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The Soft Side of Software EngineeringPart II The Enneagram


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Title: The Soft Side of Software EngineeringPart II The Enneagram

The Soft Side of Software EngineeringPart
IIThe Enneagram
  • Todd Little A Five

  • How many people know about the Enneagram?
  • How many people think they know their type?

Overview and History
  • Ennea (nine) gram (written).
  • A geometric figure that maps out nine fundamental
    personality types of human nature and their
    complex interrelationships.
  • A development of modern psychology that has roots
    in spiritual wisdom from many different ancient
  • Each type formulates early in childhood (or
    before). The innocent child is put forth into a
    world and discovers that something is not right,
    a lost essential quality.
  • This lost essential quality is replaced by a
    compensating belief. This belief is a
    self-protection strategy that has served well but
    is likely to have outlived its usefulness.
  • Work with the Enneagram begins when you identify
    your type and begin to understand its dominant
    issues a process of self-observation,
    self-understanding and self-discovery.
  • Provides a path to growth, as well as
    watch-outs for disintegration.

Why the Enneagram?
  • Relationship to MBTI/Jungian Type
  • Preference vs. Defense mechanism
  • Self-Understanding and the path of Transcendence
  • Understanding others
  • Valuing diversity
  • How to work effectively with other types
  • Dealing with hot-buttons

Theory, FAQ
  • How does one become a type?
  • Lost Essential Quality
  • Compensating Belief
  • Coping Strategy
  • Do you ever change type?
  • No, although the impact of the compulsion can be
    modified by the path of transcendence.
  • Many say that one is of truest type in their 20s
  • Can I be more than one type?
  • Everybody exhibits attributes and behaviors of
    all types, but only one type really maps the
    defense mechanism. The search for the compulsion
    will reveal type.

  • For many people discovering their type is a
    multi-year process.
  • Beware of tests
  • Beware of typing others based on their behavior
  • Beware of stereotyping
  • Do not underestimate the depth of the Enneagram
  • Start by looking at a few possible types
  • Look to the compulsion, often a blind spot

Now Break all the Rules
  • Pseudo-Test
  • The Essential Enneagram David Daniels
  • Listen for which description matches well
  • Consider each paragraph as a whole, not just
    individual sentences
  • Mark as follows
  • Like me
  • Somewhat like me
  • Neutral
  • Not really like me
  • Not like me
  • Order the top 3 most like you (1-3)

  • I approach things in an all-or-none way,
    especially issues that matter to me. I place a
    lot of value on being strong, honest, and
    dependable. What you see is what you get. I don't
    trust others until they have proven themselves to
    be reliable. I like people to be direct with me,
    and I know when someone is being devious, lying,
    or trying to manipulate me. I have a hard time
    tolerating weakness in people, unless I
    understand the reason for their weakness or I see
    that they're trying to do something about it. I
    also have a hard time following orders or
    directions if I do not respect or agree with the
    person in authority. I am much better at taking
    charge myself. I find it difficult not to display
    my feelings when I am angry. I am always ready to
    stick up for friends or loved ones, especially if
    I think they are being treated unjustly. I may
    not win every battle with others, but they'll
    know I've been there.

  • I have high internal standards for correctness,
    and I expect myself to live up to those
    standards. It's easy for me to see what's wrong
    with things as they are, and to see how they
    could be improved. I may come across to some
    people as overly critical or demanding
    perfection, but it's hard for me to ignore or
    accept things that are not done the right way. I
    pride myself on the fact that if I'm responsible
    for doing something, you can be sure I'll do it
    right. I sometimes have feelings of resentment
    when people don't try to do things properly or
    when people act irresponsibly or unfairly,
    although I usually try not to show it to them
    openly. For me, it is usually work before
    pleasure, and I suppress my desires as necessary
    to get the work done.

  • I seem to be able to see all points of view
    pretty easily. I may even appear indecisive at
    times because I can see advantages and
    disadvantages on all sides. The ability to see
    all sides makes me good at helping people resolve
    their differences. This same ability can
    sometimes lead me to be more aware of other
    people's positions, agendas, and personal
    priorities than of my own. It is not unusual for
    me to become distracted and then to get off task
    on the important things I'm trying to do. When
    that happens, my attention is often diverted to
    unimportant trivial tasks. I have a hard time
    knowing what is really important to me, and I
    avoid conflict by going along with what others
    want. People tend to consider me to be easygoing,
    pleasing and agreeable. It takes a lot to get me
    to the point of showing my anger directly at
    someone. I like life to be comfortable,
    harmonious, and accepting.

