45. Enneagram Part 3: “The Heart Triad” Profile Types 2, 3 and 4
Chelsie [00:00:00] The Enneagram has nine distinct profiles and understanding the, “Heart Triad,” or as I like to say, types 2 3 and 4 is important because this is where the emotional and social intelligence gets brought in for the workplace.
Don [00:00:19] My name is Don Rheem CEO of E3 Solutions and author of the book, “Thrive By Design: The Neuroscience That Drives High-Performance Cultures.”
Don [00:00:27] I speak across North America on the neuroscience of engagement and I’m passionate about helping leaders at every level create engaging workplace environments where employees feel safe, recognized and valued. Employees who feel safe are happier, healthier and more productive.
Don [00:00:46] Each week my team and I take on topics impacting managers and we offer solutions to your biggest workplace challenges. And, you’re listening to Thrive By Design, a podcast created by E3 Solutions to give managers CEOs and leaders the tips, strategies and tools needed to create an engaged culture at work.
Don [00:01:10] Welcome. I’m your host Don Rheem, CEO of E3 Solutions.
Don [00:01:15] As you know, as a regular listener, over the past few weeks we’ve been talking with subject matter experts one on one about critical workplace challenges.
Don [00:01:25] Returning from the week before last is our special guest, Chelsie Sargent, a licensed professional counselor and a certified specialist in the Enneagram, a 2000-year-old personality examination.
Don [00:01:38] Chelsie is joining us, via Skype, from Texas to continue the discussion around the Enneagram as we take a deeper dive into each of the nine personality profile types that make up the in-depth assessment.
Don [00:01:51] Welcome back, Chelsie. It’s great to be with you again.
Chelsie [00:01:54] It’s my pleasure Don. It’s great to be here.
Don [00:01:56] Chelsie, in our first episode with you, you introduced our podcast listeners to the Enneagram. You talked about its origin and explained its true purpose and why a test like this serves as an important tool in the workplace.
Don [00:02:10] In the next episode, episode 43, we really looked at the first set of profiles types—8,9 and 1, which you called the gut or anger triad, and why understanding this first set of numbers, personality types really matters in the workplace.
Don [00:02:27] And, for those listeners just tuning in, I highly encourage you to go back and listen to these first 2 episodes to gain some framing and context around what we’ll be talking about today.
Don [00:02:38] Let’s go ahead and pick up right where we left off with you and move on to the next set of profiles. This would be Enneagram profile types 2, 3 and 4. What are they and why are they grouped together and why are they referred to as the heart triad?
Chelsie [00:02:52] Yes so the heart triad, 2, 3 and 4, these personality types are known to be social or emotionally minded individuals and they all express this or manifest this in different ways as they relate to one another. These numbers are known to show the most compassion and they’re also known to show the most emotion again in different ways.
Don [00:03:18] These personality types, these people are working from the heart but they’re doing it in 3 distinct ways. So, let’s break each one of them down. Can you talk about the 2’s as leaders and how understanding this profile type could be helpful to leaders in the workplace?
Chelsie [00:03:37] 2’s are what I call the “helpers.”
Chelsie [00:03:40] They’re your leaders that are empathetic. They are people-oriented. They are sensitive to the needs of others and they have a lot of feelings. 2’s feel big.
Chelsie [00:03:56] And, so when we’re talking about that heart triad or the feelings triad, 2’s are the people on the Enneagram where feelings oftentimes can run their decisions and run their actions. So they need to be very aware of this.
Chelsie [00:04:13] They are charming. They are kind. They really want people to like them. So, if they do not understand this about themselves or are in the unhealthier levels of their number they can become people pleasers and they can actually let people walk all over them.
Chelsie [00:04:31] So one of the things that I work with specifically for leaders with 2’s is understanding this about themselves and how they can be a little bit more directive, while also being kind and warm and compassionate because those are also things within their personality they’re really good.
Don [00:04:47] In the last episode, you explain to us that they are healthy and unhealthy aspects of each personality type. Kind of recap or contrast, if you will, healthy versus unhealthy for a 2.
