change management

The Role of Personality Types in Project Leadership [Infographic]

October 17, 2016 by

Who you are and how you are wired naturally affects how you lead and manage. Your personality, therefore, influences your project success rate, sometimes for good and sometimes not. At a very minimum, personality influences your communication style. Your team can definitely see your personality. Shouldn’t you also be able to see your personality?!

There are a number of different models or ‘mirrors’ you can use to get to know the real you. In Collaborative Project Management: A Handbook, I introduce one such mirror – the Enneagram – as a starting point. Below is a summary to help you get started.


Enneagram – a Number

Ennea is the Greek for nine and gramma is a sign. The Enneagram charts nine personality types, as depicted here.





Enneagram – More than a Number

I can hear you say already: there are seven billion people in the world and only nine types, no way! And if the nine types were very rigid, then you would, of course, be right. It is important to stress that which we all know: no two people in the world are exactly the same, yet there are recurring patterns. In Enneagram terms, you are a number (more often called a type in Enneagram), but you are also far more than a number. Each Enneagram type has a rich and deep description. You are typically traveling and living on a spectrum of unhealthy to healthy behaviors with your type.


The Enneagram Decomposed

The below infographic introduces and explains each of the nine types with a focus on profile, strengths, traps and a management perspective. Understanding strengths and traps, or healthy and unhealthy behaviors, is critical to personal and professional satisfaction.

When a person is acting from a healthy place, the strengths are being deployed. When a person is acting from a less healthy place, we are falling into the traps typical of our personality type. It is not much fun to read about and admit the traps.

It can and, to an extent should be very humbling. It is, however, very fruitful to really understand these traps that we tend to fall into, so we can avoid them or get out of them quicker. The truth about yourself can set you free.




Image credit 

Editor’s Note: This article is an excerpt from our free book, Collaborative Project Management: A Handbook

Collaborative Project Management: A Handbook

Eamonn McGuinness
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