Most of us work in an organization within a team context at least some of the time. In fact, most people are members of multiple teams – for example, an individual might be part of a work unit, a safety committee, and a project team. Working with others in a team setting is always more complex than working alone because teamwork involves a great deal of interpersonal qualities such as the ability to interact, communicate and coordinate. These factors can make being part of a team challenging and sometimes frustrating, but at the same time highly rewarding.
Because teams are complex and dynamic, they cannot be understood from a single perspective or at only one moment in time. Teams must be considered from multiple perspectives or frameworks, including: team goals, team interdependence, team roles, and stages of team development.
The Enneagram can be extraordinarily helpful in the creation and development of high-performing teams. First, when all of the team’s members know their Enneagram styles, they can use this knowledge to improve their personal effectiveness as well as to adjust their interpersonal behaviors to the styles of the other team members. Knowledge of the Enneagram also increases team members’ understanding and compassion. Instead of interpreting and misinterpreting someone else’s behavior based on one’s own frame of reference, team members can begin to view other members from a more objective and accurate perspective. In addition, knowledge of the Enneagram can assist both team members and leaders in developing team goals and interdependencies, as well as in expanding the repertoire of team-based roles and behaviors over the stages of team development.
The key to success in any venture is the ability to communicate with others, to inspire them as a manager to share your vision and goals, and to provide clear direction and keep things on track through clear feedback. Yet communication is often difficult if personality style is not taken into account because people tend to believe that others think the same way they do and that others have the same motivations, values, priorities, and reactions as they do.
The Enneagram lubricates all these interactions in the workplace by giving people a common vocabulary and frame of reference. Moreover, it helps retain valuable employees by increasing job satisfaction and productivity. The Enneagram is thus particularly valuable for team development, conflict resolution, negotiation, and leadership development.