What's Your Number? Using the Enneagram at Work
"Do you know your number?"
A slightly unconventional interview question, but a favorite nonetheless.
If you've spent some time on social media, you've likely bumped into a personality test that's gaining in popularity known as the Enneagram. Not to be confused with a pentagram, the Enneagram categorizes people into 9 different personality types based primarily on their fears and motivations. Much like other personality tests such as Myers-Briggs or Strength Finders, the Enneagram is a powerful tool when it comes to self-awareness, communication, relationships, and workplace environments.
The Enneagram at Work
If you have a job, odds are you spend most of your waking day at that job. Whether you're an employee, employer, or somewhere in between, the Enneagram offers insight into areas in which you and/or your team are strong, weak, and most importantly, areas to grow. Having a well-rounded team with a variety of Enneagram numbers allows for unique perspectives and a diversity of skill sets.
There's strength in numbers.
It might be tempting to have an accounting office full of 5s or a band of 4s. Like anything, representation is key. Is your organization lacking in creativity? It might be time to add a 4 into the mix. Does your team lack leadership? Maybe it could benefit from the natural born leadership of an 8. An unmotivated office could be the perfect environment for a 3 to inspire.
While no person can or should be reduced to just a number, understanding the strengths and corresponding weaknesses of each Enneagram number on your team can be yet another tool to help you put people in the right places and, consequently, develop your work and personal environments in a positive and beneficial way.
As an employer, keep the Enneagram in mind when hiring, assembling teams, considering leadership positions. As an employee, think about your Enneagram number and where your skills would best be suited. Have a conversation with your boss or use the Enneagram's language in potential interviews. The possibilities are endless!
How have you used the Enneagram at work? What are some areas you could implement Enneagram insights?