Tuesday, November 15, 2016

The Independent Style - Enneagram Five

Question: My boss (Nine) and I (Eight) have become interested in using the Enneagram for team development. At your suggestion we bought copies of Goldberg's The 9 Ways of Working, but the third member of our team still hasn't read it. He said he wasn't uncomfortable with the idea, but his body language said otherwise. I think he's probably a Five.
If your colleague is an Enneagram style Five as you've guessed, his is the most private of all nine styles. Theoretically, style Five's driving force is avarice, which doesn't translate into greed as we usually think of it – more a withholding of personal information, a stinginess of emotions

This is also the most independent Enneagram style. The connection to style Eight is attached to unconscious fears of vulnerability, and the connection to Seven is attached to avoidance of pain (or diving deeply into oneself). These are fears we all have, and could be true of your team-mate regardless of his personality style, but would be somewhat exaggerated or perhaps less known to him (more a part of his Shadow) if he is indeed a "Five."

You'll find W.H. Auden's poem instructive:
Some thirty inches from my nose
The frontier of my Person goes,
And all the untilled air between
Is private
pagus or demesne.
Stranger, unless with bedroom eyes
I beckon you to fraternize,
Beware of rudely crossing it:
I have no gun, but I can spit.
Many style Fives love the Enneagram as a basis for knowledge. And when they initiate exploration of this model, they like to use it at work. My guess is your team mate doesn't want to be ranked or classified by someone else. It may help, if you haven't already done this, to place the emphasis on you and your boss, who are already willing to go public as an "Eight" and a "Nine." Ask him to read about those two styles and to give the two of you feedback. 

If he is style Five, he may be attracted by the opportunity to learn something. Stay away from words that convey emotions, even positive ones, such as how excited you feel about being able to change yourself. Style Fives tend to place their energy into their intellect, and would disdain emotional responses until they feel safe. 

Note: A style Five reader added the following:
"About your recalcitrant Five, I think the key is to find someone who can get into his internal worldview and find out what the block is. He may have some construct like 'psychology is bunk,' in which case winning him over may only be possible via someone who can show him in an objective fashion that the Enneagram is an elegant system for understanding human motivational patterns. I've recently come to the conclusion that someone I've been close to for a long time is style Five. He's not interested in the Enneagram. He has an active mental life and I think he sees the Enneagram as a competing philosophy. Since he processes things more slowly than I, he may have a valid point with regard to the precious resource of time, but I strongly believe the Enneagram can beautifully integrate with nearly any philosophy or worldview."

No comments:

Post a Comment