Going deep on a topic? Enneagram Type 5s are masters at mastering subject matter. If you want to ensure that all the nooks and crannies of any matter are uncovered, you can count on Type 5 for the job. What motivates Type 5’s drive for subject mastery? This video provides a sneak peek into the mind of the 5. Don’t worry, it’s safe.
Excerpt from Teamwork 9.0
As the internal anxiety type, Enneagram Type 5’s anxious energy conveys an extraordinary ability to collect and comb through mountains of data. Type 5s will follow the data wherever it takes them and will not be satisfied until they believe they have exhausted all avenues. At Step 5, your team will have developed a handful of promising ideas that need careful consideration. Type 5 is ideally suited to take up the leadership mantle in this step and guide the team through the pro/con analysis of each idea.
A special trait of the 5s is their unbiased pursuit of information. They would just as soon collect all available data and not leave anything out. Other types tend to have biases that cause them to filter out certain data. While those filters may help them arrive at a decision more quickly, they might overlook important information that the 5 would have uncovered.
How does your leadership style approach uncovering all knowledge on a subject matter? Do you do the research yourself? Or do you trust others go deep while staying focused on the big picture. How do you ensure that you haven’t overlooked anything? What are leadership styles that work well with Enneagram Type 5?
And now for the 5. Again, they’re dealing with anxiety but it’s internalized. And the way they deal with their anxiety is they want to feel safe. They just want to feel safe. So, what makes the 5 feel safe? Well, they collect resources that they need to feel safe. So, what kind of resources would make a 5 feel safe? Money, certainly collecting money. But also information and knowledge. So, they will collect lots and lots of resources. If you know a 5, you’ll find that they go very, very deep on subjects. I was talking with a client the other day, and we talked about how he was in the military and he knew everything about all the military weapons; he could just talk through everything. And then he talked about, oh yeah I was in a band. And then he talked about guitars deep, deep, deep, deep, deep in guitars. And then oh yeah, I was a writer for a music magazine. And then he was listing all these bands that he’s written about.
So, these are very narrow and very deep. That is very typical of a type 5. They might be engineers or in academia, in finance but really deep topics, that’s their comfort zone. And once they’ve mastered that knowledge, then they feel safe. And that makes them feel safe, that mastery. I said earlier 5s can be kind of the flip side of the 1, where the 1 wants to get it right, the 5 is afraid of getting it wrong. And that’s what compels them (the 5) because they don’t want to appear uninformed. But both (1 and 5) are compelled to go very deep on topics. And if you work with 5s, they can be challenging because they’re not very communicative. They’re the ones who just sit in meetings and you’re just trying to draw information out and of them, but why should they give away their information? That’s their gold, right? So, 5s can be particularly challenging for project managers.
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