Employee communication styles differ a lot based on where a person’s puts their attention. What might make one person impatient & frustrated in a working relationship will be required, even imperative to someone else. It’s important to remember that there is no ‘better’ or ‘worse’ Ennea-type or communication style. Diversity is key, because that helps make the best teams.
How to IMPROVE Your Communication
Type 1: Try to lead conversations with a positive observation, & close them on a positive note. Practice active listening. Ask others about their ideas & how they get things done – which might be different from how you would. You’ll build trust when you genuinely try to understand & accept others.
For Managers : Encourage 1s to be less critical of themselves & negative about others. Invite them to share responsibilities or delegate. Teach them to accept what can’t be changed
Conflict Resolution : To prevent escalation, don’t say they’re wrong, incorrect, or bad. Instead – acknowledge you heard their opinion, while holding your ground. Help them see how they’re expressing anger, & being hurtful. Remember that 1s have a fear of their own anger.
Type 2: It’s fine that you love to form personal connections, but don’t lose your objectivity. Stay focused on work topics rather than someone’s personal life. Practice emotional boundaries (disengagement) to make the most of your work time & minimize people-pleasing, as it can lead to mixed messages.
For Managers : Help 2s let go of the need to fix everyone’s problems & sorrows. Encourage them to prioritize their own needs, rather than always putting everyone else first
Conflict Resolution : Assure the 2 that their efforts are valued & appreciate, but their actions are their own choice. Remind the 2 that you want them to take care of themselves, because their anger often comes from the false belief that they have to take care of others in order to deserve love & acceptance. Acknowledge their feelings, but don’t react to tantrums.
Type 3: Slow down! It’s legitimate & beneficial for everyone if you take a few minutes at the beginning of a conversation to connect on a human level. You’ll get more out of meetings if you do. Work on managing your impatience with others, using practical tools like taking long deep breaths, when you start getting frustrated.
For Managers : To help 3s grow, show them that they have value as an individual, not just as a productive employee.
Conflict Resolution : Set aside a pre-determined amount of time to discuss problems. Don’t allow them to smooth things over with a promise to change or apologies for ‘not knowing’. Appreciate the hard work they put in, but emphasize the important of relationships. Encourage expression of emotions rather than “just the facts”, which is the communication tool they us to avoid feeling too much.
Type 4: Practice leaning into logic & rationally based information – to balance your natural alignment with emotions. Try to stay engaged with others – even in activities & conversations you feel are trivial, boring & mundane. Listen attentively. When you speak, try not to use the word “I.”
For Managers : Give 4s a safe space to express their emotions, but teach them to balance extremes. Help them see the impact their actions have on others.
Conflict Resolution : Don’t try to have a completely rational discussion without any emotional content – they won’t be listening. Recognize their intuitive insight, while still sticking to your own personal truth.
4s like to tell other people everything they’re feeling, & they’re usually on the right track. BUT don’t let their histrionics or emotional outbursts drive you away. Take a time-out if necessary so that everyone’s emotions can calm down. Let the 4 know if you’ve been hurt too, & that your feelings are just as important as theirs.