There are nine distinct adaptive strategies for satisfying our instinctual concerns (again, the “Ennea” in “Enneagram” means nine). The strategies are consistent patterns of feeling, thinking, and doing that influence our interactions with the world around us (and the people in it). As with the instinctual domains, we use each of the nine strategies to a greater or lesser degree, but we use one of them more than the others. Because of the habitual overuse, we call this the “preferred” strategy.
What we value influences what we focus on at work. These instinctual biases have a dramatic effect on how we interact with coworkers, how we lead, how teams function, and more. People of different instinctual biases will focus on different tasks and objectives and we are often surprised when people place their priorities somewhere other than where we do. Such value discrepancies often a significant source of miscommunication and conflict in the workplace. Understanding the influence of the instinctual biases can help us reduce them.