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Suddenly a Remote Worker? How Your Enneagram Type Can Help

enneagram Mar 23, 2020

Many workers who normally work in an office setting have become remote workers due to the Coronavirus pandemic. This wasn’t a decision by choice, but rather by necessity. And now you’re wondering how to make the best of it. This is when some self-awareness paired with intentional action can make a big difference.

Let’s look at the situation of suddenly becoming a remote worker. Let’s say at the office you’re used to having:

  • an effective workstation with everything you need
  • coworkers to bounce ideas off and to socialize with
  • face-to-face check-ins with your manager
  • time and space to think and work

This combination of conditions has helped you be successful.

But then change has been forced upon you and you must work at home, where you have:

  • a less-than-ideal work setup
  • children and spouse/partner who don’t share your priorities
  • infrequent communication with your manager
  • noise all around you

What are you to do? This is a time when a personality tool like the Enneagram comes in handy. (I’d also recommend looking at how your CliftonStrengths can help you in uncertain times.)

The Enneagram describes nine basic personality drives. The idea is to find your core drive, understand how you live it out, then take steps to maximize your strengths and minimize your shortfalls.

The Nine Drives

Type 1: to Perfect
Type 2: to Help
Type 3: to Succeed
Type 4: to Express
Type 5: to Know
Type 6: to Secure
Type 7: to Enjoy
Type 8: to Influence
Type 9: to Be at Peace

Working from Home

Like I said, each drive has great strengths, but also shortfalls that can limit themselves. Let’s look at an example of one of the drives in our current situation:

Situation: Suddenly having to work from home

Type 1: to Perfect

Summary: Driven to live the right way, correct what is wrong, and create a perfect world

Potential Strengths

  • Can be counted upon to get work done unsupervised
  • Knows what they need to work well
  • Follows policies, recommendations, and suggestions

Potential Shortfalls

  • Gets stuck by not having ideal work setup
  • Expects themselves and others to function like before
  • Is inflexible or critical when flexibility and grace are needed

As you can see, when you find your drive and then understand how you live it out, you can take steps to maximize your strengths and minimize your shortfalls. That’s very helpful when you’re in a new situation like having to work remotely.

How might the other types behave?

Download this worksheet to explore how all nine types can help with remote work and plan how to make the most of it.


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