Social Nine

Team Player

Social Nines are marvelous team members. I'm convinced many of the best professional athletes are Nines. They enter so fully into the flow of the team and the game because of their strong body-orientation and ability to see all sides and everything at once. These athletes are your "instinct" players who respond before thought and "go with the flow." The world champion New England Patriots refused to come on the field one by one. They came on as one unit. Bill Bellachek, their coach, is a social Nine. He played down individual performance and emphasized teamwork. Like a corporation can take on the culture of the CEO, a team can take on the Enneagram style of the coach.

Outside of sports, social Nines have a certain ambivalence about belonging to groups. Groups can be a vortex that they fear will suck them in and drown them. They are attracted to belonging to a group, but they fear they will lose their identity. Once in the group, they may easily become a leader, like Bill Clinton, a social Nine. But in the group, they may resent their loss of identity as they merge with the wishes and goals of the group. If that happens, they either do submit to the group energy or they move to the periphery of the group and vacillate between belonging and not belonging.

Like any ambivalence, the belonging can polarize into identity and hostility. The intimate Nine might totally identify with the group but she also might become hostile to the group and either attack or entirely shun the group. However, in either case, the group occupies a central concern in her life. She can develop a negative identity: I am the "non-group" person. Within the group, the social Nine can lose herself by playing an assigned or assumed role. This is the perfect secretary of the ladies auxiliary or the chair person who does not state his opinion until everyone else has spoken. The Nine's ability to see all sides and appreciate everyone's opinion sets him up for these kinds of roles.

Because of their global thinking and their intuitive appreciation of what the group is thinking, Nines often are able to speak the mind of the group with uncanny accuracy. Many excellent CEO's have this ability. They can build a team and lead the entire group in exactly the direction they wanted to go but really didn't know it consciously.