. Type fours contend to want to be extraordinary. They walk into a room, they don’t want to be like anyone else. They don’t want to be known as common or ordinary, they want to be extraordinary. They’re driven by this discontentment at times, so they’re always searching for something that’s missing. In that search, they may be wasteful. Maybe it’s not the right ring, maybe not the right clothes, not the right house, not the right artwork, not the right spouse, not the right friends. There’s this continual search for what’s missing, when all along, nothing is missing. They’re just sort of searching for this transcendence, to be above this earth and the practicality of day to day. There’s nothing missing, they just feel like something’s missing. They may also turn others away by their complexity of emotions. Sometimes, type fours will want to express themselves because that’s what life is, but they’ll turn people away because maybe the workplace in this moment is not the time to bring all your feelings forth. They may feel complicated according to other people, too complex, and so others may just sort of not feel like they can handle the up and down authenticity of type fours. Type fours may need to learn how to mitigate their emotions so that they can be appropriate with the expression they bring, but I love type fours.

Type fives are great at helping others see objectively. They’re very good at withholding their opinions in order to help others see what’s logical, what’s reasonable, what is the objective, fact in a situation. They’re really good sort of whole system comprehensive thinkers. For that reason, they will help others gain perspective as they share what they’re seeing, but also what they’re hearing. Type fives are pretty good listeners. Although they don’t have to be talking much of the time, they’d rather listen than share. If type fives are sharing, it’s often to share what they know, to share from the head.

There are some shortfalls for type fives. They may be excessively guarded, or private, and even appear sort of detached from others. That may be because type fives doubt they have the energy reserves and the emotional capacity to share, to walk with other people, and to be exposed. They’re often aware of their own resources and wanting to protect and preserve those resources, even maybe in a hoarding kind of mentality. Scarcity mindset can plague some type fives. They may also rely too much on knowledge, and overthinking, and may kind of discount living from the heart or living from the gut with action and may seek to live life solely from the head. Rely too much on thinking and figuring things out, but we know life and work does involve emotions, involves having an instinct and doing things.

Type fives really need to learn how to integrate the other parts of them. They may also avoid unpredictable situations because of unfounded fears. Wondering do I have what it takes, do I have the energy reserves that it takes to do what I need to do, and so they may avoid unpredictable situations because of the possibility that bad things may happen or they won’t have enough to do it. Now, type fives can feel but they would rather feel in private. Maybe some emotional experience happens, they watch a movie, they hear really bad news from someone else, they’ll more likely pull away, feel it later just not in the presence of others because it gets messy and predictable. They don’t know if they will have the reserves to make it through. That’s the type five.

Let’s take it out of the type six. Type sixes are similar in some ways to type fives. Their drive is to secure and so we see this lock image here icon for the type sixes—they are also in the head center. Type sixes are driven to feel safe, ask questions, and they may either support or resist authority. Type sixes have a really interesting relationship to authority. They may either really support them, be great team players, and be kind of a right-hand person to a leader, or they may have this anti-authority stance and resist authority because they’re not trusting of authority. You can have two type sixes that relate to authority very differently either being very supportive and almost clingy or very anti-authority and resisting.

Overall though, some great strengths for the type six is they are known to be committed, loyal, and trustworthy. They’re great team players, they’re looking out for others. Type sixes ask really great questions, but hard questions. You remember the type five likes to ask questions and inquire—they’re curious. Type sixes are, too, and they will ask really, really great questions that maybe others aren’t even thinking about doing. Sometimes, they can get into this inquisitor mode and just fire question after question after question away because they are fundamentally curious about relationships, about how life works, and also they want to ask questions in order to prepare for what’s coming. They’re really great at anticipating multiple scenarios, even maybe driven toward worst case scenario thinking. Type sixes are the ones you want to have if you’re lost on a desert island, because they are sort of survival experts. They will scan the horizon to see for potential dangers, and dream up all sorts of worst case scenarios so that you are prepared. If the type one has this constant inner critic, judging them; and the type threes are sort of very aware of success and who’s in the room; type sixes have this constant scanning for dangers, and envisioning worst case scenarios.

Those are all really great capabilities for the type six. There are some shortfalls though. They may become too dependent or too resistant to authority. Too clingy, kind of seeking ultimate approval all the time for that leader, so that’s sort of too dependent, or too resistant, they just don’t trust authority whatsoever, and will ignore the value in virtue of leaders, and they don’t open themselves up to leaders in their lives. Those are not so great behaviors for sixes. They may also be overly skeptical or fearful. They’re doubtful, ridden with anxiety, don’t trust people, sort of feeling like everyone’s got some agenda that’s evil and are just waiting to take advantage of folks. Type sixes can really be plagued by this over skeptical nature, and that’s something they’re going to want to check because we do need to trust one another. They also may have a lack of confidence and sort of cheapish, anxiety ridden. Sheepish, I mean, and so type sixes are gonna want to watch that lack of confidence. If they have a lack of confidence, they can easily sort of get too close, too codependent on a strong leader. After a while, they just dissolve into that leader, and don’t have a sense of sovereignty. Sixes want to watch that.

