This issue focuses on personality Type 5, The Investigator. Investigators thirst for knowledge and use emotional detachment as a way of keeping involvement with others to a minimum. They tend to be introverted, needing time alone for reading and thinking.
Investigators often fear that their skills are insufficient and they need to prepare more before they take their place in the world. Their worry that the needs of others will distract them from their own projects leads them to shut out intrusions. They spend much of their time alone studying, practicing, and acquiring more knowledge, resources, and skills.
Fives are in the Head Triad, which focuses on finding a sense of inner guidance and support. In some spiritual traditions, they are called the quiet mind. However, we seldom have access to this peaceful, spacious quality of the mind. For most of us, the mind is a chatterbox. That’s why some people spend years in monasteries or at retreats trying to quiet their minds. Investigators respond by retreating from life and reducing their personal needs.
Famous Investigators include Albert Einstein, Bill Gates, Thomas Edison, Bobby Fischer, Stephen King, and Robert DeNiro. They are good at analyzing problems, prefer silence in order to concentrate, and are quite satisfied with working by themselves.
How do we identify a Type 5? To them everything is potential knowledge. They intellectualize feelings, are emotionally detached, pursue information and knowledge, and are usually the calm ones in a crisis. However, they can become easily drained.
The average Investigator is overly intellectual, endlessly analytically, detached and preoccupied. They feel unsure of themselves, thus preferring the safety of their minds. They study, practice, and collect knowledge.
Unhealthy Investigators are reclusive, isolated, and cynical. To gain security they cut off all connections with the world, rejecting all but basic needs.
Healthy Investigators are experts, ingenious, perceptive, and knowledgeable. When they become capable and competent to live in the world, they become clear-minded, profound, and compassionate. As thinkers, they can become very original, inventive, and artful.
The Investigator’s communication style is to explain, systematize, and analyze. They are typically employed as scientists, engineers, writers, hi-tech specialists, mathematicians, and inventors.
When coaching an Investigator, it is important to remember that they tend to compartmentalize information they receive. They hear one piece of data, place it in a category in their minds, and then move on to other data without seeing the connection between the pieces of information. They don’t like to be asked questions about their feelings unless they are very familiar with their coach.
If you know a Type 5, speak to them in a straightforward and brief manner. Give them time to process feeling and thoughts. If they seem aloof, distant, or arrogant, it may be because they are feeling uncomfortable. Don’t come at them like a bulldozer. Help them avoid big gatherings, other people’s loud music, and intrusions on their privacy.
Suggestions and exercises for Investigators are about getting out of their head and into doing.
- Don’t avoid conflict, take risks, and speak up.
- Become more active by taking up creative or sports activities.
- Value being in the present.
- Become a member of a group where it is acceptable to speak or not to speak.
If you’re a Type 5, make sure you say positive things about yourself. You will experience being an individual fully when you empty yourself of preconceived ideas and categories. Finally, you don’t have to be the smartest person.
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 www.enneagraminstitute.com and take the free assessment, or take 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.