Chelsie [00:04:59] Healthy 2’s are going to use their warmth and their empathy and their people skills to empower a team to be aware of the relationships with on a team.
Chelsie [00:05:16] These people are very relational and when they are in the healthier parts of their 2, their team is going to have a healthy relationship among themselves.
Chelsie [00:05:27] When a 2 is not healthy they are going to be really concerned about being liked and then they are going to do whatever they need to do to have the team like them instead of really coming from what the team needs.
Chelsie [00:05:43] And, so it becomes them-focused instead of team-focused, if that makes sense.
Don [00:05:49] Yes, it does.
Don [00:05:51] Chelsie, if a manager has a 2 on their team what is the best way to support that team member? What is it that they need from a leader to be as successful as possible?
Chelsie [00:06:02] Yeah, good question. Two’s are relational. And so, if you are a more technical person or a more logical person, if you have a 2 on your team it is good to get in touch with the relational sides of yourself and knowing that 2’s respond to warmth and they respond to relational interactions.
Chelsie [00:06:24] So, maybe like a good example would be if you have a 2 on your team, when you walk up to their desk instead of just jumping into business and listing off everything you need from them or all the line items that you need them to perform, to walk up and say, hey, how was your weekend?
Chelsie [00:06:40] Give them a couple minutes to kind of express that. Ask them some questions maybe about their family or about what they do and then jump into business. You’ve kind of met the needs of the relational part and the 2 is going to be more open to what you’re needing from them.
Don [00:06:55] So, I’m going to jump back to the previous episode when we were talking about the 8, 9s and 1s being more structured and life is more black and white. You might not want to start the conversation with a 1 that way. Would that be accurate?
Chelsie [00:07:11] Yeah, I think that would be an accurate thing to say with 1’s because they are detail-oriented and they like getting down to business. Walking up to a 1 and saying, hey, and then jumping right into work, that is probably going to be warm for them and it’s direct and they know where it’s going.
Don [00:07:29] This is the part of the Enneagram that I like so much. It just brings out the rich tapestry, if you will, of how different people relate and are motivated, what resonates with them. And this is also a part of what we refer to as E3 Solutions is just the growing complexity for managers to be successful is to start to understand these different needs of individual employees and to be multivariate in the way that they interact with employees, in a way that is going to feel more attuned to the needs of the individual team members.
Don [00:08:01] So that was the 2s take us into the 3s.
Chelsie [00:08:03] Yes the 3s.
Chelsie [00:08:06] One of the ways that I always like talking about 3s specifically when I’m talking to anyone in corporate is America is a 3. That is a great way to start framing what 3 characteristics are.
Chelsie [00:08:19] They are the performer, they’re the achiever, so kind of think about the American dream. They like to create an image of this success that’s very important to them. And they do this through working hard. And they aim at doing the best job possible they can do.
Chelsie [00:08:37] The 3 things that 3’s value are efficiency, effectiveness and quickness. They move fast and they want to get the job done as quickly and as effective as they can so they can get on to the next task.
Don [00:08:54] I’ve heard that maybe this would be an example of an unhealthy side of a 3 that 3’s also can put work ahead of family. That is, that they really are focused on work and achievement. Is that accurate? Did I get that right?
Chelsie [00:09:08] One hundred percent. Three’s can really be known as workaholics. And so, one of the big things that I work with 3s because they are so achievement and action-oriented, is how to practice self-care and how to have balance in their life.
Chelsie [00:09:24] Because when 3s are pumping out results and they’re moving up on the corporate ladder or within their company or whatever they deem success as, that is where they get a lot of their self-esteem from.
Chelsie [00:09:40] And so in other areas of their life it may not come across as results-oriented and so they can put way more energy into their work environment.
Don [00:09:52] For them, pleasure or success or meaning is out of achievement getting things done, work-wise, as opposed to let’s say focusing on family. Is that accurate?
