The enneagram is a tool dating back hundreds of years with roots in religion and philosophy that’s having its moment in 2020. If you’re unfamiliar with the enneagram, it’s often described as a personality profile, but really, it’s a tool for personal growth and development that reveals how we’ve responded to our environment in healthy and unhealthy ways. When you take the test or simply read through the descriptions, you’ll select a number, one through nine, that you identify with. Each number represents a different perspective, temperament, and response to the world around us.
In the last couple years, the enneagram has sprouted everything from meme accounts to new literature- but today, we’re examining the enneagram and the workplace. Each type can bring fantastic strength to a team, and a team made up of people with diverse numbers will have a more holistic approach to business.
1- The Reformer
The reformer type is known for having a high standard for excellence and a sharp inner critic. A healthy 1 can elevate the performance of their whole team. Their presence commands (not demands!) that others also step up to the plate and produce better results. Reformers can be great leaders and visionaries who are committed to righting wrongs and making progress.
How the Reformer operates at A & G:
Kent, our Co-Founder and Director of Marketing leads our team with his deep belief we CAN be better, bigger, and stronger. His commitment to the highest degree of integrity ensures we’re a business based on ethical decision-making.
2- The Helper
The helper type is intensely relational and cares about people wholeheartedly. Healthy twos are great at identifying the needs of others and finding ways to meet those needs, while still advocating for themselves well. Their kindness is infectious and can de-escalate a tense conversation. In a work environment, twos can build the camaraderie that takes company culture to a new level.
How the Helper operates at A & G:
Josh, our Digital Consultant, is a thriving two. We think of him as our “Chief Encourager” and his positive outlook and genuine care for each member of our team has gotten us through some tough days. Twos can also be great leaders- recently showcased when Josh led our team to victory in an escape room during our development retreat!
3- The Achiever
The achiever type is high performing, driven to success, and has the capacity for managing a heavy workload and a lot of responsibility. Threes are often fast learners who can adapt to a new role and work culture quickly. They win people over in every room they walk into with their charisma and charm.
How the Achiever operates at A & G:
We don’t currently have any threes on our team, but often discuss how our next hire might just need to be an achiever!
4- The Individualist
The individualist is a type marked by their uniqueness and rich inner life. Individualists are often artists, as they experience their emotions deeply and can express them beautifully and eloquently. In the workplace, individualists can help us see past “the way we’ve always done it,” and identify a fresh approach.
How the Individualist operates at A & G:
Rachel T, our Graphic Designer, is an excellent example of how the creativity and unique lens of the individualist can benefit a team. Rachel can transform what looks at the start like a mundane campaign into something compelling and authentic. She’s re-worked several of our internal processes because she never settles for the status quo.
5- The Investigator
The investigator type is known for their ability to truly focus and dive deep on the subjects that interest them. They surround themselves with knowledge- making them an incredible resource for any team! When type fives work in a role they’re passionate about, they can be unmatched in their commitment, ability to learn, and solve even the most complex problems.
How the Investigator operates at A & G:
Surprisingly for a tech company, we don’t currently have an Investigator on our team- but we’d love to meet the right match!
6- The Loyalist
Type sixes are known to be dependable, committed, and great at spotting problems before they arise. When loyalists are paired with the optimism of a visionary type, they can help translate big, intimidating goals into realistic action steps by breaking them down into smaller parts and anticipating where things could go wrong.
How the Loyalist operates at A & G:
We’re currently lacking a six! But with lots of big personalities and dreamers on our team, we’d love to add the grounded perspective of the Loyalist.
7- The Enthusiast
The enthusiast type is known for their vibrant, all-in approach to life and optimistic worldview. Even if today has been challenging, tomorrow will be better! Type sevens bring an eagerness to the workplace that can inspire the other types to action, and their radiance can bring a big uptick to company culture. Sevens are great “dreamers,” who, when paired with practical guidance, can be visionaries that propel any company forward. They’re often “people people” and great at building relationships.
How Enthusiasts operate at A & G:
Ashby & Gabriel is blessed to have TWO type sevens on our team!
Rachel M has been an account executive with us since the earliest days of A & G, and her enthusiastic embrace of the company and its values set the tone for our culture and aggressive growth goals. The first years of a new startup can be overwhelming, and it was Rachel’s belief that big things were coming to A & G that helped us realize that vision.
Mariah joined our team last year as a Marketing Assistant. Her enthusiasm makes her a fast learner and excellent at customer service. Sevens are known as great brainstormers, quick on their feet and able to come up with new ideas quickly. Those traits make Mariah a great content manager for our social media feeds.
8- The Challenger
Type eights are strong, bold leaders who don’t back down from a challenge. They’re willing to face the difficult conversations, uphill battles, and complex negotiations that are part of the business world. They’re high energy and often find themselves gravitating towards leadership roles. Healthy eights are assertive rather than abrasive, and can push a company forward.
How the Challenger operates at A & G:
I’m a type eight, and my role at A & G focuses on managing our team as well as some of our more complex clients. Since I’m less afraid of difficult or uncomfortable conversations than other types, I handle most of our contract negotiations and enjoy that part of my job!
9- The Peacemaker
Type nines are dependable and diplomatic. In the workplace (and in life) they’re able to see multiple perspectives on a situation, and their ability to empathize with others can prevent conflict. Healthy nines can provide valuable insight into the complex dynamics of workplace relationships, and help pushy-er or more assertive types move towards more rational solutions.
How the Peacemaker operates at A &G:
We don’t currently have any nines on our team! But we’d love to have their nuanced perspective as we continue to grow.
Every enneagram type brings unique strengths to the workplace. In this blog, I’ve focused on what the healthy version of each type has to offer. When teams lean into understanding and growing their mental and emotional health, everyone around them also benefits. We’ve experienced that positive influence at A & G. Do you have any thoughts about the enneagram and the workplace? Let us know!