  • I am sensitive to other people's feelings. I can
    see what they need, even when I don't know them.
    Sometimes it's frustrating to be so aware of
    people's needs, especially their pain or
    unhappiness, because I'm not able to do as much
    for them as I'd like to. It's easy for me to give
    of myself. I sometimes wish I were better at
    saying "no' because I end up putting more energy
    into caring for others than into taking care of
    myself. It hurts my feelings if people think I'm
    trying to manipulate or control them, when all
    I'm trying to do is understand and help them. I
    like to be seen as a warmhearted and good person,
    but when I'm not taken into account or
    appreciated I can become very emotional or even
    demanding. Good relationships mean a great deal
    to me and I'm willing to work hard to make them

  • Being the best at what I do is a strong motivator
    for me, and I have received a lot of recognition
    over the years for my accomplishments. I get a
    lot done and am successful in almost everything I
    take on. I identify strongly with what I do,
    because to a large degree I think your value is
    based on what you accomplish and the recognition
    you get for it. I always have more to do than
    will fit into the time available, so I often set
    aside feelings and self-reflection in order to
    get things done. Because there's always something
    to do, I find it hard to just sit and do nothing.
    I get impatient with people who don't use my time
    well. Sometimes I would rather just take over a
    project someone is completing too slowly. I like
    to feel and appear "on top" of any situation.
    While I like to compete, I am also a good team

  • I would characterize myself as a quiet,
    analytical person who needs more time alone than
    most people do. I usually prefer to observe what
    is going on than to be involved in the middle of
    it. I don't like people to place too many demands
    on me or to expect me to know and report what I
    am feeling. I'm able to get in touch with my
    feelings better when alone than with others, and
    often enjoy experiences I've had more when
    reliving them than when actually going through
    them. I'm almost never bored when alone, because
    I have an active mental life. It is important for
    me to protect my time and energy, and hence, to
    live a simple, uncomplicated life and to be as
    self- sufficient as possible.

  • I have a vivid imagination, especially when it
    comes to what might be threatening to safety and
    security. I can usually spot what could be
    dangerous or harmful and may experience as much
    fear as if it were really happening. I either
    always avoid danger or always challenge it head
    on. My imagination also leads to my ingenuity and
    a good, if somewhat offbeat, sense of humor. I
    would like for life to be more certain, but, in
    general, I seem to doubt the people and things
    around me. I can usually see the shortcomings in
    the view someone is putting forward. I suppose
    that, as a consequence, some people may consider
    me to be very astute. I tend to be suspicious of
    authority and am not particularly comfortable
    being seen as the authority. Because I can see
    what is wrong with the generally held view of
    things, I tend to identify with underdog causes.
    Once I have committed myself to a person or
    cause, I am very loyal to it.

  • I am an optimistic person who enjoys coming up
    with new and interesting things to do. I have a
    very active mind that quickly moves back and
    forth between different ideas. I like to get a
    global picture of how all these ideas fit
    together, and I get excited when I can connect
    concepts that initially don't appear to be
    related. I like to work on things that interest
    me, and I have a lot of energy to devote to them.
    I have a hard time sticking with unrewarding and
    repetitive tasks. I like to be in on the
    beginning of a project, during the planning
    phase, when there may be many interesting options
    to consider. When I have exhausted my interest in
    something, it is difficult for me to stay with
    it, because I want to move on to the next thing
    that has captured my interest. If something gets
    me down, I prefer to shift my attention to more
    pleasant ideas. I believe people are entitled to
    an enjoyable life.

  • I am a sensitive person with intense feelings. I
    often feel misunderstood and lonely, because I
    feel different from everyone else. My behavior
    can appear like drama to others, and I have been
    criticized for being overly sensitive and
    over-amplifying my feelings. What is really going
    on inside is my longing for both emotional
    connection and a deeply felt experience of
    relationship. I have difficulty fully
    appreciating present relationships because of my
    tendency to want what I can't have and to disdain
    what I do have. The search for emotional
    connection has been with me all my life and the
    absence of emotional connection has led to
    melancholy and depression. I sometimes wonder why
    other people seem to have more than I do-better
    relation- ships and happier lives. I have a
    refined sense of aesthetics and I experience a
    rich world of emotions and meaning.

