How To Support An Enneagram Two At Work
Enneagram Twos are known as "The Helper" because they tend to lead with their feelings and focus on their relationships, emphasizing generosity. While this can be a tremendous asset in nurturing workplace friendships, it can also lead to burnout because help can come at the cost of caring for their own needs. According to Truity, Enneagram Twos make up 11% of the population, so it is likely that even if you aren't a Two, you will certainly run in circles with one at work. The best leaders can work with all personality types, so we're going to delve into the best ways to support Twos in the workplace.
An Overview of Enneagram Two
Like Threes and Fours, Enneagram Twos are part of the "heart-based" triad, meaning their decisions are usually motivated by feeling. This manifests in some of their most defining characteristics, like deep empathy and care for others. Twos typically have an innate ability when it comes to emotional intuition and can be amazing support systems for their loved ones. They are the ultimate "ride or die," if you will. Conversely, Enneagram Twos can be obsessed with gaining approval from others and motivated by negative feelings of self-worth, especially when their self-esteem is low.
How To Know When A Two Is Headed Toward Burnout?
Whether you or someone in your life is a Two, it is important to know the telltale signs when Twos feel depleted. Because of their desire to be loved and needed, Twos will suppress their true feelings and needs, have difficulty setting boundaries, and turn toward passive aggression or internal resentment. This can be a challenging thing to spot, especially since Twos are so good at making others feel comfortable, but there still are some telltale signs.
Enneagram Two Signs Of Burnout To Look Out For
You'll know an Enneagram Two is beginning to burn out when they:
1 | Start playing the victim
2 | Begin overworking themselves
3 | Say yes to everything
4 | Act like a martyr
5 | Fish for compliments and validation
6 | Aren't setting boundaries with others
Every Two is different, and their reactions to burnout will vary, but this list is a great place to start when supporting an Enneagram Two at work. Because Twos tend to suppress their needs, it is important to remain mindful to make sure you aren't relying too heavily on them and contributing to their burnout. If you see a Two exhibiting any of these signs, try to focus on how you can help them put an end to their burnout before it worsens.
Tell Them How Much You Appreciate Them
How can you help Twos combat their burnout symptoms? Enneagram Twos' deepest fear is feeling unloved and unappreciated, so a simple acknowledgment that their hard work isn't going unnoticed can go a long way. Positive reinforcement is a great tool as a team leader—because everyone appreciates a compliment? But Twos are also known for their humility, so remember that even if they aren't externally receptive to the praise, they're probably still experiencing a boost of confidence and gratitude on the inside.
Remind Them That It's Okay To Say No
Because of their deep desire to be needed by others, Enneagram Twos have difficulty saying no and setting boundaries. This can lead to intense workloads and burnout, even if they don't speak up or show it. That's why even a simple reminder that they don't always have to say “yes” is key. If you see a Two taking on too much, try helping them assess their needs and set boundaries.
Encourage Them To Take Time For Themselves
Enneagram Twos can become so obsessed with "putting others first" that they neglect their relationship with themselves. Because they are so emotionally intuitive when it comes to others, it's easy to forget that they also need to focus inward. By encouraging Twos to set aside time to focus on themselves, you are helping them reevaluate their wants and needs since ignoring them will eventually lead to burnout.
With Enneagram Twos, burnout can slowly and subtly creep up if you aren't paying attention. Seeing the signs before it gets serious can be tricky, but we have resources to help you dive deeper and ensure your team is burnout-free, including our Enneagram X Burnout Card Deck, which has 108 mindful practices for all Enneagram types. Perfect for leaders and individuals alike.