Enneagram Test For Your Business

Episode Summary

In this episode, Matt and Rick discuss how to use the Enneagram Test For Your Business to help your team communicate better. 

Episode Notes

Listen in as we talk about the Enneagram which is a great tool of communication. We talk about this test, what it entails, how to use it and how it gives you an idea about the different types of people on your team and how they communicate. 

There are nine different personality types on the Enneagram Test, we go through each of them in detail and how their personality affects their communication and how they relate with other team members. It is important to note that there are no wrong or negative personalities. Also, the key is to understand your own type and how it may affect other people. This is how we apply the Enneagram Test for your business.

Everybody has one dominant personality type and a secondary one. However, as a business owner, once you understand your individual team member’s dominant personality types and their secondary personality types, you can assign them the roles that suit them well. Tune in as we go through each of the nine personality types in great detail.

Key Takeaways

  • What is the Enneagram Test for your business and how to use it to improve communication in your team (2:06)
  • The nine different personalities in the Enneagram Test (4:35)
  • The advantages and downsides of a reformer  (4:48)
  • Identifying your dominant personality and your secondary personality type and why it is important for coaches to have a caring interpersonal personality (7:53)
  • Why an achiever personality type is good at sales and marketing (11:06)
  • Why the challenger personality type makes a good team coach (24:28)
  • Understanding the positives sides of every personality type and coaching to improve on the negative side (31:47)

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Mentioned in this episode

Matt Helland

Rick Mayo 

Alloy Personal Training Franchise



The Enneagram Test For Your Business

Something that we use here at work that we really like, is something called the Enneagram Test For Your Business. Now, I’m not going to lay claim to coming up with the idea to use it for business. There are consultants and companies that will come in and administer the enneagram for you and then help you understand how it works for your company. 

We first heard about it on the Andy Stanley podcast through the lens of business. For us the enneagram is a great tool for communication. 

If we want to take a step back, what is an enneagram? The Enneagram is a model of personality in which there are nine personality types, related to each other according to the geometry of the Enneagram figure. There are different versions of it. It gives you an idea of how you communicate and of how people on your team communicate. Here’s the thing that you guys need to hear before we dig into the types is that there are no wrong types right there. There’s no right or wrong type, it is just helpful to understand your own type. Which helps explain some of your reactions to communication. It really helps for you to understand your teammates’ types, Then you understand maybe why they react the way they do. There may be times that their behavior seems off-putting or different, when in fact, there is no right or wrong. It’s just we all look at to assume that we all look at the world through the same lens would be crazy. This is a great way to measure how we all look at the world differently.  

I’d highly recommend there’s a couple of free tests online. There are some questions about the validity of the free ones, but that’s what we started with. It’s just a simple way to do it. This is something you could even do right now guys. If you guys are working remotely with your teams, have them go and take the enneagram test online and then do a zoom call and compare notes on what people found and have them explain how maybe how it made them feel. Also have other people comment about the other person’s results. Keep it positive. It’s a great test, and it has some real longevity and proven results. 

There are nine different types in the enneagram. And again, none of them are wrong. So what we’re going to do today is just walk through each type and then talk about what that type looks like in your business. 

The first one is the Reformer. This is a rational, idealistic type, principled, purposeful, self controlled and a perfectionist.

We have a couple of these types on our team and one is an absolute perfectionist. The positives of a perfectionist is that you’re going to get good quality work, they’re going to be most happy and thriving when they’re giving you really good output or really good work. Now the downside can be that because they are so convicted to perfection, they can be a bit judgmental. This is the wrong way to do it. For this type things are either black or white, there is no middle ground. As you know, there’s always a middle ground. Another challenge with this type is that they typically will suffer from paralysis through analysis.

Let’s just say in our organization one of our core values is to drive change. Well, change is messy, and it’s ugly, and it’s not perfect. The Reformer may struggle in our organization as an example, because we are ready fire aim, and they would prefer to have everything dialed in 100% perfect. All data points, all eyes dotted all T’s crossed, or we can’t launch it at all. And so if you have that person on your team, understand that in a healthy way, they’re going to help you push for absolute perfection. There’s nothing wrong with that. However, you’re going to have to help them emotionally navigate what is good enough. Sometimes good enough is good enough to get something out there.

Number two, this definitely fits the mold for a coach, the Helper. This is the caring interpersonal type who demonstrates generosity, often people pleasing and possessive.

Almost everyone on our team had at least what they call a wing. So we’ll take this opportunity to explain you typically have a dominant personality. And then you have what you call a wing, which is sort of just thought of as like a sub or maybe a close second. You might have the dominant one and you lean towards another one. That makes sense, right? Everybody on our team was either a two first, or at least had a wing. It’s great because the twos are emotionally intelligent, they feel what other people feel.

They’re compassionate. Perfect to help in this setting up to be a coach or a personal trainer to be customer service, two is a great personality type. I was pleased to see that most of our guys had at least a wing. Now, the drawback with the two is they’re going to struggle with professional boundaries a little bit.

Think about our business, like the coaches that we’ve had in the past that take on the burden and the problems and the drama of their clients personally. We’ve had coaches here who are real high twos, which on one end makes them absolutely amazing. In an unhealthy way it can make them Again, a little bit burned out. You know, we’ve had coaches leave here in tears because we’re driving change. Change is not always popular, and they’re getting negative feedback and they take so much of that in, it’s like, you can take a negative comment from a client, and you take it to heart. For a two this can be overwhelming because they’re feeling what everyone feels right.

