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Using Enneagram Triads To Develop Teams: Part 3
Using Enneagram Triads To Develop Teams: Part 3

What to do if more than half of your team exists within the Gut Triad of the Enneagram.

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Written by Team
Updated over a week ago

The Enneagram Triads continue to shed light on team dynamics and how to interrupt patterns that may hinder communication and productivity, while leveraging hidden strengths within a team. If you missed part 1 or 2 of this series, be sure to check it out here for a review of Enneagram Triads and Scenario 1 and Scenario 2.

Scenario 3: More than half of team members in the GUT Triad

If a team has more than 50% of its members in the GUT Triad there are several things to consider as a team that can impact:

  • Collaboration

  • Conflict

  • Having everyone’s voice be heard

  • Decision making

  • Managing mission and purpose

Let’s recap from part one of this series about this Triad:

Gut Triad: The Gut Triad consists of 8s, 9s and 1s.

These teammates are concerned with justice and seek independence, which leads them to honor what is fair and to desire freedom in their work. These teammates don't like others dictating their decisions or trying to change the team culture that they've intentionally developed.

Leveraging Strengths

There is definite strength within the Gut Triad that can contribute positive and productive dynamics to a team. Certain situations can trigger the best of those in the Gut Triad:

  1. They will continually bring a team back to mission and purpose, ensuring that a team is connected to their “why” more often than not.

  2. 8s 9s and 1s will infuse natural motivation into a team that can help drive projects and initiatives across the finish line. When your team struggles with vision or drive, rely on this group of people to re-energize the team.

  3. These individuals will also ensure that other team members don’t get taken advantage of. Their deep sense of justice can be extra sensitive to those that don’t have a voice. What this can look like is an 8,9 or 1 asking for input from someone who may need extra encouragement to speak up in a group.

  4. In general, call on your Gut Triad team members to rally the group when they need a boost or when self-limiting beliefs are holding the team back.

Being Strategic About Blindspots

The challenge with the Gut Triad is a distinct relationship to their own beliefs that can cause friction on a team.

8s, 9s and 1s at times can collapse their opinion or view with their own identity.

It’s a common pitfall of passion-driven individuals which results in seeing disagreement with an opinion as more personal.

This may show up as moments of tension or conflict while making a group or team decision. This is the other side of passion and drive, and it's critical that those in the Gut Triad become more aware of the impact of their actions. Here’s how to get strategic about Blindspots:

If you ARE in the Gut Triad:

  1. Begin to notice your triggers and what sets you off when your points of view or beliefs are challenged. What can you do to increase your awareness of OTHERS during this time?

  2. ASK QUESTIONS. When you feel your perspectives challenged, switch from trying to prove your point over and over to increasing your understanding of differing views. Even simple questions like the following can make a big difference: “Can you say more about that?” or “I want to learn more about your perspective, can you help me understand your thinking on this?”

  3. Seek out professional and personal leadership development opportunities to help you leverage the strength that your energy can bring to a team. Learning to separate oneself from their views can be very liberating. It doesn’t mean you need to adopt the views of another or abandon your perspective, but you can learn to have more peace with differing opinions

If you ARE NOT in the Gut Triad

  1. Know your audience but speak up anyway.

    It may be easy to give up or give in to a passionate 8, 9, or 1 but this truly doesn’t serve you or the team. The highest performing teams engage in healthy task conflict using it as a source of innovation and growth.

    If you find yourself in disagreement with the perspective of a member of the Gut Triad, position your view in contrast to their view vs. in contrast to them as a person. Validate or make clear you understand where they are coming from, or if you don’t ask more probing questions.

  2. If the heavy presence of 8s,9s and 1s starts to dominate team dynamics or decision making, create and agree on team norms.

    This might look like, asking each person to share when making a decision rather than just having those more outspoken team members dominate. Team norms can help create balance and accountability to account for any sort of team imbalance.

  3. As difficult as it is, don’t take things too personally from an 8,9 or 1.

    Their passion can lead them to be attached to their point of view as if it was part of themselves. This passion is something that can serve the team, but in times of tension it’s still critical to hold them accountable and set clear boundaries around communications.

Managing a large part of your team within the Gut Triad doesn’t have to be challenging, but it does require bold, honest and authentic communication from every member of the team. Teams that elicit the best in one another will eventually produce quality results. However this is not solely possible by individual achievement.

Using Cloverleaf insights to understand more about yourself and your team can unearth vast amounts of dormant potential that most teams never tap into.

Think of the limitless possibilities when your team operates from a place of self and group awareness. What could you achieve? What would be possible? The answers to these questions will provide surprising value.

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