How To Support An Enneagram Nine At Work
The Enneagram Nine is easygoing, agreeable, accepting, and accommodating. They want to work well with others and to keep peace in a group of people. However, all this work to make everyone feel comfortable can lead to burnout. Today we want to discuss how you can support an Enneagram Nine at work.
An Overview of Enneagram Nine
Nines want to make and keep peace around them. They are sensitive to ruffling any feathers and consider how everyone in the room feels about any given task or situation before taking action. They avoid conflict and pursue harmony as much as possible. Because of this, they tend to move at a little slower, detached pace than others, particularly when they are headed toward burnout.
How To Know When A Nine Is Headed Toward Burnout?
Burnout in Nines can frequently arise as they "fall asleep" to their own needs, physical and emotional, in a desire to support positive group environments. They can succumb to overthinking and overwhelm, creating withdrawal instead of action and decisiveness.
Here, we will discuss some signs of burnout and how you can help your teammate or colleague.
Enneagram 9 Signs Of Burnout To Look Out For:
1 | They begin to ignore their physical and emotional needs
2 | They avoid sharing their point of view
3 | They withdraw from the group
4 | They become "yes" people and over-extend
5 | They begin to disassociate in meetings and group discussions
No list is conclusive, but for the Type 9 Enneagram, when these signs of burnout bubble up, intercept them with helpful tips for your teammate to avoid burnout.
Host Wellness Breaks
While this article focuses on the Enneagram 9 specifically, wellness moments throughout the day are suitable for all nine Enneagram types. When you start seeing the Nine on your team ignore their well-being, blocking off mindful moments, even 1 to 10 minutes in the middle of the day for a quick refresh, can be incredibly beneficial. Your team can use this time to journal, breathe, practice movement—whatever they need—in their own office or desk. We often speak about micro-moments of well-being on our Instagram. Some of us are so busy that even a minute can sound overwhelming. But we encourage you to find a one-minute breathing exercise and send your team a quick email with the instructions to encourage that minute of wellness. Just one minute of meditation has tons of benefits. And they reach beyond our workdays.
Ask Them What They Need
For someone so selfless and peacekeeping as a Nine, they might not even think about their own needs and desires at work. If you start to notice withdrawal from your Enneagram Nine at work, it may be a good time to have a private conversation about what they want for themselves, since they are always thinking of other people's needs. Be direct, keep it light, and give them a moment to truthfully identify their personal goals. You may find out that their desires directly align with the organization's needs.
Help Them Create Boundaries (And Then Respect Them)
When a Nine becomes a "yes person," you might not even notice. As a leader, you may need someone to say yes so that the task at hand can be completed. But this sort of selflessness can lead to burnout right before your eyes. An important practice you can begin with your team is asking what boundaries they need around their work and encouraging your team (and yourself) to respect them. For instance, the Nine on your team may be in charge of end-of-month reports that need to be incredibly detailed and exact. Perhaps they have people coming in and out of their space during reporting times, interrupting their work and increasing their chances to miss something. As a nine, they probably will not share their frustration. However, if asked directly, this gives them an opportunity to discuss issues in a comfortable setting, and provides your team with specific boundaries for respecting their needs.
Help Them Familiarize Themselves With Anger
Dissociation is a coping mechanism that can be unhealthy for the individual practicing it and the teammates who work with them. If you notice your teammate dissociating, we have a practice for you. Our founder, Erin Rocchio, MPOD, created a beautiful Self Compassion Practice called "Getting Familiar With Anger" in the Enneagram x Burnout Card Deck. This practice will encourage your teammate to journal about their anger and gain beneficial insights from it rather than repressing it all together. This, and all 108 mindful practices in the deck, can be helpful tools for your whole team.
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.