Enneagram Newbie

I work with some weirdos. I joined CultureSync four months ago and plenty of times I’ve heard someone say “oh, that’s the 2 in you!” or “he’s a 7, we always have a good time!” I just smile and nod along. Imagine my relief when I heard we were doing an Enneagram workshop and I’d finally learn why people kept trying to guess my “type”.

I’ll admit: I walked in a skeptic. I came from working six years in the movie industry where there was certainly no interest in spending a day talking about feelings and conflict resolution. This was going to be new to me in many ways. I brought my notebook ready to take a lot of notes. More or less, I expected to sit and listen while experts talked at me. I could not have been more wrong.

The first clue I had that this was going to be a unique experience was when our Blu Era geniuses, Bliss and Catherine, asked us all to close our eyes and take a “mindful moment” to center ourselves. I didn’t have any clue what to do but Bliss helped me along, instructing me to close my eyes and focus on breathing. The next 120 seconds calmed me and really did center me in the room. How many times a day do we realize we’re running in ten different directions, thinking of a hundred different tasks and trying to do half of them all at once? Sitting down, closing our eyes and just breathing can really bring us back into the right mindset. I highly recommend everyone at least begin their day with a mindful moment and encourage the use of them often.

After a few introductions, we got down to what everyone wanted to know: what type are we? We’d all taken a 140 questionnaire weeks ago and had been impatiently biding our time to learn the results. For reference, a brief explanation of the Enneagram types can be found here.

I’m sure you’re all dying to know: I am a 3 (Achiever) with 2 (Helper) and 6 (Loyalist) wings. I don’t want to make anyone jealous, but Dave Logan and I are the same type! While we talked specifics about type 3s, so much of it spoke to me. It was almost eerie to hear myself described by people who had never met me.
The greatest takeaway from setting out all the types was not just the fun of learning what type all of our colleagues are, but learning what that meant for our company. What does each type need that we may not think of giving them? What assumptions are we making about people because of their type? And best, how can we use what we know about the Enneagram and each other to better our conflict resolution?

We ended the day with something called “Bombardment.” Don’t worry, that word scared me at first too. Turns out, Bombardment is great! One bye one, each person sits and listens as the whole group tells them about how great they are! It sounds sort of silly but taking a moment to tell someone why you appreciate them can make a huge difference, not only for their happiness, but also for their performance.

I didn’t just learn about the Enneagram during the eight hours workshop. I gained a ton of knowledge about our company and my colleagues. I gained new respect for each and every one of the people in the room. Everyone was incredibly generous with their feelings, their thoughts and their compassion. Every day, I think of how CultureSync is a family but nothing proved it more than the way we interacted with each other at the Enneagram workshop.

Now, I challenge you to treat yourself to a mindful moment!

-Claire Wihnyk

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