Enneagram Decision Making: A Guide to Making Better Decisions

28 March 2024

Our ability to make the right decision defines the quality of our lives and reflects many key aspects of our character. Therefore, exploring the intricacies of the Enneagram decision-making process will allow us to understand each Enneagram type on a very deep level.

In this article, we’ll analyze the Enneagram decision-making processes, each Enneatype’s priorities, and their independence in making choices. Moreover, we’ll offer customized advice to help each type make the best decision.

How Each Enneagram Type Makes Decisions

Each Enneagram type makes decisions that are based on their top values, and each experiences specific challenges in the decision-making process.

So, let’s explore the Enneagram decision-making processes in detail!

Enneagram Type 1—Head Rules Heart

Enneagram Type One is selfless in their effort to always do the right thing. For this reason, they always strive to make the most morally correct decision that serves a greater goal rather than their private interests.

Moreover, though their priority isn’t whether their decision may hurt someone, they are always very thoughtful and considerate of other people and carefully evaluate how their decision might affect others.

While they may struggle to make decisions regarding their personal lives, the choices that affect their careers aren’t so difficult for them. That’s because they are more focused on what’s ethically correct than what they need. Their rigidity can severely affect their emotional life, especially when they are at an unhealthy level of functioning.

It is essential for Ones to acknowledge that their feelings are just as important for making the right decision as the facts are. Being objective isn’t always the best course of action, especially when it comes to romantic relationships.

Enneagram Type 2—The Art of Making Everyone Happy

Twos, also known as Helpers, are highly attuned to the needs of other people, and their whole lives are centered around their relationships. Therefore, they don’t care much for objectivity, reason, or logic; they aim to make decisions that would make everyone happy, often at the cost of their own needs.

When making career decisions, Twos are not led by the possibility of career advancement or professional benefits. They care more about who they are working with and whether their decisions harm anyone.

Because of this, they frequently base their decisions on very subjective, irrational motivations driven by their desire to win over everyone and keep their relationships strong. This may cause them to miss out on opportunities to improve their own lives because they are more focused on other people’s needs than on their own.

It is essential for Twos to learn to prioritize their own needs and interests when making decisions. Making pro and con lists and similar tactics could help them understand how little they consider their own benefit in the decision-making process.

Enneagram Type 3—Eyes on the Prize

Threes are very pragmatic and reality-oriented, so they make decisions quickly. They focus on facts and easily understand the pros and cons of any given situation. They are not afraid to make tough calls, even when they are perfectly aware that their decision will not please everyone.

That’s because they are ambitious and think strategically, and they are aware that achieving success sometimes requires some kind of sacrifice. Their decisions are motivated by their need to succeed in life and achieve their goals.

However, when it comes to decisions related to their personal relationships, they are not as swift and rational as they are in general. Unhealthy Threes may emphasize the importance of public image at the cost of personal satisfaction, which may lead them to deep disappointments. Moreover, their competitiveness often clouds their judgment.

It is important for Threes to take time before making any big decisions. They tend to move at a breakneck pace, driven by an obsession with getting ahead in their careers and social circles.

Threes have to realize that achieving success is not always the most important thing, particularly if it means sacrificing their genuine individual needs.

Enneagram Type 4—The Wisdom of the Heart

Fours have a strong sense of personal values, and they make decisions guided by their intuition. They know what they want for themselves and are deeply attuned to their feelings, so they are not afraid to make decisions that other people might not approve of.

However, they may at times be too impulsive and make decisions based on whims, overwhelmed with intense feelings. Another challenge for them comes from their need to fascinate other people with their uniqueness, which may cause them to make decisions that are not in their best interest.

Moreover, Fours may sometimes ignore reality and make their decisions completely disconnected from the here and now.

Therefore, when faced with a crucial decision, Fours should not act hastily but rather stay grounded in reality and in tune with their needs.

Enneagram Type 5—Led by Facts and Logic

The careful, analytical Fives think thoroughly before making any decision. They consider every possible option and relevant fact, as well as the future repercussions of each option they might choose. Moreover, they focus on being objective, rational, realistic, and practical in their decisions.

