Like a computer simulator, the mind of Enneagram Type 6 is constantly racing into the future imagining what might happen, alert to any possible risks or danger. Type 6s are masterful at plotting a path forward that avoids pitfalls and gets your team safely to the goal. In this video, I describe the intrinsic motivation of Type 6. Don’t be afraid, danger is avoided.
Excerpt from Teamwork 9.0
The active Type 6 mind continuously connects dots into the future. As the suppressed anxiety type, they seek to minimize their feelings of anxiety by identifying a path to the goal that has a high likelihood for success. As 6s review the pro/con analysis of each idea in Step 5, they can intuitively assign probabilities to outcomes, which gives them insight into the most promising ideas.
The 6s are driven by the fear of failure and the danger that failure represents, so they can easily identify the danger in each option. Their gift is being able to identify the path of least danger. In their minds, the 6s connect the dots along the path to the goal for each idea. The path with the clearest set of dots stands out starkly to them. This makes the 6 well equipped to lead the group in both selecting the most promising ideas and creating a plan of action that connects the dots and guides the team to the desired goal.
The aphorism, “Failing to plan is planning to fail,” captures the mindset of Type 6. In Step 6, you plan schedules, budgets, resource allocation, and contingencies that will withstand scrutiny from the stakeholders. Before further investment in the project, the action plan needs to be organized in a logical and palatable manner.
How does your leadership style minimize risk? Do you take time to think through possible problems, or do you plunge ahead and figure it out as you go? How much do you value planning? What are leadership styles that work well with Enneagram Type 6?
Now, we’re going to get to the suppressed anxiety. And I know this one well, because this is my type. And the way that I address my anxiety is, if I know what’s going to happen, then my anxiety goes down. And what I’m trying to do is I’m just trying to avoid any possible risks or danger, right? And I will plan things out and as long as everything goes on track and everything’s smoothly going along, my anxiety stays down. But when things start to go up, it’s, “Danger, Will Robinson. Danger, Will Robinson.” That’s the six dynamic, right? And my anxiety’s coming up, because now I don’t know what’s going to happen anymore. So sixes love to… I think a lot of sixes are drawn to project management, because we love to plan. We like to plan things out. And we have our contingency plans. We have our plan A and our plan B. And we think things through to make sure that we can successfully get to the outcomes that we’re after.
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