Knowing your Enneagram patterns gives a glimpse into what others see,
but may not be saying.

by Leslie Hershberger

Sometimes, it’s hard for people to tell us the hard stuff. Or, if they do, it’s hard to be receptive to what they are saying.

Below, I list common feedback I hear from people when working with people of your style. Remember, this is a protective, automatic mechanism, so be kind to yourself as you bring these blindspots to awareness.

Challenge: Getting stuck in what others think of you.

This results in letting others’ perceptions of you drive your behavior and over influence your own self image. You also assume others want the same things you want. It’s important for you to connect to your own feelings.

Type 2: The Giver
Your co-workers may see you generous, but also as overly flattering, overly intrusive or conversely, overly complaining when you perceive you and others aren’t appreciated or aren’t doing things the way you would do them. Not everyone wants or needs the positive affirmations that are important to you. While your generosity and an intuitive ability to see what is needed is an essential way you can support your team, it also can be over-the-top leaving you burnt out, resentful and complaining. Pausing before you say “yes” is crucial. (Sometimes it’s helpful to say “maybe” to give yourself time to be alone and assess your energy level).

Type 3: The Performer
Your co-workers may see you as productive, but they may also see you as overly competitive and not transparent. 
This may cause others to not trust you. Threes tend to shape information about their selves or their circumstances in a way downplays the negative and highlights the positive. Not all people find this spin helpful. They want the whole story. Sometimes you aren’t aware when you are withholding. This is why slowing down is important.

Young woman holding emotive masks

Young woman holding emotive masks

Type 4: The Individualist
Your co-workers may see you interesting, but overly self-focused, intense and crucial.
This may cause others to withdraw from you or feel as if they can’t please you. Self focus also may lead you to assume what you want is also what your customers want. Or, you may assume others in your workplace want what you want. While an ideal relationship and workplace is something to which you can strive, you tend to get stuck in your own emotions and imagined ideals. This is rooted in your tendency to assume you personally, are not meeting your imagined ideal.

PAUSE Practices for all 3 Heart Types:

Head Practice: Notice when your attention is on others’ view of you and ways in which you alter yourself to convey a certain image. Come back to yourself and reflect objectively.

Ask yourself: Can I remember a time when I did something for the simple joy of doing it rather than doing it while conscious of what others thought? Where was I? What was it like? How did I feel?

Heart Practice: Notice when you are competing/comparing yourself or those on your team with others. While competition and comparison can motivate us to bring our best self to work and be better human beings, you tend to overuse it. You tend to assume others operate this way. Pause and appreciate the simple things you bring to the workplace. This will help you appreciate things in others…even the ones you aren’t trying to impress or influence.

Ask others: Once you have slowed down and you are in a state of appreciation, check in with others. Ask them, “How are you doing? How are we doing as a team? Do you have any insights to share?” Be sure to ask people you see as less important or who you have never thought about. They sometimes have jewels that would surprise you.

Body Practice: Breathe deep into your belly. Practice taking slow, deep breaths into your diaphragm. Do this breathing without trying to accomplish anything and without comparing yourself. Just be with yourself for a few moments and get yourself grounded. This well help you monitor your energy as you tend to over-do and jump into things to please others without thinking about its impact on your energy level.

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