From Above




Imagine two golfers. One chap (let’s call him 3) takes it quite seriously but keeps slicing the ball. The other one (Mr 2), without being asked, offers some swing tips. Not only does Mr 3 not follow the advice, but he is also now sullen because he feels irritated by the unsolicited advice.

The Considerate Helper, the 2, can’t do enough for the team. Many of us will feel very appreciative of this constant effort – but for some, it can also be too much. As the 2 thrives on the appreciation for their efforts while not overtly looking for it, they will always prioritize an opportunity to be of service. Even when it is not appropriate.

Imagine a 3 (Competitive Achiever) who is driven as being seen as competent and successful. Along comes a 2, who thrives on being helpful wherever they can.

With the best of intentions, they help fix whatever problem the 3 is dealing with. The 3, however, feels intruded on and disrespected, because the help was unsolicited.

This is the kind of team dynamic issues that the Enneagram helps resolve, by drilling down into the motivations for this behaviour and fostering greater understanding in the team.

On a more granular level, as it pertains to the 2, they will never feel like they are doing enough for others, and this is in part fueled by their Impostor Syndrome. Their sincerity can be questioned because of their incessant positivity and complementary nature. This kind of feedback can lead to a negative spiral, as they equate love with being needed.

Pride is their secret vice, even though they externally exude great humility. The biggest workpiece for a 2 is to stop trying to save everyone and let the universe do its bit. Because they feel they must do all they can, this is particularly hard for them, and their identity is linked to being a “rescuer”.

If a 2 can wrestle down their need to always be helpful, the unintended consequence – where they disempower others – will be mitigated.

The Enneagram is a great framework for understanding team and personal dynamics.

Next week…the Competitive Achiever…

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