The famous politician and orator Seneca said: “Work and strife always call on the bravest”. Two millennia after, this quote can be still applied to the labour world. But, what does it mean to be the best and bravest? The most studious one may not be the most suitable for a certain job position. That could be also the case for the most emotionally intelligent, the most personable… What determines the aptitude for a particular professional profile or another?

Russ Hudson and Don Riso are not familiar names to public consciousness in Spain, but their tool for promoting personality self-analysis certainly is. They were responsible for bringing into the field of modern psychology a technique over 2 500 years in existence. Although its true value is best demonstrated within already stablished work environments, it’s also used as an additional test to job interviews and candidate selection processes so that you can recognize yourself among a group of professionals. In this article we’re going to delve into the utility of enneagrams of personality within work environments.

Every professional profile is necessary

If there’s something to keep in mind is that every work needs diverse profiles. Some are more physically demanding, other require temperance before stressful situations, or well-developed craft and interpersonal skills. You’re probably aware of the skills that require more effort and motivation. It’s both your personality and your professional profile what speaks, not your duties.

Doing this test is useful for you as an individual professional, but also as a part of a workteam. You will improve your self-knowledge and the way you interact with people. In addition, it allows team managers to assign you duties that you’ll probably perform effectively based on your nature. It can also serve as a tool to select certain candidates according to what a company requires for a particular position.

Enneagram of personality

Your professional profile’s enneagram

Hudson and Riso devised nine enneatypes that determine your professional profile. We’re going to classify them into three groups and define some of the professional features of each one of them. Enneatypes are extremely complex and their behaviour is defined, to a great extent, by the relationship among them. No enneatype is better than the next, and even if we fit better into a certain one, we all have some professional skills from the remaining eight.

The key lies in taking advantage of this complexity within work environments. If we define enneatypes based on how well or badly they fit together, we’ll know how a team will work, which are the critical points to keep an eye on an who will be a better match regarding joint tasks.

Enneatypes of survival: 1,8,9

They’re survivors because they’re the ones who react best before the most primal instincts: good and evil, power and preservation.

People with sound principles and strong ethics belong to enneatype one. Their sense of justice combines with their ability to help others. In working environments, these professional profiles are prone to pursue a career in Law or in rule-abiding positions. They’re excellent coaches and advisors as well.

Enneatype eight is comprised by people who fit perfectly in the role of a leader. Their protective nature, but also their non-conformism, makes them accountable for their decisions. Self-confident and strong, their personality fits into the notion of the perfect team manager.

Those capable of adapting to the most diverse situations, offering their support so that everything runs smoothly, belong to enneatype nine. Their conciliatory role makes them involve in the most integrating side of different professional careers (social educators, therapists).

Enneatypes of emotion: 2,3,4

These professional profiles respond emotionally first, then with reason.

Enneatype two may resemble enneatype nine, since both offer their assistance to others, but a number two does it because he likes to feel sought-after. They’re generous and they monitor the performance of other colleagues. The role of assistant, coordinator or support person is perfect for them.

Professional profiles oriented to professional success and with great adaptive capacity belong to enneatype three. Self-confident and ambitious, they’re motivated by their personal growth. Since they care about their image, they’re excellent sales representatives. They also fit in a company where internal promotion is encouraged.

More introspective and personal individuals belong to enneatype four. This is the professional profile of creative people, that is, every professional with the soul of an artist. Graphic designers, content writers, community managers… any job that requires thinking outside the box.

Enneatypes of the mind: 5,6,7

Contrary to previous types, these professional profiles prioritize their thoughts and the use of reason.

The most curious and insightful professionals belong to enneatype five. They have great concentration span, thus focusing on developing ideas and skills. They’re usually independent and innovative, so the role of observer suits them perfectly. They also perform research and strategy design duties proficiently.

And if you’re looking for somebody committed to the cause, with remarkable abilities regarding security, the best is to have an individual from enneatype six around. They’re usually good and accountable workers. The team role that suits them most is the one of trouble-shooter, since stress and pressure are not an issue for them. They usually have prominent roles in times of crisis.

Enneatype seven, the last in our list, belongs to enthusiasts. They multitask and encourage others to perform their duties properly. Their quest for new experiences turns them into a challenge regarding talent retention. Their role in the team is to devise new ideas, although they also enjoy dealing with complex matters.

Sources: El País, Expansión, Testeneagrama

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