Strengthen Your Team | How the Enneagram Can Improve Collaboration at Work

Jul 2020

Here at KWSM, we thrive on teamwork. Though we have multiple offices located around the country, we communicate with each other constantly throughout the day – brainstorming ideas, reviewing each other’s work, collaborating on tasks, and ensuring everyone is accomplishing their weekly goals, etc. 


As we serve clients in different cities, we operate as one team with a common mission. This team-orientedness is so ingrained in our daily work, it’s even one of our core values! This attribute has always stuck out to me because the way we interact with each other can have a huge impact on the quality of our work. 


Since we don’t get to hang out in the office with all of our team members, getting well-acquainted requires some extra intentionality. (And, our existing focus on communicating across offices has served us well during the pandemic, when we are all working from home!)


My fellow KWSM team members can attest that I am a huge nerd when it comes to self-awareness tools and personality tests. Through my research, I have found time and time again that the more we know about each other – our strengths, challenges, communication styles, passions, etc – the more likely we are to operate effectively (and have fun together along the way). 


For the past year or so, my favorite resource for identifying these characteristics is the Enneagram. For those of you who don’t know, the Enneagram is a system of personality typing that describes patterns in how people interpret the world and manage their emotions. The Enneagram describes nine different personality types and maps each of these types on a nine-pointed diagram which helps to illustrate how they relate to one another (Truity). 


While the Enneagram can be used as just another fun personality test for individuals, it’s also a great tool for analyzing how your own strengths and challenges can impact a team as a whole.


According to, “Everyone works in teams, often in multiple teams, and the social intelligence of team members dramatically increases their ability to work together effectively. Teams are dynamic and constantly-changing entities with their own cultures, norms, and roles, and they grow along predictable stages of development. The Enneagram can be used as a map to diagnose current team functioning and offer pathways for increased team effectiveness.”


I recently encouraged my colleagues to take a free assessment and we all shared our results together. It was so much fun to see all of the types represented, and then be able to learn more about how each of us operates and where we naturally thrive.


The Enneagram has given each of us the opportunity to increase our own self-awareness and individualize the way we communicate with each person on our team. I’m excited to see how these skills influence our interactions and collaboration going forward!


I’m a Type 9 — which type are you?




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