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The Nine Personalities at Work

Knowing and understanding the bias of your own personality and those around you improves relationships at work and in personal life.

Take a new and different look at people's basic deep motivation in life to develop a greater understanding of your own strengths and derailers and those of people around you. The chief features of the nine personalities are outlined below - do you recognise yourself?



Type One: The Perfectionist, Reformer, Judge

Seek a perfect world and work diligently to improve themselves, everyone and everything around them. Meticulous and work by the book. Lead by example, standard setting, and believe their job is to set clear goals and inspire others to achieve highest quality. Interpersonal style is normally clear, precise, direct, and exacting, using carefully chosen words and phrases expressed in a seemingly polite manner. Both self-controlled and spontaneously reactive, amused and sceptical, playful yet also serious and prone to flares of irritation or outbursts of anger. Have a highly active, sometimes relentless inner critic and can be judgemental and demanding of themselves and others. As team members and in meetings expect clearly written goals and objectives because that’s the correct way to run a meeting. Development begins by accepting that everything isn't perfect, by injecting humour and lightness into life, especially when compulsive thinking or doing takes over and by scheduling free time for letting the right priorities surface.


Type Two: The Giver, Helper, Caretaker

Want to be liked by those they want to like them, try to meet others' needs and to manage the people and events in their lives. Lead by motivation and encouragement, and believe their job is to assess the qualities of their team and motivate towards achievement of goals. Interpersonal style is to appear warm, be good listeners, offer advice that they expect others to take. Can appear vulnerable, even childlike as if needing protection but also exhibit assertiveness to move groups or institutions forward. Take great pride in own image as a helper and giver. Get a sense of value and importance by being desirable and indispensable. As team members and in meetings want there to be a forum to express their ideas. Development begins by recognising own needs rather than meeting others' needs and learning to give without expecting something in return. Knowing own worth and overcoming sense of pride of being "indispensable".


Type Three: The​ Performer, Achiever, Succeeder

Believe that approval depends on image and status and seek respect and admiration by being and appearing successful. Lead by setting goals, making plans and wanting positive results, and by fostering a successful work environment and structure. Fast- paced and expect others to keep up. Interpersonal style is needing to be seen as happy and confident, energetic and effective and are very astute at matching their image to fit others' expectations. Driven, competitive, hard-working and productive, sometimes impatient of others' feelings. As team members want to be seen as performing well and taking action to wrap things up positively. Development begins by recognising that doing is not feeling, by stopping and letting "reality" surface, detaching from performance and taking stock of inner values.

Personality Type Four

Type Four: The Romantic, Individualist, Artist

Search for deep experiences, emotional connection and avoid rejection and generally feel unique and very different from others. Lead by flair, distinction and inspiration through their vision and strong connection, and by creating an environment that gives meaning and purpose to people. Interpersonal style is individualistic, emotionally sensitive and creative, combining self-reference and dramatic behaviour with an overwhelming need to share deep experiences and connection, and avoidance of rejection. Can overdramatise and appear jealous or envious. As team members want the group to act as a forum to connect and express their ideas. Development begins by learning to appreciate the ordinary and focusing on what's good and present rather than what's missing and distant.


Type Five: The Observer, Recluse, Thinker

Are private, self-controlled, and highly independent. Preoccupied with the life of the mind and search for insight, knowledge and wisdom. Don't like intrusion or demands on their time. Lead from a distance through analysis, knowledge, deliberation, research and planning to create meaningful and uniform goals. Interpersonal style is to compartmentalise and to maintain strong boundaries, converse intellectually about topics meaning they can appear very detached and remote, all the while hiding their underlying warmth. As team members like to keep things on track and not get involved personally. Development begins by allowing feelings in and noticing disconnection to people and surroundings  and when thinking replaces feeling; learning to value spontaneity and not withdraw.

Personality Type Six

Type Six: The Devil’s Advocate, Loyal Sceptic, Questioner

Alert to their surroundings and watchful, they tend to question everything as a way to be prepared for anything. Dislike unpredictability and continually worry about what can go wrong, therefore are good planners and organisers. Lead by and expect loyalty and use creative problem solving to pull people into the fold. Strong under adversity.  Interpersonal style is warm, reliable, loyal and genuine, sometimes appearing either fearful and anxious or challenging, or both. Are highly insightful and intuitive to situations and people. Can sometimes make mountains out of molehills and doesn't trust easily. As team members make sure that rules are stuck to and worst-case scenarios are considered and planned for. Development begins when self-doubt is recognised and overcome, and to stop procrastination by learning to trust and believe in themselves.


Type Seven: The Epicure, Visionary, Connoisseur

Crave excitement and stimulation from anything or anyone new, avoid pain and engage in positive planning to keep options open. Optimistic and focussed on the bright side. Lead through new ideas and generating excitement around positive opportunities. Devise plans and delegate. Excellent networkers. Interpersonal style: spontaneous, enthusiastic and disarming, fast and nimble witted, generally open and honest in sharing their opinions. Have extensive social networks and often enjoy fostering both family and friends to success. Can have problems with commitment and constancy both in personal and professional sphere. As team members have little time for formality but are great initiators and ideas people. Development starts by recognising attraction to stimulation and by learning not to focus on pleasurable alternatives to flee the negative. Becoming willing to close down possibilities and stick with one course of action.

Type Eight: The Boss, Protector, Challenger

Type Eight: The Boss, Protector, Challenger

Believe in one truth and justice, and that the good things in life come to those who take control. Do anything to conceal their own inner vulnerability at any cost. Lead decisively through strategy, expect respect, exert influence over and empower others, and take action and control of situations. Interpersonal style is lusty, assertive, bold and confident and they appear unmoveable and highly protective of significant others especially the weak or unfairly treated. Can appear confrontational, bossy or excessive in their behaviour, and as having a black and white view of things and life. As team members, work tenaciously towards ensuring that right action is taken but are not easily lead or told what to do. Will aim to keep things on track and take control. Development begins with recognising and acknowledging own vulnerability, taking a step back and waiting for others to initiate action first.

Type Nine: The Peacemaker, Mediator, Harmoniser

Type Nine: The Peacemaker, Mediator, Negotiator

Search for harmony and comfort and avoid tension and conflict. Can be agreeable even to the point of overlooking their own needs not to cause disharmony or conflict. Excellent facilitators being able to see multiple points of view and create a calm and peaceful atmosphere around themselves. Lead by mediation-driven consensus, creating a harmonious work atmosphere and by having collective goals. Or may lead by the book to avoid being personally challenged. Interpersonal style is patient and easy-going, non-invasive and non-assertive, affable and humorous. Take time to make decisions and don't like to be pushed into doing things when they can become stubborn. Can end up unhealthily overindulging as a result of being overly compliant to others' needs and keeping the peace. As team members, like clear structured processes, want to be heard and have their opinions listened to, are approachable and facilitative. Development begins with recognising own opinions and wants, and overcoming the passivity caused by the anger of denial.

The Enneagram Advantage

The Enneagram in a business setting is structured to show characteristics that people with the same profile have in common and focuses on normal and high achieving individuals, training them how to recognise how colleagues think, feel and sort information in the workplace. Contrary to models used by other systems, here is a way of stepping out of a box rather than into one.

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