Ever feel something so strongly that you are at a loss for words? You may not be able to put words to it, but Enneagram Type 4 will know how you are feeling—perhaps even better than you know yourself! Not only do they relish immersion in their own feelings, but they also evoke feelings in others by communicating in emotionally impactful ways, often through art, music, and film. They migrate to roles in which feelings, theirs and others, are at the center.
Excerpt from Teamwork 9.0
While every Enneagram type can have an emotional reaction to an idea, the internal emotion Type 4 is highly attuned to the emotional content in any idea. In Step 3 (Ideation), it was important to hold back negative reactions in order to generate the richest possible set of ideas. In Step 4, it is important to review and reflect on how people reacted to the ideas, both positively and negatively.
While some initiatives can combine Steps 3 and 4 as described in the previous chapter, for projects that must carefully consider the possible emotional reactions of all stakeholders, I dedicate time to this analysis. Type 4s are ideal for leading this discussion since they will have the most nuanced appreciation of others’ reactions and a sense of what stakeholders will like. While many of us would like to think we are driven by logic and data, the truth is that emotions play an even greater role in our decision making. The ability to understand emotional reactions is critical for determining both the short- and longterm acceptability of any idea.
How do you used feelings and emotions to communicate with others? How do you communicate in ways that make the strongest emotional impact? In what situations do feelings play a central role for you?
Now we go to the 4. This is the internal emotion. Instead of all of that emotion externalized, it’s now all inside. It’s roiling around, roiling around. If you ask a 4 “Hey, how are you feeling?” the 4 would look at you and say “I’m feeling fine,” but what they’re actually thinking is, “What an idiotic question. How can I tell you how I’m feeling? I’m feeling the warmth of the light on the wall. I’m feeling all of the warmth from the faces on the screen. I’m feeling the sounds of conversation in my family in the background. I’m missing being with them right now and I’m feeling all this stuff, but if I told you that, you would think I’m crazy, so what I say is, ‘I’m feeling fine.'”
So that’s what’s going on with the 4. 4s are absorbed in feelings. They want to be engaged with their feelings, and the more intense the situations, the better, the more it invigorates them, so they tend to immerse themselves in activities with lots of emotional feelings.
The other really interesting thing about the 4s is that not only are they feelings, emotional content of everything around them, but they’re also able to communicate in emotionally impactful ways. They tend to become communicators, but emotional communicators, so artists, musicians, poets. That is the realm in which they’re dealing. They’re just living in feelings. Feelings and communicating feelings.
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