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Are You Working with an Enneagram Type 9?

Mar 13, 2023
What to know about working with an Enneagram Type 9


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 4 parts:

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

In the newest 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.


( In this video interview, hear from CEO Tim Brokopp about what life is like with the Type 9 energy.)


If any of these ring true, you might be working with an Enneagram Type 9....


  • Do you notice they tend to avoid conflict like the plague?
  • Are they known for being calm and steady?
  • Do know they sometimes say "yes" when you really want to say "no?"
  • Do you see them working hard, but notice don't like being the center of attention?
  • Do they tend to "go with the flow" rather than "rocking the boat?"


First things first, though...

The foundation for the Enneagram Type 9 energy is a striving to feel at peace (both within and in the environment around them). 


They are focused on others - their opinions and feelings and making sure everyone is included and feels heard. 



One of their many superpowers is their ability to help people feel comfortable. They shine at building an inclusive team, where everyone feels relaxed, knowing they belong. 


Common struggles of a Type 9 can include: indecision, nice-person syndrome, holding back, avoiding conflict, passive aggressiveness, being unclear, self-deprecating


Other clues you might be working with an Enneagram 9:


  • They are quiet in meetings but seem to be paying attention and agreeing with everyone.
  • Even when they don't offer up an opinion, they still want to be asked. 
  • They're great to talk to when you have a problem because they always understand your point of view and don't judge.
  • Everyone Likes them. They never offend anybody.
  • When they need to make an important decision they'll sit on the fence for days. 
  • They focus on solutions rather than who to blame when things go wrong. 
  • They can be unwilling to take a stand or make a decision in case it offends someone or causes conflict. 
  • They are slow to complete tasks and move things along; can procrastinate often.


Anyone coming to mind?


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


  1. Be kind and make an effort to make a personal connection.
  2. Value everyone's opinion, including theirs. 
  3. Understand their sensitivity to conflict and criticism. 
  4. Ask for their input, even if they're not offering it up. 
  5. Make a point to recognize their contributions to the team.


 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.


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