How To Support An Enneagram Eight At Work
The Enneagram Eight is known for a few things. Power, confidence, impact, and even assertion. In pop culture, we often see them cast as the owner of a hedge fund or a presidential candidate—and it is because the dominance and fervor of this type are what we associate with leadership. But there is another side to the coin. Today, we want to discuss how to support an Enneagram Eight at work.
An Overview of Enneagram Eight
The Eight wants control. They want to know where they are going, how they are getting there, and who exactly is helping them along the way.Their biggest fear is not having control and their biggest desire is to obtain it. This leads to an emotional wall of protection and a lack of vulnerability. Needing control and fearing losing it at all times, as one can imagine, can quickly lead to burnout.
How To Know When An Eight Is Headed Toward Burnout?
While Eights would prefer to be in control of all things at all times, this tendency to "hold it all" can quickly drive them into overwork and burnout. Energetically, Eights can take on more responsibility than is required, and their desire to hide any softness or fear can make reaching out to others for support a challenge It's important for this type to soften their armor and allow their genuine warmth to shine through.
Here, we will discuss some signs of burnout for this type and how you can help your teammate or colleague.
Enneagram 8 Signs Of Burnout To Look Out For:
1 | They begin to become secretive and retreat
2 | They start to dominate conversations and projects
3 | They become confrontational
4 | They completely overextend themselves
No list is conclusive, but for the Type 8 Enneagram, when these signs of burnout bubble up, intercept them with some helpful tips for your teammate to avoid burnout.
Give Them Opportunity To Lead
When an Eight cannot practice or pursue their innate leadership qualities, it can lead them to burnout. However, we know that every team does not have infinite leadership roles. So, our founder, Erin Rocchio, has created a beautiful Spiritual Connection Practice called "Empowering Those In Need" in the Enneagram x Burnout Card Deck. On this card, Erin displays a four-step process to help an Eight to consider how they may be able to mentor someone and lift others up. In this process, the Eight takes control, figuring out where they may be able to offer their leadership capabilities, and then generously gives their expertise to a mentee. This is a wonderful way for a team to acknowledge the leadership qualities of this type and allow them to act on those skills.
Bring Them Into The Group
At the granular level, Eights see themselves as an outsider. Misunderstood because of the walls they build for protection, people can often see them as hard or difficult. The reality is they want control so that they are not controlled. They reject in order to not become the rejected. They build a tough exterior to show that they are not threatened by the outside. But, deep down, like all of us, they want connection with others. Consider creating a safe space for your whole team to get to know each other with their guards down a bit. Something as simple as dinner outside of the office can be enough for team members to share their true selves. Other playful outings like an obstacle course or team-building activities can connect people on another level.
Speak Their Value
As someone who lives to achieve and lead, an Eight's confidence can wane when they don't feel appreciated. If you see this type on your team begin to show signs of burnout, pull them aside and show, in real ways, how they have positively impacted your team and organization. As leaders, we can easily miss out on opportunities to praise our team, even when we know they deserve it. Making a real connection with the Eight on your team by giving them positive and tangible feedback could be enough to help them see that their work is doing beautiful things for the organization.
There is so much to discuss when it comes to workplace burnout. If you want to dive into this work, we have tools for you and your team to help you end burnout in your organization for good.