Enneagram Practical Communication Tips

Mon Feb 27 2023

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How do you bring respect, curiosity, and an open mind into every conversation?

Everyone has their own unique strengths, weaknesses, and motivations, and try to understand where they’re coming from. This blog will give some practical tips for communicating with each Enneagram type.

Enneagram 1 Communication Tips

Type 1s are principled, ethical, and perfectionistic. They have a strong sense of right and wrong and strive to do the right thing in all situations. However, their perfectionism can lead to rigidity and inflexibility, which can make it challenging to communicate with them.

Approaching Perfectionism with Type 1s: Acknowledge their efforts and intentions first, focusing on what’s working well to create a positive framework. Encourage viewing challenges as opportunities for improvement, and introduce flexibility by suggesting various perspectives or methods as options.

Offering Feedback to Type 1s: Provide specific, objective feedback focused on behaviors, not character. Explain the impact of their actions and couple criticism with constructive solutions. Align feedback with their values of responsibility and improvement, ensuring a respectful and dialogic approach.

  • Be direct and clear in your communication.
  • Provide constructive feedback in a supportive way.
  • Emphasize how their actions align with their values and principles.
  • Avoid being overly critical or nitpicky.
  • Encourage them to relax and have fun.

More on type 1

Enneagram 2 Communication Tips

Type 2s are generous, caring, and nurturing. They have a strong desire to help others and often put the needs of others before their own. However, their desire to please others can sometimes lead to manipulation and codependency.

Expressing Appreciation to Type 2s: Directly acknowledge Type 2s’ contributions and efforts, highlighting the specific ways their actions have positively impacted others. Genuine appreciation and recognition of their selflessness motivates them and affirms their value.

Setting Boundaries with Type 2s: Communicate boundaries clearly, emphasizing the mutual benefit and the importance of self-care. Assure them that setting limits does not diminish their contributions or value, and encourage them to prioritize their well-being alongside helping others.

  • Show appreciation for their help and support.
  • Give them opportunities to be of service to others.
  • Be empathetic and listen actively.
  • Avoid being too critical or dismissive of their emotions.
  • Encourage them to take care of themselves and set boundaries.

More on type 2

Enneagram 3 Communication Tips

Type 3s are ambitious, competitive, and driven. They have a strong desire to succeed and often measure their self-worth by their accomplishments. However, their focus on success can sometimes lead to a lack of authenticity and a tendency to prioritize image over substance.

Goal-Oriented Communication with Type 3s: Align conversations with Type 3s’ aspirations, recognizing their achievements and framing discussions around their goals. Motivate them by acknowledging their success and how it contributes to broader objectives.

Authenticity in Feedback for Type 3s: Offer feedback that values their genuine self over accomplishments, encouraging emotional honesty. Highlight the importance of authenticity and personal growth, showing appreciation for their true qualities beyond just their achievements.

  • Be clear and concise in your communication.
  • Provide opportunities for them to showcase their talents and abilities.
  • Emphasize the impact of their work on the organization.
  • Avoid micromanaging or overly controlling them.
  • Encourage them to take breaks and rest.

More on type 3

Enneagram 4 Communication Tips

Type 4s are creative, emotional, and intuitive. They have a strong sense of individuality and often feel that they are different from others. However, their focus on their own emotions can sometimes lead to moodiness and self-absorption.

Validating Emotions for Type 4s: Acknowledge Type 4s’ feelings and uniqueness, showing understanding and acceptance. Use empathetic communication to validate their emotions without amplifying them, creating a supportive space for expression.

Encouraging Practical Solutions for Type 4s: Blend empathy with actionable steps, guiding Type 4s to channel their emotional depth into practical solutions. Encourage them to view challenges as opportunities for growth, fostering resilience and constructive action.

  • Be sensitive and empathetic to their emotions.
  • Encourage them to express themselves creatively.
  • Avoid being too critical or dismissive of their feelings.
  • Validate their unique perspective and individuality.
  • Help them see the positive aspects of a situation.

More on type 4

Enneagram 5 Communication Tips

Type 5s are analytical, introspective, and independent. They have a strong desire for knowledge and often value their independence and privacy. However, their focus on independence can sometimes lead to a sense of detachment and a tendency to become overly withdrawn.

Respecting Privacy for Type 5s: Approach Type 5s with respect for their need for space and independence. Initiate conversations by giving them control over the timing and setting, ensuring they feel comfortable and respected.

