It is important to understand how other people think, what motivates them, and what causes them fear. I discovered the Enneagram this past year and knew right away that I needed to implement it with my team. The Enneagram is essentially a science of personalities. It’s been studied for many years and is an incredibly powerful tool for understanding ourselves and others.
My team and I had a retreat this past summer and I had everyone on the team take the test prior to coming. One night we discussed everyone’s personality types and it was truly enlightening. Previous communication errors made a lot more sense. I communicate in a certain way based on my personality, but certain personalities respond differently. I’ve learned to adjust my approach based on the team member I am talking to.
Here are a few KRose team members and our personality types:
Me (Karoline Rose)
I’m an Enneagram 8, The Challenger, and my personality is fairly unique. The descriptions states: I am powerful, dominating, self confident, willful, and confrontational. Eights can come across as harsh or rude, and let me tell you, I’m no exception. I have heard this a lot from people when they first meet me. Even when I was young, I’m told I came across as very bold and rude, even though I didn’t mean to (most of the time).
I have let my team know if I come across as decisive and wilful, saying what is on my mind, I’m not doing it to be rude. This is just how I function and I don’t even think about it. At their best, 8s are merciful, mastering themselves through self-surrender. They’re courageous and willing to put themselves in serious jeopardy to achieve their vision. When healthy, 8s can have lasting influence and may achieve true heroism and heroic greatness. The harder side of being an 8 is learning to yield to others and remembering the world is not against you.
Our digital marketing strategist is an Enneagram 6, The Loyalist, which rings true of her character. Loyalists are the committed, security-oriented type: engaging, responsible, anxious, and suspicious. Six’s are known as excellent troubleshooters. They can foresee problems and foster cooperation, but they can also be defensive, evasive, and anxious. Sixes might struggle with self-doubt. At their best, loyalists are internally stable and self-reliant, courageously championing themselves and others.
Sounds like a pretty great personality to be on a team, right? She keeps a lot of ships afloat, and it’s comforting to know her loyalty is so strong. Her basic fear is to be abandoned and left without support, so I try to remember this and check in with her so she knows I’ve got her back like she has mine.
Our Pinterest expert is Enneagram Type One, The Reformer, which is one of the rarer personalities. Her type is known as the rational, idealistic type, principled, purposeful, self-controlled, and perfectionistic. Ones are ethical and conscientious, with a strong sense of what is right and wrong. They are advocates for change, always trying to improve things, but afraid of making a mistake. Ones are well-organized, orderly, and try to maintain high standards. But they can slip into becoming perfectionistic and critical. They can be resentful and impatient. At their best, ones are wise, discerning, realistic, and noble. They desire to have integrity and balance and fear being corrupt/evil or defective.
Lexi’s role significantly grew after learning more about her strengths. She is incredibly organized and we have had her help with our productivity systems. She’s a great resource for opinions and objective feedback. When we see her kids crawling on her in our Zoom meetings, everyone knows Lexi has her head in the game and is as focused as ever. We can trust her because she has such a strong sense of ethical responsibility.
Our business manager is also an 8, The Challenger. She is straight-talking and decisive. Although some might see “confrontational” as a negative quality, it actually lends itself well in the business. We do have the same personality type, but of course everyone still has their individuality. I don’t love conflict and have had Rachel handle employee terminations and other tough conversations. It causes me stress, but she can take care of it with her strong personality and conviction.
Since we both are challengers, it is inevitable we will butt heads from time to time. But we understand each other very well and can step back to see where the conflict is rooted. I know Rachel will persist through any hurdles the company encounters. She’s not going to back down or give up.
Our creative writer is an Enneagram 9, The Peacemaker. This type is known as easygoing, self-effacing, receptive, reassuring, agreeable, and complacent. Nines are usually creative, optimistic, and supportive, but also can be too willing to go with the flow to keep the peace with others — even if they don’t like where the flow is going. They often have problems with stubbornness and inertia. At their best, nines are indomitable and all-embracing, capable of bringing people together and healing conflicts. They want to create harmony in their environment, avoid conflicts and tension, and resist anything upsetting.
I had noticed with Natasha before the retreat that if I didn’t get back to her on a topic, she wouldn’t push me for what she needed to finish a project. I realized she just didn’t want to be a “pest”. Now that we understand our personalities better, she is much more willing to check in with me, knowing I’m not annoyed by her follow ups. We also realized she could be a great resource for mediation whenever needed.
Learn more about the entire team here.
I also want to tell you about the 9 energies. The Enneagram alone is slightly flawed, I think, because people might not answer the questions 100 percent honestly. They might answer in the way they wish they were, instead of who they are today. With the 9 energies, you learn about how your body language expresses your personality. Each energy type has a certain look. Eights have similar structures and faces; their eyes are set the same way and they’ll sit close to you. You can learn how to better react to pressure. Some people hold power in their shoulders, hips, or in the ground.
One of our customer’s, Susan Fisher, is the co-founder of 9 Energies. I’ve been typed and I’m definitely an 8. But when I first took the Enneagram, I got a 3, known as The Achiever. I think it’s because I didn’t want to fully admit my faults. Now that I know much more about 8s and the look of 8s, I feel it is very similar to who I am.
The 9 Energies examines:
- a specific facial expression
- a quality to how the eyes are used and what they look like
- an energetic signature that occurs when the Natural Energy is active
- specific muscular and skeletal body development
Looking at both the positive and negative sides to your personality can be tough, but incredibly helpful. We can only become better by recognizing our flaws. Check out 4 Tips for Staying Emotionally Healthy.
I’m so curious to know your personality type. Comment below with your results and how you feel about them. When you know more about the people around you, there will be fewer arguments and confusion.