Back to Blog

Co-Worker Compatibility of Enneagram Type 1 and Type 2

Oct 17, 2023
Type 1 and Type 2 Co-Worker Compatibility


When you understand where your teammate is coming from it can be easier to communicate, problem solve, and ultimately have a healthy working relationship. 


Here you'll find the teammate matchup of a Type 1 and a Type 2. 


As a reminder, the Type 1's go-to strategy for getting needs met is striving to feel perfect. Ones tend to be task-oriented, seeing the world through good and bad, right and wrong, what needs to be fixed, and what can be better. They are looking to take their teams, the organization, and themselves from good to great.


A Type 2's go-to strategy is striving to feel connected. Rather than tasks, they tend to be most focused on people and their relationship with them. They can be extremely empathetic and sensitive to the needs and feelings of others on the team, usually knowing exactly what they can to for someone else that would be helpful and create a meaningful connection. 


Below you'll find a list of potential synergies when you bring these two types together in the workplace, as well as possible challenges when they work together. 



  1. Care About the Welfare of Others: They both want the best for others, including each other, which makes for a dependable and caring partnership at work. 
  2. Shared Desire to Help: Enneagram Type 1s and Type 2s both have a strong inclination to be of service to others. While the motivations may differ slightly, this shared desire can create a workplace where colleagues actively support one another.

  3. Attention to Detail: Type 1s are known for their meticulousness and attention to detail, while Type 2s tend to be intuitive and attuned to the needs of others. When working together, they can create a balanced approach where thoroughness is complemented by emotional awareness.

  4. Empathy and Understanding: Type 2s are excellent at understanding the emotional needs of those around them, and Type 1s are skilled at problem-solving and addressing issues. This combination can lead to a workplace where empathy and practical solutions work hand-in-hand.

Potential Challenges:

  1. Conflict Aversion vs. Confrontation: Type 1s tend to confront issues head-on, while Type 2s may avoid conflict to maintain harmony. This difference in approach can lead to misunderstandings, with Type 1s perceiving Type 2s as passive-aggressive and Type 2s feeling overwhelmed by the confrontational style of Type 1s.

  2. Over-Giving: Both types may overextend themselves to help others for different reasons, but regardless of the why, this behavior can lead to burnout and resentment. Type 1 and Type 2 can both feel like they're ultimately responsible for the team's success, but can grow bitter when others aren't pitching in their share or recognizing and appreciating all they do. 

  3. Communication Styles: Type 1s tend to be precise and straightforward in their communication, while Type 2s might use more indirect or emotionally driven language. These differences can lead to misunderstandings and misinterpretations, particularly in stressful situations.

Tips for a Successful Co-worker Relationship:

  1. Open Communication: Both types can work to openly discuss their needs, preferences, and communication styles. This will help them bridge the gap between their approaches and find common ground.

  2. Boundaries: Type 2s can look at setting healthy boundaries to avoid over-giving and Type 1s may want to look at how they can balance their pursuit of perfection with empathy for their co-worker's emotional needs.

  3. Conflict Resolution: Find a middle ground for conflict resolution. Type 1s can learn to be more sensitive to emotional dynamics, while Type 2s can work on expressing their concerns more directly.


Ultimately, a co-worker relationship between an Enneagram Type 1 and Type 2 can be very productive when both individuals recognize and appreciate each other's strengths and work on addressing potential challenges. By fostering open communication, setting boundaries, and refining conflict resolution skills, these two types can create a work environment that combines precision, empathy, and effectiveness.


Sarah Wallace is the owner and lead trainer at Enneagram MBA, the host of the Enneagram MBA podcast, and an Enneagram Certified coach. Learn more about Sarah and her approach to the Enneagram here

Get Enneagram resources for influencing and interacting with people at work.

Understanding People is a free weekly newsletter sent out each Saturday morning with Enneagram insights, self-awareness how-to, book recommendations, and human behavior research to help you build healthy relationships, inspire others to action, and live the best version of yourself.