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Are You Working with an Enneagram Type 4?

Mar 13, 2023
What is it like to work with an Enneagram Type 4? Find out here!


The Enneagram can be transformative in your own self awareness journey. 

And the insight can also be valuable in your relationship management skills at work - with those you lead, with those you work beside, and with those you serve, like your clients.


Emotional intelligence is made up of four parts:

  • Self awareness
  • Self management
  • Others awareness
  • Relationship management

In this series about understanding people at work you’ll gain insight beyond your own type and into how others close to you are viewing the world.


(Hear from business owner, Tiffany Napper about what work and life are like with the Type 4 energy).


First thing is first, though...

The foundation for the Enneagram Type 4 energy is a striving to feel unique. 


They are focused on being seen as significant, belonging for their authentic self, their emotions, other people's opinions, and measuring up. 



One of their many superpowers is being original. They have a natural ability to see uniqueness in projects and in others.


Common struggles of a Type 4 can include: being different for the sake of being different, slow to decide, drama, resentment, rebelling just because, insistence on being right


Other clues you might be working with an Enneagram 4:


  • They seem more intense than the average co-worker.
  • They can get sensitive and defensive if you don't like their creative ideas. 
  • They have a lot of ideas for how to improve the aesthetics of the workplace.
  • They have a tendency to look on the dark side without noticing or appreciating what's going well.
  • They work hard to prove themselves and even harder when they're anxious.
  • They've mentioned they don't fit in and that people don't understand them.
  • They bring a sense of creative thinking to everything your team does. 


Anyone coming to mind?


If so, below you'll find a few ideas for working well them:


  1. Make a sincere effort to understand them.

  2.  Allow them to express how they're feeling without problem solving.

  3.  Let them know you value them and their unique contributions.

  4.  Be authentic and honest.


Sources: 9 Types of Leadership book by Beatrice Chestnut, Awareness to Action book by Robert Tallon and Mario Sikora, Insight book by Tasha Eurich


If you haven't already, be sure to download your quick reference guide, Understanding People Cheat Sheet, to gain insight into working with all the Enneagram Types. 


To learn more about how the Enneagram can benefit your team and organization, learn about bringing a workshop or training in with the options here. 



Sarah Wallace is the owner of Enneagram MBA, a team training company, host of the Enneagram MBA podcast, speaker, and workshop facilitator. Companies and organizations hire her to help them use the Enneagram to develop confident, effective, and emotionally intelligent leaders with powerful, productive, and happy teams.


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.