Enneagram Communication Styles: Analysis + Improvement Tips

2 October 2023

The nine Enneagram communication styles reveal how each Enneagram builds and cultivates relationships in their lives and reflect their core values and beliefs.

Join us as we explore Enneagram communication styles and relationships through Enneagram communication style examples. We’ll look at how each Enneagram personality type develops their communication style, what its advantages and disadvantages are, and how they can make it more effective.

Communication Style of Each Enneagram Type

The communication style of each Enneagram type represents the blueprint of their personality. Since the way we communicate says a lot more about us than what we communicate, we’ll focus on both verbal and nonverbal aspects of Ennegram's communication styles.

Enneagram Type 1 - Precise and Direct

Enneagram Type 1 communication style is based on clarity and efficiency since Ones are always focused on doing the right thing and performing perfectly. There’s often a kind of military tone to their voice as they shoot precise, direct sentences that sound almost like orders.

Transparency, attention to detail, and an assertive attitude are key traits of One’s communication style. Their thought process is very structured and allows them to express themselves in a very straightforward manner, and their language is full of ‘shoulds.’

Despite the fact that they may seem cold because of their strict focus on the task at hand, they are very ethical and respectful communicators who take care not to offend anyone.

The biggest challenge Ones face in communication is that they may appear more critical than they actually are. They may unconsciously project their high standards onto other people, expecting them to live up to them. As a result, people easily perceive them as harsh and demanding.

Another challenge they face is preoccupation with details. In an attempt to give as precise information as possible, they overdo it and achieve the complete opposite effect, leaving people confused.

Enneagram Type 2 - Supportive & Considerate

Enneagram Type Two’s communication style is based on their need to please other people. They are naturally attuned to reading other people’s emotions and anticipating their needs, easily connecting with everyone. So, the compassion and genuine warmth they possess make people easily open up to them.

Supportive, kind, and patient, Twos may not speak a lot, but they have a strong presence, which instills a feeling of trust in other people. Thanks to their strong intuition, people usually feel like they’ve known them for ages, as they understand everything so precisely without too much explanation.

However, since they put such a strong focus on other people’s needs, they ignore and neglect their own and find it extremely challenging to stand up for themselves, especially in conflicts. They also struggle with setting healthy boundaries and saying ‘no’ to other people.

Enneagram Type 3 - Fast & Engaging

Enneagram Type Three’s communication style is very engaging and dynamic. They know how to charm and attract the attention of other people, and they can be very seductive. Since social approval matters so much to them, their communication is always intuitively directed toward impressing other people.

However, at the same time, they are very direct, efficient, driven, and professional. They like to talk about plans for the future, and when it comes to business communication, their style is very similar to One's direct and pragmatic approach.

Their blind spots in communication are that they may seem uninterested and dismissive, as they become impatient with lengthy conversations. They are also extremely sensitive to criticism, especially if it happens in public since their social image is so important to them.

Since they talk and think fast, it would be very useful for the Threes to practice introspection to deepen their emotional awareness and make their communication more substantial. This will allow them to make more meaningful connections.

Enneagram Type 4 - Creative & Expressive

Enneagram Type Four communicates in an amusing, dramatic manner. The subconscious message of their communication is that they are unique and different from other people. They like to speak about their emotions in a very creative and interesting way, and they often use artistic means to express themselves.

Highly empathetic and in contact with their emotions, Fours charm other people with their poetic sentences and philosophical insights. While they are not extroverted and will rarely be the ones who break the ice in a conversation, they will join any discussion that touches on topics they find interesting.

The main challenge Fours may face in communication is subjectivity. As they let their emotions cloud their judgment, they may overdramatize. Another issue they face is harsh self-criticism, which hinders their relationships with others as they tend to withdraw, punishing themselves for a perceived mistake or flaw.

To improve their communication with others, it would be very beneficial for Fours to practice self-compassion and build a more positive self-image. This would allow them to enjoy more in their exchanges with others.

Enneagram Type 5 - Analytical & Exact

Enneagram Type 5 communication style is characterized by attention to detail, clarity, and inquisitiveness. It is rare for a Five to chit-chat and engage in casual conversations. They take a methodical approach to everything they do, conducting in-depth research and presenting their findings in a clear and convincing manner.

