Enneagram Nine At Work
Who is the Enneagram Nine at Work?
The Peacemaker, The Mediator
Nines have remarkable inner tranquility and a need to keep the peace, both externally and internally. By avoiding conflict at all costs (even if it means keeping the status quo), they can maintain their Buddha-like calm and serenity.
In a meeting with a Nine, it’s imperative that you draw them out as opposed to allowing them to merge with the agenda of the group. Ask: “Charisse, I want to hear your input. The conversation so far indicates a desire to take Path A, however, I think there are other opinions to consider. What is yours?” If their energy is low or the stakes of taking an opposing position are high, they may merge into the majority opinion.
Be mindful that Nines often devalue what they bring to the table, so supervisors must tell them. Integrate into your vernacular: “You know, you really matter. We really need you to speak up and bring your truths to the situation, otherwise we’ll miss out.”
Nines can see all sides of an issue and are adept at bringing people together in a spirit of cooperation and harmony. Nines are steady and balanced in their approach to work and relationships. Their techniques may take some time, but in the end, having the whole team together fosters goodwill..
Their challenge is to stay focused on the priorities and to stick up for their own position, even if that involves discomfort or conflict. They tend to be the most tired of all the types because they are constantly trying to manage their inner peace and the peace around them. People who identify as Enneagram Nines have the least amount of stamina vis-a-vis other numbers on the Enneagram.
When Nines are secure in their work, they’ll act more like a Three on the job, then more like a Nine at home.
Enneagram Nine Strengths
Nines have a remarkable ability to hold two contradictory positions at the same time while concurrently seeing the value in both perspectives. They can talk to two people on a team and really understand, on a fundamental level, the differing viewpoint of each person; then, they have the unique ability to bring those people together to find consensus.
Nines can find harmony within, and bring inclusivity to, groups. They know how to make sure everyone in the group is heard. Importantly, they will notice who in the group has not had a voice and will encourage that person to chime in.
If a Nine has clarity, get out of the way. They can be relentlessly determined in their pursuit; when overdone, this presents as stubbornness.
Enneagram Nine Weaknesses
Because they can see both sides so clearly, and can empathize with both sides, Nines can have a difficult time determining what they themselves think. Decision making can be hard as they get lost in others’ perspectives. To avoid conflict and make it easier to go along, Nines will merge their opinion with someone else’s, even if it’s not a direction they would like to go in.
Nines can be easily distracted. Since they see equal value in a lot of things, their priority list is flat. Consequently, they can become paralyzed and not do anything. Alternatively, they might become busy on one thing, but not necessarily on the task that they should have done first.
While not inherently lazy physically, the Nine can suffer from an internal inability to know oneself. When a Nine is at rest, it can be hard to get them moving. However, take note: once Nines get moving, they are a force of nature. Their stubborness is world-class.
How to Support an Enneagram Nine at Work
Enneagram Nines long to hear the words: “Your presence matters. You really matter; I want to listen to you.” Nines find it easy to forget themselves because they want to blend in with others, so when they are reminded of who they are and what they truly desire, it’s an awakening.
- Don’t mistake a Nine’s silence for affirming words or agreement. They may nod along with what you’re saying, but their nods may simply mean “I hear you”, not “I agree with you”. Seek clarity before making assumptions about their positions.
- Encourage them to voice their opinion & allow space for them to do so. Nines may not feel like their opinion is worthy of being expressed.
- When a Nine asserts an opinion without being invited, take note! The Nine has taken a huge risk, which indicates that this is a topic that they are very passionate about.
- Don’t multitask when you’re talking to a Nine. They may already feel that their opinion is unimportant- when your attention is elsewhere, they see that as a cue to withdraw.
- Don’t put a Nine in a high-conflict environment. You risk losing their valuable insight and opinion as they meld their opinions with one side or the other. Additionally, the conflict is likely to bring on stress that may not be revealed but that takes a toll, nevertheless.
- Don’t ask for a decision to be made too quickly…. A Nine will want to take things in and think about all angles to a situation.
- … but, sometimes, you need to tell them: time’s up. Time to make a decision. Nines are prone to sitting on the fence too long. When they are forced to announce a decision, this may cause them inner turmoil, which they don’t like.
Personal Growth Area
- In solitude, practice asking yourself: what do you want? Then, follow up with: what do you really want? Your first answer may be, “Here’s what my family wants” or “Here’s what my boss wants”; practice noticing what you yourself really wants.
- Your point of view is just as important to the discussion as anyone else’s. Practice telling your opinions sooner so you won’t confuse your own opinion with someone else’s.
- Instead of just listing your tasks, take one more step and prioritize them.
It helps to talk through what you’re experiencing with someone you can trust. You’ll gain a second opinion, guidance, and the encouragement you need to take action.
If you are in a season where you need a coach, contact Anne via the Contact page.
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