Chelsie [00:10:03] Absolutely. So they are an interesting number in the sense that they are in the feelings triad but a lot of 3s will tell you feelings do not seem efficient or effective. And so, they do not really spend a lot of time on their feelings.
Chelsie [00:10:20] But the gift that the 3s have is, they can walk into a room and pick up on the emotions of the room and then they can morph into what people need them to be.
Chelsie [00:10:35] Threes again are very likable. I love sitting across from a 3 or watching a 3 in action because say there’s a CEO that is a 3 and he has different people walking into his office. So, say that he has like some rancher from west Texas walking in, man he will shift into that role and he can have that twang in his voice and he can talk cattle with that rancher for 20 minutes.
Chelsie [00:11:02] And then the next person that walks into their office is from New York City and has never stepped foot on a ranch and speaks very differently. And that 3 will shapeshift right into what that person needs from them. So 3s can really pick up on the energy of other people and give people what they need.
Don [00:11:22] Give us this the stark contrast, healthy 3. What is a healthy 3 and what are the unhealthy parts of a 3?
Chelsie [00:11:30] Yeah, so healthy 3s are going to know when they are shapeshifting too much or morphing into what they think the room needs. And so they know themselves. They have self-awareness. They can hold their own when they’re in the room. This is a really powerful thing to watch because 3s are already gifted at reading an audience well. They know how to sell things well and they tend to have a little bit of knowledge about a lot of different topics. And so when they are healthy they can stay in themselves and not pick up on all the energy and just be what they think they need to be in the room.
Chelsie [00:12:09] When they’re unhealthy they get lost in that and they don’t really know who they are and they’re really busy on what I would call hustling. They just want to do whatever they need in the room to get you to like them or to value them so they can continue to move forward.
Don [00:12:26] So Chelsie, before we’re done with these 4 episodes are you going to tell us what type you are?
Chelsie [00:12:32] I absolutely am do you want me to do that now?
Don [00:12:34] We’ve got one more type to get through. Let’s get through the 4s and then I’m going to ask you what you are. Tell us about the 4s in the workplace. What’s going on for a 4?
Chelsie [00:12:45] Yeah. So the 4s are gonna be known as your artists or your romantics. They are not scared of feelings whatsoever. Many of your 4s are going to tell you they live in a place of constant melancholy. I’m talking about kind of the healthy levels of 4s and unhealthy levels of 4s.
Chelsie [00:13:07] When 4s are not healthy, they can really sit in their feelings and what I would call kind of wallow in the darker feelings or the sadder feelings or emotions in general.
Chelsie [00:13:21] When 4s are healthy in your workplace, they connect through understanding and connectedness. They bring a rich sense of authenticity to your team and they love creating environments where people can express them themselves authentically.
Don [00:13:42] If a manager has a 4 on the team, what is the best way to interact with them? You talked before about how do you start the conversation. So how do we start a conversation with a 4?
Chelsie [00:13:53] There’s gonna be some similarities to 2s whereas 2s want to feel relational, 4s will want to feel understood. So, they are not going to do well with small talk.
Chelsie [00:14:03] Now this can be really hard for some managers specifically if they’re an 8 or a 3 and they view feelings or sitting in those places as not effective or efficient because 4’s definitely want to connect through that.
Chelsie [00:14:18] So, like I said, they don’t do well with small talk. So when you’re interacting with a 4 on your team, I think it’s good to understand that they’re not scared of feelings and they live in those places all the time. So to let them talk to let them feel seen to let them feel like they are understood which means a relational approach.
Chelsie [00:14:39] Again, the word that I keep using with 4s is they very much value authenticity.
Don [00:14:45] So, they want to be understood. So this might be a good place for a manager, for example, to practice being empathetic, validating and just coming alongside the person to have a shared experience. And just to dive into that. Would that work?
Chelsie [00:15:02] Absolutely. Again they don’t do well with small talk. And so this is where just more of the relational piece is going to need to be paramount in the relationship. They also have a very rich inner emotional life and they can sense other people’s feelings and they don’t mind sitting in feelings so they want their work to have meaning.