Final Answer
  • Rate the top 3 most like you, in order
  • How many?
  • Will not answer no matter what I ask?
  • A
  • B
  • C
  • D
  • E
  • F
  • G
  • H
  • I

The Types
Body Types
The Mediator
The Perfectionist
The Boss
Body Types - 8, 9, 1. The Body Types all have
issues relating to their anger and with relating
to others. Eights, who are assertive and
hard-working, tend to overexpress their anger.
Nines, who are friendly and laid-back are most
out of touch with their anger. Ones, who have
perfectionist tendencies, often suppress emotions
and underexpress their anger.
Heart Types
Heart Types - 2, 3, 4. The Heart Types all have
issues relating to their feelings, or to be
specific, with their image. Twos, who can
sometimes seem intrusive and overly-emotional
over-express their feelings. Threes, who tend to
ignore their feelings in order to get the job
done, and be successful, are the most out of
touch with their feelings. Fours, who despite
feeling emotions deeply, usually don't like to
express them directly, and instead communicate
usually through subtle communication or an art
form, and therefore underexpress their feelings.
The Giver
The Performer
The Romantic
Head Types
Head Types - 5, 6, 7. The Head Types all have
issues with their thoughts, or to be specific,
fear and anxiety. Fives, who are removed from the
physical world because they are frightened of it
in a way, live in their minds, and often
overexpress their thoughts. Sixes, who can't
trust themselves nor anybody on the outside are
caught in fear, and are thus most out of touch
with their thoughts. Sevens who are afraid of
introspection, turn to the outside world for
action and experience, making them underexpress
their thoughts.
The Epicure
The Loyal Skeptic
The Observer
Issues for each type
  • Lost Essential Quality
  • Compensating Belief
  • What do I want most?
  • What is most important to me?
  • What is the worst thing that could happen to me?
  • How do I see myself (on a good day)?

1 The Perfectionist (B)
  • Motto Let MY conscience be YOUR guide
  • Lost Essential Quality Perfection
  • Compensating Belief
  • I must gain worthiness and love through being
    good and perfecting myself.
  • I want to be morally right, to improve myself so
    that no one will be able to say that I am not
  • It is important to me that people behave as they
  • The worst thing that could happen to me is that I
    become morally corrupt, a failure in my own eyes
  • I am a person with high principleslogical and

2 The Giver (D)
  • Motto If you want to be loved, be lovable
  • Lost Essential Quality Universal will
  • Compensating Belief
  • To get I must give. To be loved I must be needed.
  • I want to love and be loved, to be helpful, and
    to be appreciated for what I do.
  • It is important to me that others see me as
    loving and helpful.
  • The worst thing that could happen to me would be
    to have to live with people who dont appreciate
    me or care about me.
  • I am a warm, loving, and helpful person

3 The Performer (E)
  • Motto Early to bed, early to rise, work like
    hell and advertise.
  • Work harder, not smarter.
  • Work is more fun than fun
  • Lost Essential Quality Hope
  • Compensating Belief
  • The world rewards doing, not being.
  • I want to be noticed, to be admired for doing
    things well.
  • It is important that others see me as being
  • The worst thing that could happen to me is that I
    fail at something and other people find out.
  • I am self-confident, competitive, attractive, a

4 The Romantic (I)
  • Motto I feel so bad since youve gone, its
    almost like having you here.
  • Lost Essential Quality Original Connection
  • Compensating Belief
  • I am deficient and something really important is
    missing which must be regained.
  • I want to be understood and to understand myself.
  • It is important for me to find a meaning and a
    purpose in my life.
  • The worst thing that could happen to me is for
    people to think that there is something
    emotionally wrong with me.
  • I am thoughtful, sincere, sensitive, and
    emotionally intense.