Fives don’t express a lot of emotion when they speak unless they are talking about a topic they are curious about. In that case, they may be very passionate and talkative. Otherwise, they like to stand aside, observe the situations, and enjoy analyzing the connections between things.

The issues they face in communication mainly revolve around their lack of emotional expression. Other people may find it hard to connect with them because they may seem too detached and unengaged.

For Type 5 Enneagram relationships and communication in general, it would be very beneficial to learn to relax and share how they feel. When they are relaxed, they show a great, sharp sense of humor.

Enneagram Type 6 - Detailed & Investigative

Enneagram Type Six’s communication is mainly colored by their need to double-check everything and make sure they are safe. They may be too focused on spotting potential problems and the negative sides of things, which is why other people may perceive them as too pessimistic.

Because of this tendency toward a pessimistic attitude, the best way to communicate with Enneagram 6 is in a supportive and positive manner.

However, their risk assessments are often very practical and realistic, and therefore, their presence is priceless in everything that involves planning and strategizing. They easily spot everything that could cause major problems in the future, and people like to turn to them for help and advice in that sense.

Though they take a modest and withdrawn attitude in groups in personal relationships, Sixes communicate in a very warm and caring manner. It is essential for them to practice focusing more on the positive side of things and adopting a more optimistic attitude to life so that they can have more fun in their interactions with other people.

Enneagram Type 7 - Enthusiastic & Playful

Enneagram Type Seven’s communication style is energetic and very inspirational. They are spontaneous, fun, and easily spot the comic aspects of every situation. Moreover, their contagious optimism and sense of humor attract other people to them, and they make connections easily.

There’s a lot of creativity in the way they communicate, regardless of what they are talking about. They will always have a new perspective and a fresh approach to offer, regardless of whether they are talking business or chatting at a party.

The thing Sevens struggles with the most in communication is focus. They find it hard to stay concentrated but rather jump from one idea to another. This is especially the case when they are pressured to talk about serious personal issues and emotions. In such situations, they will find many ways to avoid talking about things that are painful to them.

Learning to sit with discomfort and face challenging situations, regardless of all the unpleasant feelings that come along the way, will help them communicate in a more mature way.

Enneagram Type 8 - Authoritative & Seductive

Enneagram Type Eight’s communication style is confident, assertive, and bold. They are the people who are never afraid to speak up about injustice or any wrongdoing they notice. In other words, Eights will always bravely confront other people, whatever the subject at hand.

Thanks to their charisma and strong presence, Eights quickly emerge as leaders and take charge in all kinds of situations. Their determination and confident attitude impress other people and instill a sense of trust in them, so they are often perceived as leaders, even in informal settings.

However, their boldness and direction may seem too intimidating for other people, especially since Eights don’t generally show too much emotion. If they allow themselves to relax and be a bit vulnerable with others from time to time, they will enjoy their relationships with others and be able to communicate even more effectively.

Enneagram Type 9 - Respectful & Calming

Enneagram Type Nine’s communication style is peaceful and full of personal warmth. They are quiet yet present and deeply involved, making other people feel heard and understood. So, needless to say, Nines excel at fostering cooperation and a friendly, supportive environment.

The way they resolve even the most complicated conflicts is impressive—they approach every issue with tact and consideration, finding a way to understand people from all walks of life. However, exactly because they are so considerate and attuned to keeping the communication peaceful and friendly, they may struggle with expressing their own needs and emotions.

It would be very rewarding for Enneagram Type Nine to practice assertive communication and learn that not every conflict is bad. Their need to comply with others to maintain harmony leaves them feeling neglected and undervalued.

Therefore, taking more personal responsibility and initiative in their interactions with other people would make them feel empowered. Expressing emotional needs assertively would also significantly improve Type 9 Enneagram relationships.

Key Takeaways

Every Enneatype has a distinct and unique Enneagram communication style motivated by their core needs and desires. In conclusion, we’ll try to capture the essence of each Enneagram communication style in a few sentences:

  • Ones, Threes, and Eights communicate in a very direct and self-confident manner, while Twos and Nines are led by the desire to understand and support other people.
  • Sevens bring fun and humor into all their exchanges, and Fours like to spice things up with a bit of drama.
  • Fives and Sixes pay close attention to every detail, ensuring everyone is safe and protected.