How To Support An Enneagram Seven At Work
Do you have someone on your team with an uncanny zest for life? Someone with a buzzing career, a fencing and gardening hobby, who writes for the weekly paper and still finds time to host parties for their loved ones? If so, you probably work with an Enneagram Seven. A Seven can be characterized by always enjoying every second of life and being overwhelmingly curious. They are wonderful people to be around and have on a team, but like any other type, burnout can cause their less-than-desirable traits to surface. Today we want to discuss this type and how to support them at work.
An Overview of Enneagram Seven
Most of us want to enjoy life to the fullest with the freedom to do as we please, and for a Seven, that's their primary motivation. While many of us may think that sounds nice, Sevens live to "make it happen" by becoming a jack of all trades and focusing on their natural talents. They seek possibility and use their creativity to find bold solutions to problems. They are charming, and others often want to follow their energetic lead.
How To Know When A Seven Is Headed Toward Burnout?
The most outgoing of the Thinking Center (Fives, Sixes, and Sevens) burnout might arise because of the Seven's dislike for boundaries coupled with their spontaneity. Without the natural inclination to make choices or follow a set path, this type can become overwhelmed with tasks they've taken on. To keep a Seven happy and healthy at work, it is crucial to know the signs of burnout.
Enneagram 7 Signs Of Burnout To Look Out For:
1 | They begin to act cynical
2 | Become self-critical
3 | Become indecisive
4 | Begin to show narcissistic tendencies
5 | Display drastic shifts in emotion (high highs to low lows)
No list is conclusive, but these are signs of trouble for the Type Seven. Burnout is preventable if we know the signs and can stop them in their tracks. Here are some ways you can be supportive.
Give Them the Opportunity To Play
Some argue that work and play don't go together, and studies have yet to conclude whether it is helpful for the workplace (though some studies have suggested it is). Play for many of us can mean the freedom to try something new, create and test, or use a new medium to get our job done (giving a graphic designer the ability to play with motion rather than solely still images, for instance). Give your Enneagram Seven creative license to do their job in innovative ways that won't impact their flow and gives them the freedom to explore. This can help satiate their need for change and foster new creative paths within your team.
If you are in a non-creative profession, allowing some "recess" time during the day to play a board game or go on a walk with the team could be a great way to add excitement to the day.
Allow Them To Work From Home
Since 2020, the workplace has completely changed. We went from in-office teams working at their desks from 9 am to 5 pm to allow our teams to work and thrive at home. For some personality types, like Enneagram Sevens, working from home allows them the comfort and space to thrive. While an Enneagram 5 or Enneagram 6 may be more inspired to work from home every day, a 7 can use a mix of both. They want social interaction with the team as well as the flexibility to work from the comfort of their homes. Allowing a hybrid work style for your Seven gives them the freedom they desire while also inspiring their teams in the workplace with their enthusiasm.
Give Them A Grounding Practice
The 7 Enneagram has the unique ability to shake things up and start a party at any moment, but sometimes they need to ground themselves in the present. When they begin to withdraw and act cynical at work or become indecisive, it is the perfect time to give them the tools for grounding.
Our founder, Erin Rocchio, created a beautiful practice for this need in the Enneagram X Burnout Card Deck called "Grounding in the Now." In this practice, she gives the Enneagram Seven five steps to appreciate the present moment. This exercise helps all of us, but Sevens especially, to see that their possibilities are right here. Right now.
There is so much to discuss when it comes to workplace burnout. If you want to dive deeper into this work, we have tools for you and your team to help you end burnout in your organization for good.