5 The Observer (F)
  • Motto Why one has to have a body, I dont know.
    A necessary appendage to the head, I suppose.
  • You can observe a lot just by watching Yogi
  • Lost Essential Quality Omniscience
  • Compensating Belief
  • The world demands too much and gives too little.
  • I want to know, to understand everything around
  • It is important to me that I see things clearly
    and correctly.
  • The worst thing that could happen to me is that
    my ideas be wrong, incorrect.
  • I am very perceptive and a person who sees things
    more clearly than others.

6 The Loyal Skeptic (G)
  • Motto I dont like being afraid. It scares me.
  • Lost Essential Quality Faith
  • Compensating Belief
  • The world is dangerous.
  • I want to belong, to be safe in my own kind of
    friendly group.
  • It is important to me that people be straight and
    fair with me.
  • The worst thing that could happen to me is that
    someone I trust betrays me.
  • I am strong-minded, friendly, and cautious.

7 The Epicure (H)
  • Motto When choosing between two evils, I always
    like to take the one Ive never tried before.
    Mae West
  • Lost Essential Quality Sustained Concentration
  • Compensating Belief
  • The world limits and frustrates people and causes
    pain which can be escaped.
  • I want happiness, excitement, to discover, and to
    do new things.
  • It is important to me to always have a plan for
    what happens next. I always have plan for the
  • The worst thing that could happen to me would be
    to be bored and broke.
  • I am friendly, fun-loving, and able to do well at
    whatever I choose to do.

8 The Boss (A)
  • Motto Never go to bed madstay up and fight!.
  • Lost Essential Quality Truth
  • Compensating Belief
  • This is a hard and unjust world in which the
    powerful take advantage of the innocent.
  • I want to be in control, to lead, and to show
    that I am stronger than others.
  • It is important that I be in control of what goes
    on around me.
  • The worst thing that could happen to me is that
    things around me get out of control.
  • I am different, independent, decisive, and

9 The Mediator (C)
  • Motto I always procrastinate when I get around
    to it.
  • Lost Essential Quality Love
  • Compensating Belief
  • I am unimportant so I must blend in.
  • I want peacefulness, to keep things as they are
    (or as they were).
  • It is important that everyone get along with each
  • The worst thing that could happen to me is to
    have to say no to someone and have that person
    get angry at me.
  • I am a person who is friendly and easygoing, but
    I can be very stubborn sometimes.

The Enneagram and Teams
  • Software Team
  • Team SPeople
  • People Unpredictable
  • Hot-Buttons things to avoid doing
  • Openings how to engage when in disagreement

1 - Perfectionist
  • Hot-Buttons
  • Criticize or scold them. Question their
    integrity. Dont follow through with what you
    say you are going to do. Be chronically late.
  • Openings
  • Affirm their good intentions, their
    reasonableness, their integrity. Let them know
    that you are aware of how hard they are trying.

2 - Helper
  • Hot-Buttons
  • Take them for granted. Dont thank them. Be
    indifferent to the friendliness. Accuse them of
  • Openings
  • Affirm the friendship, the intimacy between you.
    Show appreciation. Reassure them that they
    matter to you.

3 - Achiever
  • Hot-Buttons
  • Ignore them. Look down on them. Focus on their
    defeats or shortcomings. Dont include them. Be
    ineffectual or sloppy. Push for intimacy.
  • Openings
  • Give praise for accomplishments. Affirm their
    personal valuenot just their performance. Allow
    space for feelings to emerge, but dont demand

4 - Romantic
  • Hot-Buttons
  • Dismiss them. Disrupt their mood, their personal
    world. Behave crudely. Be inelegant, coarse, or
    insensitive to their feelings
  • Openings
  • Encourage them. Self-diagnose a similar fault or
    problem. Let them know that youll stay with
    them while they are working through their

5 - Observer
  • Hot-Buttons
  • Question their competency. Intrude on them.
    Start organizing their things. Be closed-
    minded, or talk about things you dont really
    know about.
  • Openings
  • Be a quiet presence supplying support, but also
    plenty of space. Give time for a response.
    Engage them with topics of mutual interest.
    Write a letter.

---------- email
6 Loyal Skeptic
  • Hot-Buttons
  • Dont pull your weight. Take the other point
    of view. Be secretive or evasive. Take
    advantage of their commitment.
  • Openings
  • Affirm your connection/friendship. Reassure them
    that youre not walking out, that youll stand by
    them. Remind them of past successes, solutions.