Stimulating Interest for Type 5s: Engage Type 5s by connecting discussions to their interests and inviting their analysis. Offer topics that stimulate their curiosity and intellect, making conversations enriching and meaningful.

  • Respect their need for privacy and independence.
  • Give them time to process information and formulate their thoughts.
  • Avoid being overly emotional or intrusive.
  • Emphasize the practical implications of a situation.
  • Encourage them to share their knowledge and expertise.

More on type 5

Enneagram 6 Communication Tips

Type 6s are loyal, responsible, and anxious. They have a strong desire for security and often value trust and loyalty in relationships. However, their focus on security can sometimes lead to a sense of fear and anxiety, which can make it challenging to communicate with them.

Building Trust with Type 6s: Establish trust through consistent communication and actions that prove reliability. Show Type 6s that you are dependable and supportive, reinforcing trust over time with your consistency.

Managing Anxiety for Type 6s: Address Type 6s’ concerns with empathy, offering reassurance while taking their worries seriously. Provide clear information and support to help mitigate their anxiety, emphasizing stability and security in your responses.

  • Provide reassurance and support.
  • Be consistent and reliable in your communication.
  • Avoid being overly critical or dismissive of their fears and concerns.
  • Help them see the positive aspects of a situation.
  • Encourage them to make decisions and take action.

More on type 6

Enneagram 7 Communication Tips

Type 7s are enthusiastic, adventurous, and spontaneous. They have a strong desire for new experiences and often value their freedom and independence. However, their focus on excitement and pleasure can sometimes lead to a lack of focus and a tendency to avoid difficult or unpleasant situations.

Channeling Enthusiasm for Type 7s: Keep conversations with Type 7s lively and engaging, linking their enthusiasm to topics of mutual interest. Use their natural curiosity to steer discussions towards productive and creative outcomes.

Addressing Depth with Type 7s: Encourage Type 7s to explore deeper topics by showing genuine interest in their perspectives. Balance their love for excitement with opportunities for introspection, facilitating a space where they feel comfortable sharing more profound thoughts.

  • Provide opportunities for them to explore new ideas and possibilities.
  • Be upbeat and positive in your communication.
  • Encourage them to stay focused and finish tasks.
  • Avoid being too critical or negative.
  • Help them balance their desire for adventure with their responsibilities.

More on type 7

Enneagram 8 Communication Tips

Type 8s are powerful, assertive, and decisive. They have a strong desire for control and often value their independence and strength. However, their focus on control can sometimes lead to a sense of aggression and a tendency to become overly confrontational.

Direct and Honest Communication with Type 8s: Engage Type 8s with clear, direct language, valuing honesty over tact. Avoid ambiguity to build trust and respect, addressing issues head-on in a straightforward manner.

Handling Conflict with Type 8s: Approach disagreements with confidence, showing respect for their strength. Communicate openly, ensuring Type 8s feel heard, and work collaboratively towards solutions that acknowledge their concerns and viewpoints.

  • Be direct and assertive in your communication.
  • Respect their need for control and autonomy.
  • Avoid being passive or indecisive.
  • Encourage them to see different perspectives and be open to feedback.
  • Help them understand the impact of their actions on others.

More on type 8

Enneagram 9 Communication Tips

Type 9s are peaceful, easy-going, and accommodating. They have a strong desire for harmony and often value their ability to mediate conflicts. However, their focus on harmony can sometimes lead to a lack of assertiveness and a tendency to avoid conflict altogether.

Encouraging Self-Expression for Type 9s: Motivate Type 9s to voice their opinions by showing genuine interest in their perspectives, reassuring them that their contributions are valued and necessary for the collective well-being.

Facilitating Decision Making for Type 9s: Assist Type 9s in decision-making by presenting options clearly and patiently, encouraging them to express their preferences without imposing urgency, thus empowering them to make informed choices at their own pace.

  • Be patient and understanding in your communication.
  • Provide opportunities for them to express their opinions and feelings.
  • Avoid being too pushy or aggressive.
  • Encourage them to speak up and assert themselves.
  • Help them make decisions and set boundaries.

More on type 9

Wrapping up

Effective communication is key to building strong relationships with others, and understanding each Enneagram type’s communication style can be incredibly helpful. By tailoring your communication to each type’s unique needs and tendencies, you can build rapport, trust, and understanding with those around you. Remember, communication is a two-way street, so be sure to also communicate your own needs and preferences clearly to others. With practice and intentionality, you can communicate more effectively with each Enneagram type and build stronger, healthier relationships in all areas of your life. Check out this article for a deeper dive into communication styles.

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