They may also fail to act because of possible outcomes. This is a way they’re similar to the type fives. Type sixes may fail to make a decision, failed to step out the front door, because of what may happen. Now, what may happen, in fact, may happen, but a lot of the times, what may happen, there’s no way ever it would happen. Sixes need to be able to lay reality with their concerns and fears and make decisions based on a good sound process, not out of unfounded fears. That is the type six, and we head into the last type of the head space.

This is the type seven, whose core drive is to enjoy. You see this vibrant yellow, electric yellow color with the ice cream cone. Type sevens are driven to be happy, to avoid a struggle, and to experience the highs of life. They want adventure they want what’s novel, they like what’s new, they really want to be up and happy and have stimulating experiences. Type sevens, they’re fun, they’re adventurous or optimistic. They’re always moving forward. They want what’s next, want the next best thing. They’re innovative thinkers and they’re out of the box thinkers. They do not get stuck in circular thinking, but they are moving forward and wanting to discover what’s new, what’s novel. They’ll be asking like, what haven’t we done before? Let’s try that they keep us moving forward, which is great. They have this great forward moving energy. They’re never boring. They have very quick minds. They connect one concept to the next to the next, and they can keep up with almost anyone in a conversation.

We love type sevens for all these reasons, but there are some shortfalls that type sevens can fall into that we can perhaps help them with. Type sevens really want to ignore negative emotions. They like what’s happy, what’s stimulating. They like the experience, which may cause them to ignore or avoid things like sadness, boredom, uncertainty, fear. They may have a problem naming this and wanting to focus on what they’re feeling, because it doesn’t feel up and it feels like a downer, and they want to be positive, hopeful, forward moving. Sometimes, negative emotion are really helpful. They’re really powerful. Type sevens contend to avoid them altogether, but they’re missing out on some important parts of life. When they do, they want to avoid hardships, challenges, and boredom because type sevens are after stimulating experiences that are exciting. Boredom, routine work, detail work that’s not exciting, can be really hard for sevens to sort of engage into, and they will need help with that.

Type sevens too, more than any other type may be prone to overindulgence in terms of spending or substances. They really want high stimulating experiences, and will sometimes use those experiences to avoid routine mundane experiences in life, which we know is all part of life and work. Sevens always want what’s fun, what’s next, what’s new. They don’t want to be dragged down and stuck for too long. For these reasons, they may over indulge. Sevens want to be asking themselves, “What am I escaping from? What should I be doing that I don’t want to do, but I’m doing something else that’s more exciting, in lieu of that thing I don’t really want to do?”

There are growth questions and growth practices for all these nine drives. I have some of these resources on my website at that are free to download to explore more growth questions and growth practices for all these nine drives. Now, we have two more left and thanks for hanging on with me. We are going to now return to the guts space with the type eight and the type nine.

The type eight’s drive is to influence. We see this kind of intense red color with arrows going out in different directions because they really want to make an impact and influence people. Type eights are driven to speak up, maintain autonomy, and avoid weakness. They have really great capabilities for us in our world and work. They’re known to be courageous, strong, brave, direct, and decisive. They’re also great at mobilizing others toward a cause or idea. Type eights really love to defend justice, seek out defending the marginalized, the victimized, those who don’t have a voice in the law, they give their voice to those types of folks and those types of causes. They have a really clear vision, they know where they’re headed, they know what they think. They’re more likely to speak up in a crowd when others aren’t willing to speak up. For this reason, they carry a pre-natural leadership ability. Now, leadership can come from any of these nine drives, but type eights tend to be pretty natural leaders for other reasons I already listed.

Great strengths, but there are some shortfalls for type eights. They may be known as overbearing or intimidating. Why? Because they’re very persuasive. They’re very influential. When they have an agenda—remember, they live in that gut space—so they just want to keep moving it forward, and may not be aware of how intense they’re coming across, or how sort of energetic they are. They may feel like that everyone approaches life with this generous energy that they do, but not everyone does. Some can be sort of feel steamrolled by the intensity of type eights. They may avoid personal weakness or vulnerability. Type eights can struggle with appearing weak, sharing their softer side, because they want to appear courageous, strong, decisive. That’s what they’re often honored for and find influenced because of, and so they may want to avoid any weakness or vulnerability because it contradicts in their minds that clear, decisive persona they like to put out. They may also use people for personal gain.

