The following information provides you with some of the insights we share with the participants of the Natural Superheroes events.
Type Six – The Loyalist
Also known as: Team Player, Trouble Shooter, Questionner World View: The world is a dangerous place and you can’t trust anyone Focus on: Making things safe Underlying Fear: Having no support and not being able to survive on their own Natural Virtues: Courage, Peace Natural Coaching and Leadership Style: The team performance is more important than anyone individual’s performance
Overview of Type Six Enneagram Profile
Known for their loyalty and commitment, SIXES are naturally the most effective team players. The type SIX can be further divided into two personalities. The difference between the two is how they handle fear. The phobic SIX will run away from danger, whereas the counter-phobic SIX will hesitate, momentarily think about taking action and then tackle it head-on. They are excellent trouble-shooters and are extremely alert to the kind of things that can go wrong and therefore prepare for them well beforehand. They are very incisive, practical and original thinkers. However, a constant preoccupation with worst- case scenarios, playing devil’s advocate and using mental analysis leads to a detachment from their own inner guidance. This, in turn, leads to procrastination, distrust, paranoia and lack of confidence in their own judgement. Often a push-pull scenario exists where there is a desire for direction and leadership from others but at the same time a resistance to the same; they like strong leadership but don’t like being controlled, and often avoid taking responsibility.
Underlying Issues that arise for SIXES
There is a core belief that others present a potential threat to them and cannot be totally trusted. To maintain a sense of security they feel they have to be constantly vigilant, on guard, on the defensive and playing devil’s advocate.
At their worst (when feelings of apathy, grief, fear, lust and anger arise) Deceitful, vain, procrastinating, insensitive, cruel, unpredictable, paranoid, sarcastic, pushy, anxious, defensive, ambivalent, controlling, superstitious, hyper vigilant.
At an average-healthy level (when feelings of pride arise and courage) Practical, organised, supportive, honest, competent, loyal, alert, sociable, reliable, responsible, caring, compassionate, curious, witty At their very, very best (when they are feeling acceptance for what is and completely at peace) Heroic, calm, trustworthy, intuitive,
These behavioural tendencies are highlighted through the enneagram diagram by the lines of integration (healthy behaviour) and disintegration (unhealthy behaviour). The arrows within the diagram below follow the direction of where the types move towards when they are feeling stressed.
Healthy – When relaxed and productive, SIXES take on some of the characteristics of NINES (Peacemakers)
Unhealthy – When stressed, SIXES take on some of the characteristics of THREES (Achievers)
Enneagram Type Sixes in Relationships
With a core motivation that drives issues of trust and safety, sixes can play devil’s advocate and question your intentions, often wondering what others are after, what do they really want, what’s behind it, can i trust them, do they really mean what they say, what are they doing behind my back… and so on. This can lead to a persistent ‘testing’ of another to see if they will stay. They often have no idea of the impact that this overt or covert questioning has on their relationships. In guarding against being too vulnerable in relationships, they can be proactive in wanting to be the one to make the relationship work through showing loyalty, commitment and warmth. Too much over commitment leads to a feeling of being engulfed by the other, and a drawing away from them. However, if convinced of another’s betrayal they will rarely if ever give someone a second chance. Not surprisingly sixes thus can seem quite confusing to others (and themselves).
Sixes at Work
With a clear understanding of rules, regulations and their responsibilities, and with clear leadership from above sixes perform very well. However, there is often a push-pull attitude towards authority. Sixes have strong analytical powers and with easily developed questioning skills can be excellent trouble- shooters for an organisation. They have a knack of being able to see the opposite position in any situation or problem and are great at what if scenarios. They often feel that they have to prove themselves to others; however, they regularly question other people’s motives and constantly play devil’s advocate, looking for hidden agendas and ulterior motives, and can spend much time needlessly worrying and feeling insecure. Without clear guidelines they spend more time thinking than doing, leading to procrastination, which can raise anxiety. They tend to sabotage themselves when nearing success with a goal. Constantly scanning the environment to maintain a sense of security can produce heightened intuitive awareness of potential dangers, alternative possibilities and new ideas. This could also lead to making unnecessary assumptions that danger and menace lurk in every person, event and circumstance.
