Enneagram Type Interactions: A Case Study
Anthony Type 8 The Boss and Fredric Type 9 The Peacemaker
Type 8s prefer people to be direct with them—to meet their energy and pace. Indirect communication creates mistrust. They want to know where you stand. They also seem to prefer that this feedback happen in a 1:1 rather than group environment.
Recently, I coached Fredric Type 9 Peacemaker, who had a Type 8 CEO boss (Anthony). Fredric was ready to shift the dynamic with his boss. He knew that how he had been dealing with him wasn’t working and Fredric was paying a price. He realized how complacent he became and almost numb. He had no energy and felt overwhelmed by everything and couldn’t seem to take any sustained action.
To make matters worse, he asked for a raise and was turned down. Fredric requested a coaching session to help prepare him for his long overdue conversation with Anthony.y to shift the dynamic with his boss. He knew that how he had been dealing with him wasn’t working and Fredric was paying a price. He realized how complacent he became and almost numb. He had no energy and felt overwhelmed by everything and couldn’t seem to take any sustained action.
Later that week, Anthony approached me to let me know he had the best conversation ever with Fredric. “What happened?” I asked. “Gary let me know that he was intimidated by me and my ‘outbursts;’ that his fear affected his ability to complete projects, and his reaction was with to withdraw and be unresponsive.”
People on the team had been frustrated with Fredric as well—they were walking on eggshells around him because he had become somewhat prickly—seemed stressed, and everyone could see the physical toll it had taken on him—lots of weight gain. People were afraid to approach and things they requested were not being done. They relied on Fredric as part of their critical path.
Anthony had no idea of his impact on others and in particular, Fredric. He had been incredibly frustrated by Fredric’s performance, saw him as a competent a capable employee and couldn’t understand why he
had been dropping the ball, been unresponsive and acted prickly with others. Anthony never saw himself as having a confrontational style of communication, or that other’s perceived him as having ‘outbursts,’ and they were fearful and intimidated by him.
This was a wake-up call for Anthony. It is unclear whether he will shift his style for the long term, but he is more awake to the unintended impact he has on others and the boomerang effect it has on him.
After many months of stuffing his feelings and shutting down, Fredric realized he had to do something different, but didn’t know what.
The time was right for our coaching session and Fredric was responsive to my suggestions. These were lemon bursts of insight for both of them.