7 - Epicure
  • Hot-Buttons
  • Restrict their freedom, limit their choices. Be
    a wet blanket, discouraging and pessimistic.
    Keep sharing your despair.
  • Openings
  • Acknowledge their underlying anxiety/fear. Its
    OK to be anxious or sad. Give them choices.
    Reassure them that you care, but leave the door

8 - Boss
  • Hot-Buttons
  • Tell them what they can and cant do. Try to get
    an advantage over them. Be indecisive, indirect,
    or wimpy. Beat around the bush.
  • Openings
  • Tell them what you think or how you feel, simply
    and directly. Get to the point. Look them in
    the eye and say what you mean.

9 - Mediator
  • Hot-Buttons
  • Disturb their peace, their calm. Yell. Direct
    anger at them. Be aggressive and
    confrontational. Make demands.
  • Openings
  • Be there. Gently ask about their state and what
    they want or need from the situation. Be patient
    in waiting for a response.

Coping with Conflict and Difficulty
  • Positive Outlook (Two, Seven, Nine)
  • Adopt, as much as possible, a positive attitude
  • Look at the bright side
  • Morale builders make others feel good because
    they want to feel good
  • Competency (One, Three, Five)
  • Put their feelings aside and strive to be
    objective, effective, and competent
  • Try to solve problems logically and expect others
    to do the same
  • Have issues about how they work within a
    structure or system
  • Reactive (Four, Six, Eight)
  • React emotionally to conflicts and problems
  • Want others to match their emotional state
  • Need to deal with their feelings first, then can
    move on

Coping Styles
  • Positive Outlook Group Deny that they have any
  • Two You have a problem. I am here to
    help you.
  • Seven There may be a problem, but Im fine.
  • Nine What problem? I dont think there
    is a problem.
  • Competency Group Cut off feelings and solve
    problems logically
  • One Im sure we can solve this like
    sensible, mature adults.
  • Three Theres an efficient solution to this
    we just need to get to work.
  • Five There are a number of hidden issues
    here let me think about this.
  • Reactive Group React strongly and need response
    from others
  • Four I feel really hurt, and I need to
    express myself.
  • Six I feel really pressured, and Ive got
    to let off some steam.
  • Eight Im really angry about this and youre
    going to hear about it!

Danger of Stereotyping
Software Engineering
Customer Support
Marketing/Sales/ Management
Developers/Testers/ Middle Management
Relation to the MBTI
Security and Stress
Security Move against the arrow
Stress Move with the arrow

Deeper look into the 5
  • The 5 in security - move to 8
  • Become more direct
  • Can also take on some of the petty tyrant aspects
    of an 8
  • The 5 under stress/risk - move to 7
  • When the major defenses of withdrawal and
    isolation are ineffective, a social façade may
  • May result in a genuine ability to enjoy the flow
    of events rather than to contract against
  • In the worst case, attention scatters in a
    frantic search for any quick fix solution to buy
    time and save resources

Heaven Hell for 5s
  • Heaven
  • Being paid a decent wage to pursue their own
    intellectual interests in a private office with
    co-workers who eagerly supply data.
  • Hell
  • Cubicles
  • No Boundaries
  • Too much intrusion

Deeper look into the 5
  • Pair Programming
  • X-Scream Programming

The Path of Transformation
  • Start by understanding your type
  • Usually one of two things happen
  • Isnt it great that I am Type X
  • Oh SHITI dont want to be Type X
  • Opportunity is to understand the compulsion
  • The compulsion will be present, once you can be
    present to the compulsion you may have a choice.
  • For the 5
  • Distinguish between Detachment, and
  • Live in the moment.
  • Realize that energy is self-renewing

  • Books
  • The Essential Enneagram, David Daniels
  • The Enneagram Made Easy, Renee Baron Elizabeth
    Wagele (Recommended as 1st book)
  • The Pocket Enneagram, Helen Palmer
  • The Enneagram at Love and Work, Helen Palmer
  • Principles of the Enneagram, Karen Webb
  • Internet
  • Video
  • Nine Paths to a Productive and Fulfilling Life
  • Helen Palmer Workshop in Austin