Deep Dive: The Way You Think, Feel and Act in Relation to the World Around You!

Meet the Makers

Student Support Leadership, iLEAD Schools

Amber Jones  –  Student Support Director

  • What was the worst job you ever had? Scrubbing the salad bar at Red Lobster with a toothbrush for $2.75 an hour when I was a waitress. I loved waitressing, but hated that closing work. 

Robin Kure – Student Support Education Specialist Coordinator 

  • What would you like to do when you retire? I would like to volunteer at a dog rescue or humane society. I LOVE dogs and animals. Animals are so innocent and just want love!

Mandee Buchheit – Speech and Language / Assistive Technology Coordinator

  • Who had the most influence on you growing up? My mom has had the biggest influence on my life and my career path. She was the first person in her family to graduate from college and she chose a career path in education. She has always encouraged me to push myself beyond what I ever thought was possible!

Gris Ibarra – Student Support Coordinator

  • If you could hang out with any cartoon character, who would you choose and why? The Hulk — he’s been my favorite cartoon character since I was a child. He’s humble and mighty. He finds inner strength during trials, likes to help others and he’s green (one of my favorite colors). I’d love to go on an adventure with him and save the day.

Kathy Tempco – Student Support Coordinator

  • What’s your best scary story? I had to live in a world with no In-N-Outs when I lived in Illinois for a year. 

Kaitlin Tuxhorn – Student Support Coordinator

  • What’s your favorite breakfast cereal? Peanut Butter Crunch — I love all things peanut butter, and this cereal is a favorite of mine, though I don’t eat it often.

This Week’s Focus

Driving Question

How can we continue to explore the way we think, feel and act in relation to others in the workplace, classroom and beyond?

What’s the Why Behind this Month’s Driving Question?

The Enneagram is a profound and powerful guide to understanding your personality and inner workings.  The Enneagram represents nine different personality types focused on action, feeling and thinking.  The Enneagram is that it provides both professional skills, as well as the self-awareness and centering that is necessary for a personal paradigm shift. This is a shift out of our current set of assumptions and way of seeing ourselves, our relationships and the world in which we participate. It empowers us to make new and more successful choices, as well as more intelligent decisions. It also enables us to tap greater resources in others. 

Learning to recognize these different points of view enables us to understand people’s motivation, their major needs and concerns, and their style of working and relating. It helps us build rapport, reduce unnecessary conflict and cooperate at higher levels of effectiveness.

People are more than their personality type. Each person has an essential, core self that is unique. Working with the Enneagram enables us to “get out of the box” of our personality type. We can become more flexible and creative rather than stuck in habitual patterns of thinking, feeling and behaving.

iLEAD California’s Student Support Team dove deep into the Enneagrams to better understand themselves, their fellow team members and how they could apply this new knowledge to better support their learners and one another.

Enneagram Type:  Each of the nine types are known by both their number and their name. Each has its own set of potential strengths and weaknesses that makeup the unique personality. 

1. Reformer

  • Highly principled
  • Can be judgmental and uncompromising
  • Perfectionistic, purposeful and self-controlled
  • Strives for integrity
  • Fears corruption
  • Has a strong sense of what is the “right” and “wrong” way to do things

2. Helper

  • Generous and people-pleasing
  • Has a strong desire to be loved – sometimes denying their own needs in order to make others happy
  • Puts a lot of energy into their relationships, but this is sometimes interpreted as neediness
  • Genuine
  • Good listener
  • Tends to overlook own needs

3. Achiever

  • Successful, adaptable and hardworking
  • May sometimes be overachievers or workaholics
  • Driven to excel
  • Image-conscious
  • Adaptable
  • More focused on success than feelings, but are good at communicating

4. Individualist

  • Creative, forward-thinking and highly expressive
  • Sometimes self-centered
  • Strong sense of identity
  • Can be temperamental or self-absorbed at times

5. Investigator

  • Innovative and highly perceptive
  • Smart and logical and like to think deeply about things
  • Quiet and thoughtfulness
  • Objective and logical
  • Detached and unemotional

6. Loyalist

  • Tend to be responsible and committed
  • Have long-lasting relationships
  • Trustworthy and devoted
  • Tends to worry and dwell on the negative