The possessive part, I think goes back to a personal relationship, two can be the most giving person ever, but there may be some expectations for giving back. That could cross over to business as well in some ways. I’m gonna do all these things like I’m pouring my heart into all these people, then without expressing it directly, there’s probably some expectation to get some of that back in return. If a two is working with a client who’s a cold fish, it might be a huge turnoff because they feel like God I’m putting in all this effort and they’re not even recognizing me. 

Two’s are great, you just have to keep them healthy by helping them understand who they are, and to have professional boundaries.

Number three, this is another wing that we see a lot with our coaches. This is the Achiever. The success oriented pragmatic type of adaptive excelling, driven.

This would be a great person for sales, honestly, because this person is a scorekeeper. They want to be the best and everything they do. Not only do they want to be the best, but they also want to be seen as the best. That’s where that image conscious thing came in. They don’t want to go out onto the floor and look like they don’t know what they’re doing. Or maybe they are people who might dress a certain way, because there’s a certain image that they’re trying to upkeep. This type wants to work for a company that looks smart and successful. These scorekeepers are usually highly competitive. Which is why they lean towards sales. 

The good thing is if you’ve got somebody like in a sales position, you’re putting out programs you are looking for tangible wins. They thrive under these circumstances. Asking them, “how many leads did we get last week?” It’s like you’re keeping score for a game. It is something that can be measured.  The only downside to that is sometimes there’s things happening in the business that aren’t necessarily competitive or measurable, right. And that can be a bit frustrating for threes, because everything is performance based.

As a three, you have to make up your own game sometimes. Keep challenging yourself.

Number four, I don’t think we see this one a lot. This is the Individualist. The sensitive, withdrawn type, expressive, dramatic, self absorbed and temperamental.

The least percentage of all people in the enneagram test. So you can say the least percentage of the population, these are your brooding artists. These individuals are painters, musicians, things like that. They’re highly creative. Which is awesome. But they’re typically not going to do as well in a group setting or in a corporate setting. 

Number five is the Investigator. The intense cerebral type, perceptive, innovative, secretive and isolated.

This is your CFO, perhaps, or definitely your accounting department. The negative with these folks is they can be seen as aloof or not part of the team, somewhat detached. They typically don’t bring the level of enthusiasm that the rest of the team brings. On the flip side, somebody’s got to sit in a room and go through spreadsheets and assess data.

This is a tough personality type to combine with a high level of energy that’s needed in fitness. So, again, the pluses if you can get these people healthy, they can participate enough in the team dynamics and they’re going to bring something to the team that most of the skill sets and fitness don’t have. 

Number six, this is the Loyalist, committed security oriented type, engaging, responsible, anxious and suspicious.

I will say that as an owner, and an entrepreneur and as sort of a squirrel brained person, this person drives me nuts. This is the person where you’re sitting around the table, you’ve been conceptualizing this idea, you put it all down on paper, you’re going to present to your team and you’re like, guys, here’s what we’re doing. Then half the team’s like, yeah, then there’s that one person every time who raises their hand.

Here’s what you have to understand, those people are 100% necessary. The reason is, is somebody’s got to say, Hey, wait a minute, like if you got a whole roomful of gogo, you know, excitement, who’s the one person that’s like, Well, hello, like, you realize that this could happen, right?

Number seven, this is the Enthusiast. The busy fun loving, type, spontaneous versatile, distractible, and scattered.

The great thing about these folks, they typically have a ton of friends. They go to every party. And generally have FOMO every day. This person is the life of the party. Everybody at work loves them, they bring the energy up. Typically, it’s fun when they’re there you just feel their presence and they have a great time. The opposite side of that is this person is generally disorganized, possibly going to show up late. We’ve had coaches like that in the past that maybe weren’t the best at dotting their eyes and crossing their T’s. However, they were so frickin impactful with clients that we put up with it. Then you navigate around it and you coach them to help them understand through the lens of the enneagram. You point out, here’s the amazing attributes that you have and what you bring to the table, here’s the challenges. 

And here’s some things that if you’re just aware of it, you could be better at it, right? So you can’t be late. You can’t be you know, those types of things. So but you have to make them aware of it,

Number eight, this is the Challenger, which is the powerful, dominating type self confident, decisive, willful and confrontational.

These people aren’t always in positions of leadership. The plus is that when the chips are down, this person typically steps up well, like I enjoy a crisis, tends to problem solve and is protective.  

The big negative is that you can come across as way too overbearing and not realize it. You need to power back a little bit like letting other people take the stage. Learn to be quiet in the meetings. It’s gonna be tough, but that’s a healthy eight because the upsides to eight is that’s the person you want when the chips are down to push your organization through or to lead you into battle. 

Number nine, is the Peacemaker. The easygoing, self efficacy of some type of skating can say that when receptive, reassuring, agreeable and complacent.

The peacemaker is the largest percentage of people. My wife is one. So what’s funny is imagined being a peacemaker who hates conflict, and you’re married to an eight who thinks the way to any success is through conflict. It doesn’t make it easy, but understanding it certainly makes it easy. What happens with nines is they just sort of roll with the punches. They can be a grounding force for everyone around them. They’re just going to come to work and do what’s in front of them. Keep the peace and keep the seas calm. It’s nice to have a grounding force on any team. The negatives are, can be that they can be seen as a bit stubborn. A lot of it is just like maybe resistance to change. However, they won’t outwardly say, Hey, I’m not doing that because they don’t like conflict. What will happen is they might just kind of sit back and disconnect.  

You just have to be patient with them. And you have to understand that just because they’re not rah rah all the time doesn’t mean that they’re not on board. Their personality type moves a bit slower, a little bit more calculated. 

Again, the Enneagram Test For Your Business is a great team exercise. So I’d highly suggest it.

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