Remember with the type three, the drive to succeed, they may forget the people who helped them on the way to success. Well, type eights may use people on the way to their agenda, their cause, so they’re going to want to check themselves. They can bring people along pretty easily because of their decisiveness and the courage and their intensity. Type eights wanted to sort of question, “Why am I doing this? What’s my motive here?” They may be extra suspicious and vigilant of betrayal. Trust, very important; directness, very important for type eights. If they sense someone’s not giving them a full picture, being indirect, or giving them a runaround, they may just withdraw and avoid those people. They can be extra suspicious and vigilant of betrayal, so eights need to sort of check themselves and go, is this founded here or is it not?

Now, the type nine. You’ve made it this far. The type nine is the other type in the guts space. Remember, the eight, nine, and one are in the guts space, the body center. These types drives to be at peace. We see this tranquil, serene color with this peace stuff here. Type nines are driven to maintain peace, see multiple perspectives, and go with the flow. They’re very agreeable and flexible. They’re accommodating. They’ll acquiesce often. They’re known to be very easy to work with, and flexible. They’re really good at seeing multiple points of view, and bringing multiple points of view forth. If folks are having to make a decision, often type nines don’t really want to make the decision with others, but what they will do is bring the different perspectives forth to help others make a decision. They’ll often see, “Oh, what are we missing here? Oh, let’s put that on the table and see how that informs the decision you need to make.” They’re known to work towards stability and understanding. They want to bring resolution. They want to bring unity. They want to bring agreement, and they’re known to be really accepting of others. Nines are not very judgmental. They’re pretty warm, and inviting, and accepting of others. Often, folks will say they come to rest in peace with themselves when they’re with a type nine.

There are some shortfalls for type nines. They may fail to speak up, and then take it back later. Sometimes, nines just don’t know what they think or feel about a situation because they can so clearly see other people’s perspectives and points of view. They may either fail to speak up in the moment, because they don’t know what they think or feel or what matters to them or they’ll fail to speak up because they don’t want to create conflict in a situation. What happens is, they’ll maybe say yes in the moment, they’ll later think about it, they’re like, “I don’t really want to do that, that’s not really true,” they’ll try to undo it. Maybe by that time, they can’t, or it just complicates the situation. They may also lose themselves, among others. They’re so clear in other people’s points of view, they don’t really know what matters to them, can’t figure it out. They may lose themselves—we call it merging—emerge with other people.

Type nines may avoid necessary conflict and resistance because they want to go with the flow. They kind of want what’s easy, and will find the path of least resistance, but we all know, sometimes you can’t really get to peace and unity and agreement without hashing it out and putting all the cards on the table and seeing what’s there. Nines can really bring real authentic peace, when they do wade through the waters of conflict when necessary. Type nines may be a little bit lazy about priorities, because type nines can struggle with understanding their own priorities, and so they get kind of pulled along, going with the flow with other people’s priorities that they don’t really pursue their own priorities or values, and so forth. That is where the laziness kind of comes from. They want least resistance, they want to go with the flow, and that can come across as kind of lazy sometimes. Nines bring so much value to the world.

We’re thankful for all of these nine drives, so that’s an overview and deep dive a bit into all of these nine types. Each one brings tremendous value to the workplace. I’m just going to leave this slide up here for a moment, not going to talk through each one. You can see the immense value that each type can bring to workplace team as well as to the tasks at hand, whatever they have to accomplish. You want to have a variety on your team. You want to have as much capability, nuance, variety, richness that you can, so that there can be greater contributions overall. Each type does bring great work value. You’re going to want to foster these, you’re going to maximize strengths, and minimize shortfalls, so you can have a really healthy workplace. Like I’ve said, greater self awareness drives healthier teams, drives better employee engagement.

Well, thanks for watching this presentation. I hope you enjoyed it. As I said, there’s lots of free resources on growth practices, growth questions, and all sorts of things at, so don’t be a stranger there.

Now, I’m going to ask you a few questions. I’d love for you to weigh in in the discussion below. Number one: Do you have a sense of what type or types you might be drawn to? Which type or types really resonate with you? Was it the center of intelligence that helped you figure it out or was it more understanding the behaviors, or maybe workplace value that help figure it out? Why don’t you type in what type or which types do you feel drawn to? Then, why would you say that? What leads you to this conclusion? Let me ask this: How can this Enneagram tool be helpful for you in the world of human resources? How can this tool be helpful for you in your workplace? Let’s have some conversation here.

Thank you very much for watching and engaging. I hope to see you soon. Bye bye.

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