Wanna have some fun? Find an Enneagram Type 7! Type 7s like being around other people, and others like being around them. Type 7s make it easy to build rapport.
Type 7s are like Parfait
“You know what ELSE everybody likes? Parfaits!” said Donkey in the movie Shrek. Type 7s are the parfait of the Enneagram. They tend to be fun, charming and talkative. They are very effective at making themselves likeable. They have the innate ability to “work a room”—go around, connect, and make sure that everyone’s having a good time. Who doesn’t like that! (Donkey is an good example of a talkative Type 7.)
As discussed in this 5/8/20 blog, mirroring is one of the most important rapport building skills. Enneagram Type 7s want to keep things light and fun; engaging with your Type 7 teammates in fun conversations and activities is a great way to build rapport with them. Enneagram Type 7s are the external anxiety type, external meaning that the source of their anxiety comes from outside of themselves—specifically from their relationships with others. As long as they have a positive relationship, their anxiety is low. If they sense any negativity, especially directed at themselves, then anxiety shoots up. For Type 7s, their anxiety reduction strategy is equivalent to a rapport build strategy.
Don’t Bring Me Down
Type 7s want to avoid negative situations, and they tend to be dismissive of other’s negative emotions. If you need a shoulder to cry on, you can count on the 7 to encourage you to cheer up, but do not expect much beyond that—they are not wired to empathize with negative emotions. As a rapport building strategy, keep your conversations with Type 7s on the emotionally positive and light side. Engage in activities in which everyone involved can participate and enjoy themselves. You can elicit the best out of your Type 7 teammates in these situations—you almost can’t help yourself from having a good time.
Help Me Get to Action
Another important way of building rapport and trust with your Type 7 teammates is to help them get to action. They are reluctant to engage in activities that they perceive to be boring or negative in any way—even when they know they need to do it. You can help them overcome this barrier by turning the activity into a team effort, so that they can be interacting with their teammates as they work through the task. Creating a fun, team-based environment for Type 7 teammates is an excellent rapport building technique.
I once worked with a Type 7 who traveled extensively to Asia. While he loved his job, he hated filing expense reports. To him, those reports were tedious and boring with no positive social interaction—the worst of the worst. Over the years—yes, years—he racked up 10s of thousands of dollars in reimbursable expenses. Not even that amount of money could overcome his disdain for that boring activity. This example highlighted to me the importance of caring about the tasks assigned to Type 7 teammates.
Think It, Speak It
Type 7s have a fascinating speaking style. When telling a story, they will tend to take multiple tangents as they are reminded of things that they are compelled to mention. Another rapport building example is to patiently listen to your Type 7 teammates as they tell their story, sidetracks and all. Also, don’t be put off if the Type 7 interrupts you when you are speaking. Your story may remind them of something, and once they think it they are compelled to speak it. This think-it-speak-it characteristic of the 7 makes them excellent at light, bantering conversations.
When does rapport building take place with the Enneagram Type 7s in your life? What steps to building rapport work for you? What have you learned to avoid?
Karl Townsend says
As the outed Type 7 that didn’t care for expense reports (still don’t!), let me tell you what eventually happened. I recruited one of the group admins to do the expense reports for me! She filed them like a pro in no time, got me my reimbursement check, and I bought her a few bottles of wine for her trouble. It was fun and a good relationship building exercise. Win-win for the 7!
Matt Schlegel says
I didn’t remember that part–the perfect 7 ending to the story!