Chelsie [00:15:22] So in the workplace I think that’s a good discussion to have with them is how they’re finding value and meaning in their work and how you can maybe help add that into their work in the workplace.
Don [00:15:33] Okay. Sum up these 3 personality types and their role in the workplace and how managers should interact with them and then I’m going to hold you to telling us what your number is.
Chelsie [00:15:44] Deal.
Chelsie [00:15:45] The theme for this like I said is feelings and emotions and as you can see as I’ve explained all 3 numbers they express this in very different ways.
Chelsie [00:15:55] Twos are relational and they want to feel connected. Threes have a hard time with feelings because they feel effective and efficient but they need to understand what they’re feeling and how they sense from the heart and how they can incorporate that more into the workplace so they don’t become more on the workaholic stance. And then 4s need to understand that they have big feelings and emotions and feelings are very comfortable for them. They also need to understand that not all people view life that way.
Chelsie [00:16:24] And so that it’s okay to kind of raise to small talk or it’s okay maybe not to be completely seen or understood but that they can still find meaning and connectedness in their work.
Don [00:16:37] And, what I’ve seen in the workplace as well, Chelsie, is when you have a manager who is, for example, a 1 or even a 9 and just not understanding or wanting to have to cope with this emotional side of a person’s expression or personality.
Don [00:16:52] And, as we all know many workplaces, the majority of workplaces have tried to keep emotion out of the workplace. Just people, just in general leaders I think, struggle the most around coping with these emotional aspects of employees. It’s a real challenge.
Chelsie [00:17:09] You know some of these numbers struggle more within a corporate setting and so a lot of the research that I have read and specific Enneagram specialists who specialize in corporate pieces they will say specifically and that 9s, 1s ones and 4s can sometimes struggle in the corporate world.
Chelsie [00:17:30] And I think you can definitely see from this episode how 4s may have a hard time because they really value beauty and authenticity and meaning within what they’re doing.
Don [00:17:44] So, tell us about yourself, Chelsie. What number are you?
Chelsie [00:17:48] So, I am about as 1 as you can get on the Enneagram.
Chelsie [00:17:53] So I am pretty logical. I am pretty pragmatic as a therapist and I’ve really had to work in my own life not to come from a stance of only seeing things in black and white and there is a variety of ways for people to function and be within our world.
Chelsie [00:18:11] I think being a therapist and being a 1 has been one of the best things in my life because it has really pushed me outside my blinders and really pushed me outside of rule-following in the sense that there is not one right way to do everything.
Chelsie [00:18:28] And, so the way that I approach my perfectionism is when I walk into a room I can see the goodness of what a situation could be. And it is not my job to fix things and it is not my job to force people to think a certain way.
Chelsie [00:18:43] It is my job to be and to hold space with people so they can come to the best pieces of themselves, which in turn makes a working environment or a counseling situation or a relationship better. And, that is where goodness can grow.
Chelsie [00:18:59] So I’m a 1.
Don [00:19:02] That is such a wonderful way to end this podcast because what you also just described is what we need more from leaders and what we E3 Solutions refer to as a leader 3.0. The person who can do those things, step out of themselves beyond what their own personality type is and appreciate the goodness that is in every situation and to help people find that space where they can thrive when they’re at work.
Chelsie [00:19:28] Absolutely. Different is good and we need a variety of different leaders. I totally agree with all of that.
Don [00:19:36] That’s it for today. I’m your host Don Rheem and thank you for being with us.
Don [00:19:41] Join us next week for the last part of this special four-part series on the Enneagram as Chelsie walks us through the last set of profiles, the thinking triad or types 5, 6 and 7. See you next week.
Kelly [00:19:57] Are you looking for science-based solutions to increase employee engagement and retention. Are you ready to measure key drivers of high performance? Do you want your team to look forward to coming to work? Don’t wait. Check out E3Solutions.com right now.
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