Using Enneagram Types to Motivate your Team

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As a leader, you know that a major key to team and organizational success is motivation. Without motivated employees, organizations simply cannot succeed. Motivate your team and you’ll see improved employee satisfaction, improved efficiency, and improved productivity.

The tricky thing with motivation is that it’s not one-size-fits-all… Unfortunately, it doesn’t cut it anymore to lead and motivate everybody in the same way. Motivation needs to be tailored based on individual personality types, meaning leaders need to understand the unique traits of everyone. This makes it easier to inspire individuals, to help individuals reach their full potential, and to interact one-on-one and in team settings.

How can you possibly understand all your employees’ personalities?

There are plenty of personality assessments you can use in the workplace, but for the purpose of this article we’ll focus on the Enneagram. (This article will only scratch the surface of Enneagram typing, so reach out to the CoreCounts team if you want a deeper dive.)

According to Truity, “the Enneagram is a system of personality typing that describes patterns in how people interpret the world and manage their emotions. Each of the nine personality types is defined by a particular core belief about how the world works. This core belief drives your deepest motivations and fears — and fundamentally shapes a person’s worldview and the perspective through which they see the world and the people around them. “

Besides the Enneagram telling us personality traits and characteristics, it is also helpful in telling us motivations based on each of the nine types.

Let’s take a high-level look at the core motivations of each Enneagram type:

Enneagram 1 – The Perfectionist

Core Motivation: to have integrity, be full of virtue, and be correct

Enneagram 2 – The Helper

Core Motivation: to feel appreciation, love, and desire

Enneagram 3 – The Achiever

Core Motivation: to be admirable, successful, and respected

Enneagram 4 – The Individualist

Core Motivation: to possess meaning, significance, and authenticity

Enneagram 5 – The Investigator

Core Motivation: to be competent, capable, and sufficient

Enneagram 6 – The Loyalist

Core Motivation: to be secure, safe, and supported

Enneagram 7 – The Enthusiast

Core Motivation: to be happy, without restraints, and open to possibilities

Enneagram 8 – The Challenger

Core Motivation: to be independent, able to protect themselves and others, and free to make decisions

Enneagram 9 – The Peacemaker

Core Motivation: to be at peace, stable, and connected with others


What do you do now that you have a very basic knowledge of Enneagram motivations? I would first suggest completing the Enneagram assessment. Next, think about how you can play into everyone’s motivations, helping them show up as their best self at work.

For example, if Andrew is an Enneagram Type 1, he may need extra encouragement compared to Rachel who is an Enneagram and is very independent and self-confident. Without extra motivation, Andrew will likely become disengaged and unmotivated. Rachel, on the other hand, likely needs to feel in control of decisions and tasks.

Pay attention to the behaviors of those around you and you’ll pick up on their triggers, both positive and negative. Use this gained understanding and create your gameplan for how to maximize motivation in your employees.


Do you want to dive deeper into the Enneagram? Click HERE to learn about our options!

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