However, obsessed with details and afraid of making the wrong choice, Fives may miss the forest for the trees. Analyzing every possible aspect of the situation may seem like a rational approach, but it is also often a reflection of their fear of moving on and making a change in their lives.

In addition, Fives tend to completely exclude their feelings from the decision-making process, which may lead them to feel deeply frustrated after some time without understanding why.

So, it is essential for Fives to focus more on staying in touch with their needs and feelings and not wasting time on details that are essentially irrelevant to the decision they need to make.

Enneagram Type 6—Security Above Everything

Sixes are known as exceptional trouble-shooters, and making decisions is a very complex process for them. They carefully consider all of their options and will always choose the one that offers the least amount of risk.

Since they focus on the most problematic aspects of every situation, they feel as though there’s no such thing as the best decision, just the least risky one. For this reason, they might easily overlook some great opportunities, as their pessimism and fear drive them to go for what’s safe and avoid trying new approaches.

Cautious, realistic, and rational, Sixes are always mindful of how their decisions affect the people they love. In addition, they might seek counsel from the ones they admire since they have a deep inner need for guidance in life, which often emerges when they are faced with a tough choice.

The main lesson Sixes need to learn to make better decisions is to let go of fears and the need to rely on external authority. Once they learn to find security within themselves, they will be able to make more intuitive decisions and be less burdened by the fear of unpredictability.

Enneagram Type 7—Anticipating Possibilities

The spontaneous, playful Sevens make their decisions intuitively without dwelling on possible bad outcomes. They are not afraid of making mistakes, and they easily bounce back after setbacks, so they don’t see anything tragic or fatal in making the wrong call from time to time.

Because they do not value or seek out other people's opinions, Sevens are free to think and do as they like, which fosters their creativity and gives them a feeling of independence.

Additionally, they are very resourceful and capable of making the best of every situation, as they are free of anxiety, attuned to the present, and capable of anticipating outcomes.

However, when they are under stress, they might make some decisions impulsively and regret them later. This can be especially harmful in interpersonal relationships, as they are driven by the fear of deep feelings.

It is critical for Sevens to ensure that their decision-making is not driven by their desire to avoid certain emotions. They need to focus more on the long-term consequences of their decisions.

Enneagram Type 8—Master of Strategy

Eights are very honest, both with themselves and others. They know exactly what they want in life, so they make decisions with their goals in mind, always aiming for the most pragmatic and efficient solution.

When faced with a tough choice, Eights readily accept the responsibility and make the call aware of all the possible consequences. Their self-confidence in taking on the responsibility for making the hardest decisions is one of the reasons why Eights are recognized as leaders in their community.

However, unhealthy Eights might base some decisions on their hunger for revenge or paranoid projections. In their haste to annoy their opponents, they may make poor decisions that hurt them more than anyone else.

Overcoming their defensiveness and the need to control everything may significantly improve their decision-making ability. Moreover, showing more empathy and understanding how their decisions impact other people will also help them get what they want more smoothly.

Enneagram Type 9—The Art of Preserving Harmony

The mellow Nines base their decisions on the need to protect harmony in their environment. They are capable of seeing the wider context of the situation and carefully anticipate how it affects every person involved. They do their best not to hurt anyone and look for solutions that will make everyone happy.

Diplomatic yet objective, Nines are very skilled at introducing delicate changes into their community. However, despite their ability to make tough calls, Nines dislike being the leading decision-makers.

When it comes to making decisions regarding their interpersonal relationships, Nines need a lot of time to think, analyze the situation, and understand what they actually want. Pressuring and rushing them only stresses them out and paralyzes their ability to make choices. This is why they often experience decision paralysis.

It is crucial for Nines to learn to be more in touch with their own needs when making decisions. Otherwise, they may waste a lot of time self-sacrificing themselves without ever being asked to do so.

Key Takeaways

Enneagram test and theory help you understand yourself and other people better, thus allowing you to make wiser decisions.

As Sun Tzu said, “If you know the enemy and know yourself, you need not fear the result of a hundred battles. If you know yourself but not the enemy, for every victory gained, you will also suffer a defeat. If you know neither the enemy nor yourself, you will succumb in every battle.”

Consequently, you can avoid potential risks and mistakes by learning your decision-making style and the factors that influence your decisions.