The Leadership style of Sixes At their best sixes are very team oriented and can motivate and bring out the best in everyone.
They fully identify with the team and put the goals of the team ahead of any individual agenda. Team members are encouraged to contribute and team meetings provide opportunities for developing relationships. Their language is oriented around the importance of the group and the common good. At the unhealthy level the Six leader places excessive emphasis on conformity and seeks to control others behaviour to this end. People are tested to see if they can be trusted. Unreliable employees are quick to be punished, disciplined or fired. New ideas from others are treated with suspicion and defensiveness. They doubt themselves and procrastinate over even simple decisions.
Time Management Strategies for Sixes
The signal that a six needs to address their time management issues is when they show signs of being a workaholic. Fear of failure creeps in and this drives a great deal of action but also a great deal of cutting corners to achieve a result.
Through good time management practice sixes carefully consider and plan their day, preparing for the worst and then expecting the best.
Delegation can be an issue for a six if they perceive that they cannot trust anyone. Trust and verify would therefore be a better approach than not delegating at all.
Sixes sometimes find it difficult to establish goals for themselves and often seek leadership to tell them what the goals are. It is better for their development if they become skilled at setting realistic goals themselves.
Enneagram Type Sixes as Coaches
As natural questionners, sixes can make excellent coaches if they focus on a positive result. Their ability to see the downside in situations can demotivate people they are coaching. They simply need to practice covering the downside but then focus a great deal more on the up side whilst at the same time maintaining a clear perspective on reality.
In some cases, sixes spend too long asking too many unnecessary coaching questions.
They also need take responsibility for building trust between themselves and their coachees.
Sixes in Sport
As natural team players, sixes do well in sports such as rugby, soccer, football, basketball. Their attention is always on what is best for the team however if trust is broken they may well begin to unconsciously sabotage the team effort.
Much like the threes, sixes benefit from taking a little more time during the game/competition to gather their thoughts and more easily maintain a positive focus.
Paralysis by analysis is a common problem for sixes. Too many mind games waste energy that would be better served if channelled effectively into the performance.
Suggestions for the personal development of an Enneagram Type Sixes
Start to notice:
- How has the need to prepare for the worst dominated your life?
- How has the need for security dominated your life and work?
- How has the need to be part of a group or team determined your actions?
- How has doubt run your life?
- How easy have you found it to trust others, or to forgive others for a breach of trust?
- What thought or feelings result in you procrastinating?
What you can do and ask of yourself:
- Could you allow yourself to trust others and yourself?
- Could you allow yourself to develop your own inner authority?
- Could you allow yourself to act without feeling you have to ‘cover every eventuality’ beforehand?
- Could you allow yourself to focus on the positive more consistently?
- Learn to trust and delegate to others and not take on too much.
- Learn not to judge yourself for your anxiety or fears.
with a ‘five’ wing
- George W Bush
- Adolph Hitler
- John Chambers
- (CEO Cisco Systems)
- Vladimir Putin
- Condaleeza Rice
- Gary Kasparov (World Chess Champion)
- Mike Tindall
- Gene Hackman
- Jack Nicholson
- Kevin Spacey
- Edward Norton
- Woody Allen
- Dennis Hopper
- Sigmund Freud
with a ‘seven’ wing
Current Business/Political Leaders
- Steve Ballmer (CEO Microsoft)
- Alan Leighton (Chairman of Royal Mail)
- Venus Williams
- Kelly Holmes
- Clive Woodward
- John McEnroe
- Maria Sharapova
- Wayne Rooney
- Paul Gascoigne
- Andy Roddick
- Leyton Hewitt
- John Terry
- Marilyn Monroe
- Daniel Craig
- Michael Douglas
- Val Kilmer
- Tommy Lee Jones
- Michelle Pfeiffer
- Julia Roberts
- Dustin Hoffman
- Michael Caine
- Brad Pitt
- Uma Thurman
- Cameron Diaz
- James Woods
- Princess Diana
- George Best
- Joan Rivers
- Marilyn Monroe