The Enneagram Head Triad with James P. Owens – Part 4 of 4 | FP 57

The Enneagram Head Triad with James P Owens

Are you part of the enneagram types 5, 6, or 7? How can you best work with these types in a work environment? What can you do as a private practice owner to encourage your employees to do their best work if they come from one of these types?

In this podcast episode, Whitney Owens speaks with James P. Owens about the Enneagram head triad.

Meet James P. Owens

James P Owens is a pastor, podcaster, and self-described Bible geek. He is a graduate of Denver Seminary and Duke Divinity School and the host of Hermeneutic of Resistance, a podcast about interpreting the Bible in ways that resist oppression and open doors for human liberation.

Visit his website.

Connect on Facebook and Twitter.

Listen to his podcast.

In This Podcast

  • Type 5
  • Type 6
  • Type 7

Type 5

Type 5 is also known as the Investigator or the Observer. They are characterized by how they do, or do not, deal with fear. They externalize their fears into the world.

Type 5s tend to:

  • Think before they act and collect knowledge, they conserve their energy. They come across as being very much in their heads.
  • Their main desires are to be capable and confident; they fear being helpless or being incapable. Therefore, this fear of being incapable is soothed by constantly seeking out knowledge.

Type 5s strengths and weaknesses lie in:

  • Being open to new ideas due to their constant pursuit of knowledge and wisdom. They are very original thinkers and good listeners.
  • Type 5s are thinking, dominant.
  • On the other hand, their weakness can be that they are not always good with emotions and feeling emotions at the moment. They also tend to withdraw. They may need to take time away to conserve and build up their energy.

If you have a type 5 in your practice:

  • Give them space to work on their projects, they are able to handle their time and energy well and do not need to be micromanaged.
  • To reward them, they do not find material gifts so important and they will appreciate being given more time or space to think about things or have more time to themselves.
  • By praising a type 5s idea is a good way to encourage them because they put a lot of time and energy into organizing and perfecting their thoughts before presenting them.

Type 6

Type 6 is also known as the Loyalist and the Skeptic, or even the Loyal Skeptic. They are internalized by an internal complexity, being loyal yet both skeptical to authority and roles of leadership. They have an ability to anticipate downfalls, they seek out things to give them security and structure. Type 6 internalizes their fears.

Type 6s desires and weaknesses are:

  • Type 6s desire security and guidance. They seek out things to give them structure and something to rely on. They seek out support in other people, they take the compliance stance and move towards being close to other people.
  • However, their basic fears are being and feeling insecure.

Some of type 6 strengths are:

  • Being good team players. They are capable of dealing with tricky situations, and they tend to be faithful in relationships and they can foresee potential problems on the horizon.
  • Therefore, on the flip side, they do tend to worry a lot. They have some self-doubt and doubt their abilities to deal in difficult circumstances.

If you are a type 6, remember the times when you do things well. Rely on your firsthand experience when you need guidance. If you have a type 6 in your practice, you can gently nudge them to try out difficult things, push them through the worry, and encourage them to try out doing tricky things.

Type 7

Type 7 is also known as the Enthusiast. They are characterized by their need to avoid pain, they are always fun-loving. In the thinking triad, they are very thinking-oriented yet they can be quite disconnected from their emotions. They use their thinking to consider the future, they spend a lot of time in their heads, planning for the future. They ignore their fears.

Type 7s basic desires and fears are:

  • They desire to be satisfied. They can quickly reframe a negative into a positive. They seek to devour life and take in pleasurable experience after pleasurable experience because their basic fear is to be stuck in unpleasant places
  • They are all about positive things, they tend to avoid or push down negative things. They constantly seek pleasurable things and therefore could be susceptible to addiction. They are tough to pin down because they are always after the next great thing. They may come across as a little disorganized although they can think quickly on the fly.

Type 7s make good leaders. They take the aggressive or assertive stance, they push through life and make a path for others to follow along with that they are doing. They do a good job of pushing people out of their comfort zones and encourage many people to try their ideas without thinking on them too much.

If you have type 7 employees:

  • Give them space to share their crazy ideas, but you may have to keep them on the right track and help them stay focused. You do not need to box them in or push them into a corner, but you will need to set some guidelines for them to follow.
  • They may need to be taught how to work with boundaries and deadlines while giving them the freedom to explore.

Take the free Enneagram Test here.

Useful Links:

Meet Whitney Owens

Photo of Christian therapist Whitney Owens. Whitney helps other christian counselors grow faith based private practices!Whitney is a licensed professional counselor and owns a growing group practice in Savannah, Georgia. Along with a wealth of experience managing a practice, she also has an extensive history working in a variety of clinical and religious settings, allowing her to specialize in consulting for faith-based practices and those wanting to connect with religious organizations.

Knowing the pains and difficulties surrounding building a private practice, she started this podcast to help clinicians start, grow, and scale a faith-based practice. She has learned how to start and grow a successful practice that adheres to her own faith and values. And as a private practice consultant, she has helped many clinicians do the same.

Thanks For Listening!

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Faith in Practice is part of the Practice of the Practice Podcast Network, a network of podcasts that are changing the world. To hear other podcasts like Empowered and Unapologetic, Bomb Mom, Imperfect Thriving, Marketing a Practice or Beta Male Revolution, go to

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