Nov 122013

Do You Say What You Really Think or Always Try to Keep Things in Harmony?

This issue focuses on Enneagram personality Type 9, The Peacemaker. Peacemakers are the most basic or undistorted personality type. They have a problem with priorities and find it difficult to change directions or shift attention to what is most important.

Peacemakers are balanced, accepting, and harmonious. They find it difficult to face priorities or conflict. They tend to find union with others, mediating conflicts, avoiding tension, and keeping things in harmony. The value that Nines are attracted to is harmony. They relish calm, prize peace, and appreciate regularity.

Nines are in the Body Center Triad, meaning they filter the world through an intelligence of kinesthetic and physical sensations along with gut instinct. Body-based types lead with the body movement, sense awareness, gut-level feelings, personal security, and social belonging. Their focus is on taking control of themselves and their environment, and taking action in practical ways.

Nines are called the Peacemakers because no type is more devoted to the quest for internal and external peace for themselves and others. Nines can have the strength of Eights, the sense of fun and adventure of Sevens, the dutifulness of Sixes, the intellectualism of Fives, the creativity of Fours, the attractiveness of Threes, the generosity of Twos, and the idealism of Ones. However, they don’t have a sense of their own identity.

Famous Peacemakers include Kevin Costner, Sophia Loren, Morgan Freeman, Coretta Scott King, Sylvester Stallone, Shaquille O’Neal, Joe Montana, Mahatma Gandhi, Dalai Lama, and Jimmy Smits.

How do we identify a Type 9? Nines appear easygoing, nonjudgmental, and diplomatic. They also show their support of others through affirming comments, head nodding, and saying “Uh-huh.” However, this does not always mean they agree, just that they hear what others are saying.

Some proverbs that identify a Nine include:

Unity is strength. Moderation in all things. Don’t rock the boat. Not to decide is to decide. Diplomacy is the peaceful substitute for shooting. Cooperation is spelled with two letters: we. The greatest strength is shown in standing still.

Average Peacemakers are accommodating, unassuming, passive, submissive, and philosophical. Competition is not appealing to them, nor is one right way, or pressure to choose. They need to know exactly what is expected of them and what their role is. Nines value relationships more than anything and will work towards collaboration.

Unhealthy Peacemakers can be neglectful, self-conscious, inadequate, disoriented, and self-abandoning. They can be too sensitive to criticism and critical of themselves for lacking initiative and discipline. Insecurities about their desire to please make it difficult to say no to people.

Healthy Peacemakers are self-sufficient, receptive, supportive, peacemaking, stable, and nurturing. They have the ability to be agreeable and to comfort others with endurance and strength. They can mediate between people and lessen conflicts. They can be very effective in negotiations or human resource capacities.

The Peacemaker’s communication style is monotonous, rambling, appeasing, and soothing. They have trouble getting to the point, being linear and controlled, or quite scattered.

When coaching a Peacemaker it’s important to remember that they have to have a strong connection with a coach before they fully engage in the experience. This is particularly important when they are about to hear constructive feedback and feel stressed. They prefer specific details and multiple interpretations of the key issues, which mirrors the way they process information.

If you know a Type 9, understand that they like to listen and be of service, but not be taken advantage of. If they meander while speaking, listen until they finish. They like good discussions, but not confrontational ones. While you should give them time to finish things and make decisions, it’s okay to nudge them gently and nonjudgmentally.

Suggestions and exercises for Peacemakers are about relationships and anger.

  • Take the first step to change a situation that isn’t right instead of hoping that things will change by themselves.
  • Bring up your problems when talking with others rather than only listening to theirs.Tell people when you want to be alone.
  • Learn to become aware of and then appropriately express your anger.
  • Avoid acting as if everything is fine when it isn’t.
  • Learn to feel the buildup of anger in your body.

Remember, none of the personality types is better or worse than any other. All types have unique assets and liabilities, strengths and weaknesses. While it is common to find a little of ourselves in each of the nine types, one of them typically stands out as being closest to ourselves. This is our basic personality type.

The Enneagram is a valuable tool coaches can use as a catalyst for change. In an organization or business, this can help in employee development, hiring decisions, or forming highly functional teams.

To identify your dominant personality type, visit and take the free assessment or the ten dollar enhanced assessment. Then contact me so we can discover how you can enhance your effectiveness. Coaching can be a valuable resource for developing yourself, your business, and your employees.

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