YIKES! What if THAT happens?!? Enneagram Type 6s are always on the alert for possible danger. They like to think about the future and prepare appropriately. In relationships, trust is paramount. Here’s how to build rapport with Type 6.
A Calm Moment
More than any other Enneagram type, Type 6 is beset with feelings of anxiety. Like a thermometer in their gut, the anxiety temperature is low when things go according to plan. When things don’t, the anxiety temperature rises. When building rapport with Type 6, it is best to approach them in their calm state. Otherwise, anxiety can make them confrontational and mask their ability to make meaningful and trusting connections.
As discussed in this 5/8/20 blog, mirroring is one of the most important rapport building skills. Reflecting back concern about the future and discussing probabilities for outcomes is an important way to build rapport and trust with your Type 6 teammates. They value these conversations and your participation is an excellent rapport building technique.
Walk Me Through This
Anxiety can be particularly high when doing something for the first time. Your Type 6 teammate will appreciate being walked through how it works. They want to know what’s going to happen and when it will take place. For instance, if you have a big meeting coming up in which the 6 will present, rehearse with the 6—that will help calm their anxiety. Reassuring them that everything will be fine also helps.
If you are planning to conduct the meeting with a new online tool, practice with the 6 beforehand. Unfamiliarity with the tool during the meeting will increase anxiety for the 6 that can throw them off their game. Doing a dry run beforehand will allow the 6 to become familiar with the tool; they will appreciate your efforts to help keep anxiety levels low.
Don’t Put Me on the Spot
Since 6s plan things out, they generally have a script in their head they’re following. Sticking to the script will keep anxiety down. If you need to go off script, then be aware that anxiety for the 6 increases, and they will appreciate support under those conditions. Situations in which there is confrontation are particularly anxiety-inducing. As a rapport building strategy, minimizing confrontation and unexpected outcomes keeps Type 6s calm and at their best.
Type 6s constantly judge whether someone or something can be trusted to be reliable. With your Type 6 teammates, be consistent in setting expectations and meeting those expectations. As you do this, the 6 will increasingly trust you and open the space for rapport building.
No! Well, Maybe
When presented with a new proposal out of the blue, the gut reaction for the 6 is often, “No.” They will say no before they have had a chance to think about it. Once they have a moment to think, they will often want to change their mind. But, before they do, they will have questions—lots of questions. One of the labels often attributed to the 6 is the Questioner. Why do they ask so many questions? Firstly, they want to make sure that you have really thought through the idea, so that they can trust you. Also, they want to know what will happen, so they will endeavor to clarify how things will play out. Indulging your Type 6 teammates by answering their questions is another rapport building example.
Plan A and B
Type 6s are natural planners. Not only will they plan out the main path forward, they will want to prepare a plan B, just in case. Participating with your Type 6 teammates in planning helps build consensus and lowers the likelihood for future confrontations, all of which alleviate anxiety and present a platform on which to build rapport with your Type 6 teammates.
When does rapport building take place with the Enneagram Type 6s in your life? What steps to building rapport work for you? What have you learned to avoid?