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ENNEAGRAM 5: THE QUIET SPECIALIST AND THE INNER IMPOSTOR


Do you find these folks quite challenging?


Look, we all have a bit of the introvert and the extrovert in us. I like a good book as much as the next person, but I also like to be the centre of attention at a party. The Quiet Specialist, however, is very much biased towards alone time and conserving resources. Social situations are generally a challenge, and they feel like they have a finite tank of energy for external engagement. They are much more efficient in getting on with things in private than being forced into the public eye.


The self-talk is: “The world is intrusive; I must protect my resources and energy so that I can think. I must be self-sufficient and not depend on others too much. I must understand and make sense of my world. I don’t need much but I need my space.”


The good news is they are perceptive, curious, inventive and self-sufficient. They are also quite unsentimental and prefer facts to emotions.

So your extroverted employees, who believe there is more than enough time and energy to go around, will be quite challenged by these folks. They, in turn, will prefer to get on with it and “do it themselves” than to engage in highly interdependent team structures that require lots of communication and interaction.


Where does the inner impostor come into all this? The 5 is less susceptible to other types. They are not driven to limiting their potential by their inner impostor – more likely, they are just so clear on their boundaries and comfortable with those that others might perceive them as haughty and even unfriendly.


The gift of the 5 is structure and boundaries. I had such a person come into my business during a high growth phase, and her insistence on boundaries and structure (and she wouldn’t take the job until I was clear that she wouldn’t be physically client-facing most of the time) helped us to implement the structures that would help us scale. So their almost outsize insistence on clarity, privacy and resources conservation can be a gift!


Next week…The Loyal Sceptic…


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