Appreciation is a 2-way street. Enneagram Type 2s are great givers of appreciation and will expect appreciation in return. What can Type 2 leaders do when they find themselves in a thankless job? Here’s how one leader found appreciation from within.
A Thankless Job
Enneagram Type 2s are in the Feeling Center of the Enneagram and want to build emotional connections with others based on mutual appreciation. They will go out of their way to help others and will expect appreciation in return. Some workplace environments foster a culture of gratitude in which Type 2s will thrive. Other cultures minimize the human connection, focusing instead on efficiency and results. Type 2s may struggle in such an environment.
Appreciation from Without and from Within
Being focused on the emotional needs of others, Type 2s will often rely on others to fulfill their own emotional needs. Through awareness of this tendency, the Type 2 leader can recognize the feelings they get, often anger, when they are not receiving the appreciation they expect from others. Rather than externalizing those angry feelings, the 2 can develop strategies to find appreciation from within themselves.
Type 2s often have many creative pursuits and will develop a sense of pride for products of their hobbies, often with no expectation of appreciation from others. By nurturing that sense of self appreciation, the Type 2 leader can bring that sense into other areas of their life, including the workplace, where they can pursue excellence and be proud of their efforts with no expectation of appreciation from others. Also, by continuing to appreciate the efforts of colleagues, they can grow a culture of gratitude within the organization.
Mess to Success
In this video, I describe how a Type 2 leader navigated a change in the work environment where the company’s management style became more focused on logic and results than on personal connections and gratitude. By focusing on the pride he felt for his and his team’s work, he could nurture a sense of appreciation from within himself rather than expect gratitude from the company’s board of directors.
Have the Type 2 leaders in your life found a way to appreciate themselves for their work? What creative hobbies do they pursue that can serve as examples of work they do with no expectation of appreciation from others?
I’m taking the rest of the week off.
That’s what my client Al said with just a hint of anger in his voice.
It’s the only way people recognize how much I am doing around here.
Through sheer force of will, Al kept his organization on track. Being the executive responsible for building and delivering products to customers, his role was pivotal to the success of the company.
Since lead times for some critical components measured in months, Al would have to place orders for those components based on very little information about future customer demand.
Balancing future demand with current cash constraints caused Al a lot of anxiety.
The company’s board of directors really had little understanding of this aspect of Al’s job.
And while Al was continually exercising his prognostication heroics, board members were constantly criticizing and second guessing him.
It was a truly thankless job.
Al is the type who goes out of his way to help others.
He is well liked by his team and by others in the organization.
Having been with the company since nearly its inception, he had grown in the role of managing all of operations.
In the beginning, the company was a small, intimate group, and everyone was deeply familiar and appreciative of each other’s contributions.
But as the company expanded, functions within the organization had become more siloed and the intimacy of the early company disappeared along with the appreciation that Al once received for his contributions.
New management was centered more on logic than relationships. They expected everyone to do their job. And, appreciation was monetized, coming in the form of bonuses, rather than personalized.
Working with Al, we explored his style and his need for appreciation. We discussed how the organization had changed and how new management weren’t the type who would be forthcoming with appreciation—it just didn’t register to them as a priority.
Instead, we explored how Al could find appreciation from within himself. We identified other areas of his life in where he pursued hobbies with no expectation of appreciation from others and Al has many hobbies so there were many great examples to choose from.
By connecting that sense of pride for one’s work with no expectation of appreciation from others. Al could appreciate himself for the great job he knew he and his team were doing.
And importantly, he could also be proud of the sense of community he had built within his own team and of his team’s abilities to consistently deliver products.
Al’s story shows the importance of appreciation in the workplace, both appreciating others and also learning to appreciate yourself.
Thanks for listening.
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