Every business leader and team member wants to be a part of a unified team that works together to better the lives of their customers. How to build a better team, however, is not done in the way you may think. It’s not through leadership, it’s not through strategy, it’s how you know yourself and the people you work with. By understanding your personality style, understanding the lens through which you see the world, and why you do the things you do will help you build your best team (and self).
The fastest way to create conflict and frustration amongst your team is to assume everyone thinks the way you do. By becoming self aware, you are able to better understand the unique differences within your team and the world around you, allowing you to become a better leader and employee.
One of the effective tools you can utilize to improve your self-awareness is The Enneagram. SENPA does not personally endorse The Enneagram, but has found it to be a tool worthy of mentioning. You may have heard of The Enneagram before. If you have a friend who is familiar with it, you’ve likely heard all about it. Most people that dive deep into The Enneagram become Enneagram evangelists because it is such a powerful tool. But what is it and how does it work?
What is the Enneagram?
The Enneagram is a tool to help people improve their self awareness. It’s an ancient personality typing system that teaches there are 9 basic personality types in the world. We all carry traits of each of them but we all have one type we naturally gravitate to during childhood that helps us navigate and cope with the world of relationships.
Each type has an observable way of thinking, acting, and feeling that is driven by a powerful unconscious motivation.
By understanding our type, we can begin to understand our destructive behaviors, why we do what we do, and how to change them and learn to enjoy life in a new way. By becoming self-aware you can learn to develop behaviors that are less reactive, more responsive and experience greater personal success.
What are the Types?
There are 9 Enneagram types. As a word of caution, don’t look too much into the names and rule out what you are based on the title. It’s important to do assessments further read into who you are as assessments can also be faulty. These are the types provided by Enneagram Institute.
The Reformer– The Rational, Idealistic Type: Principled, Purposeful, Self-Controlled, and Perfectionistic.
The Helper– The Caring, Interpersonal Type: Demonstrative, Generous, People-Pleasing, and Possessive.
The Achiever– The Success-Oriented, Pragmatic Type: Adaptive, Excelling, Driven, and Image-Conscious.
The Individualist– The Sensitive, Withdrawn Type: Expressive, Dramatic, Self-Absorbed, and Temperamental.
The Investigator– The Intense, Cerebral Type: Perceptive, Innovative, Secretive, and Isolated.
The Loyalist– The Committed, Security-Oriented Type: Engaging, Responsible, Anxious, and Suspicious.
The Enthusiast– The Busy, Fun-Loving Type: Spontaneous, Versatile, Distractible, and Scattered
The Challenger– The Powerful, Dominating Type: Self-Confident, Decisive, Willful, and Confrontational
The Peacemaker– The Easygoing, Self-Effacing Type: Receptive, Reassuring, Agreeable, and Complacent
By spending time researching what type you are and what type(s) your teammates are, you will be amazed at how transformative it can be in both your professional and personal life.
There are countless resources available to build your team. If you’d like to learn more about how The Enneagram can benefit you and your team, one of the best books available is The Road Back To You by Ian Morgan Cron. Ian Morgan Cron also has a podcast called Typology that is incredibly helpful. A website that is also very helpful is www.enneagraminstitute.com.