7. Enthusiast

  • Spontaneous, fun-loving and versatile
  • Extraverted—they are social and love to meet new people
  • Highly adventurous and are always on the lookout for fun
  • Easily distracted and unfocused
  • Quick thinking
  • Good at maintaining a positive attitude

8. Challenger

  • Bold, dominating and confrontational
  • Decisive and self-confident
  • Often successful in leadership roles
  • Sometimes be seen as domineering and aggressive
  • Outspoken and action-oriented

9. Peacemaker

  • Agreeable and easy-going
  • Self-effacing and complacent at times
  • Avoid conflict whenever possible
  • Promote harmony in groups
  • Dislikes disagreements
  • May ignore their own wants and needs just to ensure peace

In general, here are the nine Enneagram types you’ll meet at work:

1) The Perfectionist /  Reformer – Ones are responsible, thorough and hard working. They have high standards for themselves and others. They know how to do things the ‘right’ way. Their challenge is to balance their critical thinking with acceptance and appreciation, and to know when ‘good enough’ is more productive than ‘exactly right.’

2) The Giver / Helper – Twos are positive and people-oriented. They make excellent communicators and will support the best interests of the organization. Highly empathetic, they know what other people feel and need. Their challenge is to practice good personal boundaries and to choose more carefully when and how much they help others. 

3) The Performer / Achiever – Threes have tremendous productivity. Enthusiastic and highly motivated, they quickly move into action to accomplish results. Their challenge is to take the time to listen to others, build good relationships and develop more long term strategy. They need to watch out for personal burnout due to ‘workaholism.’

4) The Romantic / Individualist – Fours focus on authenticity, meaning and aesthetics. They value excellence in all things and they want to make a personal connection to their work and to the people around them. Their challenge is to learn to tolerate the mundane aspects of work, to reduce their emotional reactions and to not take things too personally. 

5) The Observer / Investigator – Fives are excellent thinkers and strategists. They seek to develop technical expertise and accumulate knowledge. They need lots of privacy and autonomy. Their challenge is to be available to other people when possible, to communicate warmth and to recognize other kinds of human assets besides mental intelligence. 

6) The Loyal / Skeptic – Sixes focus on figuring out what’s going on around them to create safety and structure. They are loyal, dependable, and they are especially good at anticipating problems and creating solutions. Their challenge is to manage their suspicion and doubt so that it doesn’t de-motivate themselves or other people. 

7) The Epicure / Enthusiast – Sevens are quick thinking, adaptable, and positive in their outlook. Where other people see problems, they see opportunities. They like to enjoy multiple interests and multiple options. Their challenge is to acknowledge problems and limitations, as well as to bring their attention back to the present and the task at hand. 

8) The Protector / Challenger – Eights are good at taking charge of their environment. They know how to mobilize to get things done. They make good leaders, and they will stand up for the positions and the people they care about. Their challenge is to moderate their forcefulness, to become adaptable in different situations and to avoid creating unnecessary conflict.

9) The Mediator / Peacemaker – Nines are steady and balanced in their approach to work and relationships. They can see all sides of an issue and are able to bring people together in a spirit of cooperation and harmony. Their challenge is to stay focused on the priorities and to stick up for their own position, even if that involves discomfort or conflict.

Knowing your type or your team member’s types is just the beginning. To put this into practice, we need to better leverage each other’s strengths, increase productivity, and improve culture through empathy and understanding!

Do you want to dig deeper?   Find your Enneagram number here!


The Enneagram at Work – Peter O’Hanrahan

The 9 Enneagram Personality Types Explained – Ian Cron

Enneagram Basics – What is the Enneagram? A simple guide to the Enneagram



Explore the Enneagram Types – Integrative Enneagram Solutions 

The Enneagram at Work – Peter O’Hanrahan and the Enneagram at Work

The Enneagram and Effective Communication –  Peter O’Hanrahan and the Enneagram at Work

More Magic

iLEAD California’s Student Support Team Diving Deep into Enneagrams at a professional development training.


Being Makers

Being Makers

Being Makers is a team of change-making leaders from Maker Learning Network and iLEAD Schools focused on project-based learning and social-emotional growth.
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