When you come face-to-face with someone who you don’t necessarily vibe with, how do you rise above to overcome the challenge?
Taking that question one step further… What happens when the person you don’t mesh well with happens to work alongside you in the office?
If you’ve ever struggled with getting along with a coworker in the workplace, then you’re certainly not alone! It can be tough to put aside your differences to get the job done well… but it doesn’t need to be impossible!
This week on Episode 114 of the podcast, I’m sitting down with author, speaker and entrepreneur, Jenn Jett, to talk all about knowing your Enneagram type and how it can change your life.
Now, some of you may be wondering… What’s the Enneagram, and why is it so important? For those of you who haven’t heard of this word before, I want to encourage you to think about the Enneagram as a sort of personality test–but on a much deeper level.
Unlike most personality tests that typically only measure your behavior, the Enneagram takes everything one step further to determine why you think, feel, and behave the way that you do and how you tend to look at the world and those around you based on those results. Another bonus to the Enneagram test? It also helps you identify the specific ways you can grow!
Sounds pretty fun, right?
So today, I want to take the idea of using the Enneagram to help you learn to embrace the differences that exist between you and any coworkers you have that you might not get along well with so that you can come to a level of understanding that will be beneficial for you and all involved as you continue to navigate your working life.
And with that in mind… Let’s take a look at what the Enneagram can uncover for you, and how you can use your results to get a better handle on things with your coworkers!
Similar to the Myers-Briggs test, the Enneagram test ultimately reveals where you fall within the nine different personality types that it measures, which is typically indicated by the numbers 1-9.
While we discuss more about this on Episode 114, I’ll give you a brief overview of how the nine types are differentiated here:
1 – The Reformer
2 – The Helper
3 – The Achiever
4 – The Individualist
5 – The Investigator
6 – The Loyalist
7 – The Enthusiast
8 – The Challenger
9 – The Peacemaker
Understanding your number will help you uncover where the focus of your attention typically lies, your type’s “life lesson”, the somatic patterns that you tend to follow, as well as some tips for relating to others that share your number.
One of the coolest things about the Enneagram test is that it doesn’t just stop with your personality type. It can also determine where your home base is within the three areas that it measures: the Body, the Heart, and the Head.
Let’s take a quick look at all three home bases and what they can reveal:
The Body – Personality types with this home base tend to lead with the body for movement, awareness and gut-level (instinctual) knowing. Their focus tends to be on personal security, control, social belonging, and taking the right action.
Types 1, 8 and 9 fall within this home base.
The Heart – Personality types with this home base tend to approach life from a feeling-base, with an emphasis on the heart for positive and negative feelings that help them determine the right steps to take; they typically have a lot of empathy and concern for others, and their focus is usually on success and their relationships.
Types 2, 3 and 4 fall within this home base.
The Head – Personality types with this home base tend to lead their lives by their ideas; they are the thinkers of the bunch, figuring things out as rationally as possible and taking a lot of pride in their decision-making processes before acting. Their focus tends to be on creating certainty and safety in their lives.
Types 5, 6 and 7 fall within this home base.
What’s important about understanding your home base is that it can tell you where your primary center is and how that influences your way of being in the world… which is an important key to overcoming your blind spots and to developing your potential as an individual!
No personality test would be complete, in my opinion, if it didn’t help you to uncover exactly where your strengths and weaknesses lie. In terms of the Enneagram, this again has a lot to do with your personality type and where your home base happens to be.
The key to understanding your personality type and where your home base is is that it can help you uncover what other bases you need to pay close attention to in order to find balance in your life. Balance is most achievable when we are able to lend care to all three bases simultaneously!
Now that we’ve gone over a few things that the Enneagram test can uncover about you as an individual… How can you use the Enneagram to your advantage when it comes to getting along better with your coworkers at the office?
The answer is simple, really!
Having a better understanding of your own personality type and paying close attention to the differences that encompass the other types of the Enneagram, you’ll be able to gain a better understanding of those around you.
By learning to recognize these different points of view, you’ll be able to understand your co-workers’ motivations (stemming from where their own home base happens to be), their needs and concerns, as well as their own style of working and of relating to those around them.
The Enneagram can ultimately help you and your co-workers identify each other’s strengths and challenges at work; to build rapport with each other and reduce conflict; to cooperate at higher levels of effectiveness; and to maximize each other’s potential and highest contribution to your work projects, tasks, and the like.
Have you taken the Enneagram test before? I’d love to hear what you think about your results! Share your experiences in the comments below… and be sure to tune in to Episode 114 of Productivity Paradox to hear even more about what Jen Jett had to say about the importance of the Enneagram, and where you can take the test yourself to learn all about your personality type, your home base, and more if you haven’t already!