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Which Surprising Enneagram Type Has These Top Strengths?

This week we’re releasing our study on the associations between Enneagram Types and CliftonStrengths® talent themes.

While putting on the finishing touches of the report package—and adding extra value—we revealed some of our findings in a webinar. We also answered for you in a blog post, which Enneagram types share seven top five strengths themes?

In this post, we’ll answer another question: Which surprising Enneagram type has these top strengths?

The answer: Type 4, whose core drive is to express

Top CliftonStrengths® themes: input, connectedness, learner, ideation, intellection, strategic, empathy

Here’s why this is surprising:

About Type 4

Type 4's core drive is to express and is in the Heart Center of Intelligence, which means the go-to response to the world is by feeling.

There is an emotional reaction to relationships and events. And, Type 4 is known for being comfortable with a wide range of emotions.

Think of Type 4 as drama masks:

Sometimes Type 4’s can seem up and down with their feelings, all in the same day. Type 4’s want to express themselves through beauty, drama, and aesthetics. They may not all be production artists, but they do seek to express themselves in some way.

This may come through the unique way they dress, sharing thoughts and feelings on social media, leading conversations by personal expression, and creating new works. Remember, their core drive is to express themselves.

Surprising Strengths

But according to the data submitted to us by Type 4’s, five out of the seven most occurring themes are thinking themes, while only two are relating themes.

One may assume that the Type 4 from the Heart Center of Intelligence would have mostly relating themes because relating seems like it’s most closely connected to the Heart Center. But no, five out of seven themes are in fact thinking themes.

Thinking Themes: putting forth intentional thought

  • Input: gathers resources
  • Learner: has capacity to learn
  • Ideation: comes up with new ideas
  • Intellection: enjoys intellectual activity
  • Strategic: selects the best way forward

Relating Themes: making relationships with others

  • Connectedness: sees connections in the world
  • Empathy: feels the feelings and sees the perspectives of others

Putting It Together

Putting together Enneagram and Strengths, this means that Type 4’s are most often looking to express themselves through intellectual activity and not just feelings. In fact, the emotional life of Type 4’s is most often presented as the main characteristic of Type 4’s, but perhaps we ought to rethink this.

The Enneagram reveals the WHY, and for the Type 4, that WHY is to express. Strengths reveal the HOW, how that drive is achieved.

While emotions are a way to express oneself, perhaps we should see emotional expression more incidental, and give more weight to the intellectual expression of Type 4’s, since many Type 4’s are looking to express through thinking strengths.

This finding reminds us to explore rather than assume.

CliftonStrengths, Gallup, and each of the 34 CliftonStrengths theme names are trademarks of Gallup, Inc.

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