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Creating Team-Based Enneagram Maps: The Three Trios

Enneagram team mapping is powerful because it allows you to do the following:

Accurately predict the strengths and the areas of tension within a team quickly

Allows teams to view themselves objectively, recognizing strengths and areas for growth

Depersonalize the conversation in a highly constructive way

Ignite powerful yet dispassionate dialogue to improve performance

How do you create a team Enneagram map? You need an Enneagram symbol –one that is not overly complicated in a visual sense – and place a sticky dot, circle (if being done virtually), or a check mark near the types of each team member. After that, you explain the orientation of the three trios and the types within each trio: Optimistic trio (types 7, 9 and 2), Competency trio (types 1, 3 and 5) and Intensity trio (types 4, 6 and 8).

Optimistic trio

Seven, Nine and Two

The three types in the Optimistic trio have a positive overlay on reality so that the world looks better than it actually is. I sometimes say that these three types take a “happy pill” each morning. Sevens take a whole pill, Nines take a half-pill and Twos take a quarter pill. Sevens are the most optimistic, taking a positive view of just about everything. Nines are moderately positive, perceiving people and events as generally pleasant and congenial. Finally, Twos want and try to see the best in other people – that is, until they don’t! The optimism of these three types impacts their communication style and their approach to problem-solving.

Competency trio

One, Three and Five

The three types in the Competency trio want to both experience themselves as highly competent and want to be treated by others as if they are highly competent. Competency has a different meaning to each of these types. For Ones, competency means being right, knowing how to organize in the best way, and having the most correct opinion. For Threes, competency means knowing how and being able to move things forward, being able to get great results, and understanding something that they think they should know. For Fives, competency means being capable in terms of their depth and breadth of knowledge and understanding how things fit together. The competency orientation of Ones, Threes and Fives impacts their communication style and their approach to problem-solving.

Intensity trio

Four, Six and Eight

Types Four, Six and Eight are the most intense of the nine Enneagram types. Their intensity, however, comes from different sources. The Fours’ intensity is emotional, a result of many feelings ruminating and replaying inside them. They have a deep appreciation for intense, authentic interactions. The Sixes’ intensity is more mental, the result of their ever-active minds playing and replaying various possible scenarios. The Eights’ intensity is more somatic and comes from the body. It is often observed that people can feel the intense presence of Eights, even when Eights are saying absolutely nothing. Intensity, whether emotional, mental or somatic, is a very strong energy that impacts their communication style and their approach to problem-solving.

Once the map is done and the trios are explained, the team can analyze how it functions and the team dynamics based on this trio map. From the above analysis, the team is equipped to make decisions about what they want to continue in the way their team communicates and problem solves and what they want to change. As a trainer or consultant to the team, you don’t need to know everything about the team and that would be very difficult. All you need is accurate Enneagram typing, a team that wants to examine itself, and an Enneagram symbol to use as a map. The trainer or consultant simply follows the above process and lets the team do the analysis and draw its own conclusions. Of course, they might need a little help from you as an objective outside person.

If you are curious about the trio mapping process and want more details about the three trios, plus concrete examples, you can find this and more in the Team Maps chapter in Ginger’s newest book, Transform your Team with the Enneagram: Build Trust, Decrease Stress, and Increase Productivity. Now available on Amazon!

Ginger Lapid-Bogda PhD, author of nine Enneagram books, is a speaker, consultant, trainer, and coach. She provides certification programs and training tools for business professionals around the world who want to bring the Enneagram into organizations with high-impact business applications. TheEnneagramInBusiness.com | ginger@theenneagraminbusiness.com


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