Understanding the 9 Different Personalities in the Office

enneagram trainingIf employees don’t stay at your company for long, call in sick all the time, or have poor productivity, you might have a problem with workplace conflict and disputes.

United States employees spend around 2.1 hours each week involved in conflicts in the workplace. This comes out to about $359 billion spent on workplace conflict instead of on positive productivity. Managers typically spend 25% to 40% of their time trying to resolve workplace disputes and conflict. That can amount to as much as two days out of every week.

The most common problems in the workplace are with leadership; between departments; and with differences in work style, ideas and personality. That could be because 60 percent of employees have never received any sort of workplace mediation training.

So, what can be done about it?

Employers can hire the type of leaders that already fit into their work culture or provide more leadership training. Enforcing current policies or booking mandatory training sessions are just a few of the ways to go about this. Employers can clarify employees’ roles and responsibilities. They can set out clear policies and guidelines in a handbook. They can train employees in workplace diversity. They may even need to replace some employees.

Another approach to solving workplace conflict could be through Enneagram training. Inviting employees to participate in this training could be the key to fostering mutual understanding and creating a better workplace environment. Not only does it teach them about themselves, it teaches them how to better interact with others. Let’s take a deeper look at this training.

Enneagram training focuses on the Enneagram, which is a system of nine distinct personality types. It offers a method of management that is focused on self-awareness. For that reason, it is a key tool in your workplace mediation arsenal. Each personality type has a distinct pattern of thinking, feeling and acting. These patterns arise from personal motivations or worldviews. Considering that personality clashes account for 49% of workplace disputes, this methodology has its merits.

In the Enneagram, there are three centers of intelligence and perception, which include the head, heart, and body. Each of the nine personalities falls into one of these centers. Enneagram training can help you and your employees find balance and mutual understanding across these defined personality types.

The three personalities that are considered body-based types are called the protector, the mediator, and the perfectionist. These people focus on power, control, and doing the right thing. They are often considered to be very instinctual.

The three personalities that are considered heart or feeling-based are called the giver, the performer, and the romantic. These people care deeply for others and focus on success and living up to expectations. They are thought to be very emotional.

Finally, the three personalities that are head or thinking-based are called the observer, the loyal skeptic, and the epicure. These people focus on rational actions, creating certainty, and finding several different options. They are believed to be very intellectual.

People have a natural inclination to connect with each other. However, when the connection or responsiveness is interrupted, conflicts arise. Each individual has their own world view, which can often create a barrier to stepping outside of their own box and empathizing with others. That barrier often creates fractures in interpersonal interactions. Understanding and utilizing the Enneagram can help repair those fractures and build personal bridges.

The purpose of Enneagram training is to help you become more self-aware and understand what motivates you and others to act the way you do. By doing this in a group, you can learn to have more compassion for those who have different personality types than you. This can help everyone better handle conflict.

While Enneagram training may not be for everyone, one study concluded that 95% of employees claimed that some type of mediation training helped them resolve workplace conflict in a positive and mutually beneficial way.