James Owens on Using the Ennegram at Work | GP 87

Image of James Owens. On this therapist podcast, James Owens talks about using the enneagram at work.

What benefits can the Enneagram bring to the staff of a business? Can the Enneagram encourage effective teamwork and interpersonal compassion? How can the Enneagram be used in the workplace?

In this podcast episode, Alison Pidgeon speaks with James Owens about Using the Enneagram at Work.

Podcast Sponsor: Brighter Vision

An image of Brighter Vision Web Solutions is featured as the sponsor on The Practice of the Practice Podcast, a therapist podcast. Brighter Vision builds all in one websites for therapists.

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Meet James Owens

An image of James Owens is captured. James is an Enneagram teacher and a United Methodist Minister. James is featured on Grow a Group Practice, a therapist podcast.

James P. Owens is an Enneagram teacher and a United Methodist Minister. He holds Master’s degrees from Denver Seminary and Duke Divinity School. He currently serves on the staff of Wesley Monumental United Methodist Church in Savannah, Georgia. For the last several years, James has devoted himself to the study and practice of the Enneagram, a life-changing personality assessment tool, which he uses to help others in personal and professional growth.
James lives in Savannah, Georgia with his wife Whitney, who is a mental health counselor, counseling practice owner and consultant, and their two daughters, Anna and Abby.

Connect with James on Instagram and Facebook.

In This Podcast

  • What is the Enneagram?
  • Healthy and unhealthy in the Enneagram
  • A basic overview of the nine types in the Enneagram
  • Enneagram dynamics in the workplace

What is the Enneagram?

The Enneagram outlines nine basic personality types; nine ways of being, moving, and living in the world, and they are often labeled by those numbers. It’s not a ranking system … one is not better than nine, nine is not better than one. (James Owen)

The Enneagram is a tool that you can use to learn more about yourself and how you move in the world.

It helps you learn about yourself on a deeper level as it provides a multidimensional view for you to conceptualize all the aspects of who you are, and how you interact with situations and people around you.

Healthy and unhealthy in the Enneagram

An example of the multiplicity of the Enneagram is that no person is given a set category within which they fall.

Because people act differently depending on whether they feel secure and calm to insecure and stressed, the Enneagram can give guidance to both aspects: how you may act when you are “healthy” and how you may act when you are “unhealthy”.

What we find in the Enneagram is that each type has another number that they move to in stress, and you become a little more like that type, and another one, a different one, that they move to with security. (James Owens)

A basic overview of the nine types in the Enneagram

The Reformer or Perfectionist

This type wants to be a morally good person, and they seek to do what is good and right.

  • Perfectionistic streak
  • A strong inner critical voice

The Helper or Giver

They want to be needed, helpful, kind, and compassionate.

  • They enjoy meeting the needs of the community
  • But they tend to ignore their own needs

The Achiever or Performer

This type wants to be effective and successful.

  • They want to succeed against all odds
  • They value constant drive and work

The Romantic or Individualist

This type wants to be special and unique.

  • They are feeling-oriented
  • Often very creative

The Investigator or Observer

This type wants to be competent and seeks that by acquiring knowledge and skills.

  • They are usually introverts
  • They seek knowledge and are deep thinkers.

The Loyalists or Skeptic

This type seeks out authority but is also skeptical of it.

  • They are reliable, rock-solid people
  • Often they are the “glue” of society

The Enthusiast or Epicure

This type is joyful and optimistic. They enjoy being fun and spontaneous.

  • They avoid conflict and pain
  • They try to maximize pleasure

The Challenger or Commander

This type thinks along the lines of “survival of the fittest”.

  • They want to protect everyone around them
  • They depend on conflict to communicate

The Peacemaker or Mediator

This type is easy-going and easy to get along with.

  • They run the risk of putting their own wants and needs last
  • They concern themselves with the needs of others

That’s one of the cool things about the Enneagram is that it doesn’t force you into any particular career or … vocational path. I like to think that at its best the Enneagram can help you be better at whatever job you already are doing. (James Owens)

Enneagram dynamics in the workplace

Certain Enneagram numbers could be more suited to different tasks. Apart from learning how to show more compassion towards your staff, employees, and colleagues, the Enneagram can reveal which people in your staff may be well-suited to different tasks that need doing.

For example:

  • An Enneagram type one could write the employee handbook because they are good with details, rules, rights, and wrongs.
  • An Enneagram type three could work well in an outward-facing role such as in marketing or working in branding because they are good at presenting themselves and the business in a good light.

Withdrawn stance: type four, five, and nine. These types generally move away from people.

Compliant stance: type one, two, and six. These types move towards people.

Assertive stance: type three, seven, and eight. These types move independently of people.

Books mentioned in this episode:

Useful links mentioned in this episode:

Check out these additional resources:

Meet Alison Pidgeon, Group Practice Owner

An image of Alison Pidgeon is displayed. She is a successful group practice owner and offers private practice consultation for private practice owners to assist in how to grow a group practice. She is the host of Grow A Group Practice Podcast and one of the founders of Group Practice Boss.Alison Pidgeon, LPC is the owner of Move Forward Counseling, a group practice in Lancaster, PA and she runs a virtual assistant company, Move Forward Virtual Assistants.

Alison has been working with Practice of the Practice since 2016.  She has helped over 70 therapist entrepreneurs start and grow their businesses, through mastermind groups and individual consulting.

Transformation From A Private Practice To Group Practice

In addition, she is a private practice consultant for Practice of the Practice. Allison’s private practice ‘grew up.’ What started out as a solo private practice in early 2015 quickly grew into a group practice and has been expanding ever since.

Visit Alison’s website, listen to her podcast, or consult with Alison. Email Alison at alison@practiceofthepractice.com

Thanks For Listening!

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