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Reading Books in Library

Type 5

The Observant Expert

FIVEs are analytical and objective thinkers. They are acutely aware of having limited energy and tend to calculate how much energy will be lost to other’s agendas before deciding if they want to engage. They work hard to develop expertise in their area and to win privacy from too much intrusion. They are at their best when provided with predictability to foresee and prepare, and given time and space to formulate their thoughts. When they overdo their striving to be un-intruded upon, they can feel stressed by needing to respond spontaneously and can avoid personal interactions with others to conserve energy.


Key Strengths: Objective, observant, respectful, analytical, interesting, experts in their area of knowledge.

FIVEs Communication style:: deliberate and paced, technical, honest, unemotional, private, withholding 

Fives like others to communicate: factually, finishing one thought completely before moving on,  non-intrusively, 5s have long pauses while talking to think before speaking. Many other types assume the 5 is done and start speaking. If you can wait out the pause of the 5 you will earn access to the deeper information the 5 holds.


How they engage the world: The world is filled with people who require more time, energy, and emotion than I have to offer, so I go into my head and create a buffer of knowledge as a way of detaching.


Blind Spot: Hiding Behind Intellect.  FIVEs have such a rich inner thought life that is safe and predictable compared to the loud, spontaneous world that requires too much most of the time. Rather than engaging spontaneously and openly sharing oneself, the FIVE prefers to push forward their expertise or insert themselves only when confident of what they know. 


Other Common Snares:  Falling down fascinating rabbit holes rather than getting into action, others struggle with FIVEs lack of accessibility and connection, 5s feeling the need to withhold energy/information, avoiding spontaneity, believing their value is limited to their knowledge.


Assumption:   FIVEs assume "If I do not carefully guard and monitor my energy I will certainly run out before I can get home to recharge". 


How others experience them: Brilliant, objective, offering thoughtful perceptive, aloof, unemotional, stingy. 


They respect coworkers who are: Intelligent, specific, to the point, private, un-intrusive, and unemotional decision-makers.


What they like at work: Closed doors, opportunities to explore fascinating concepts, time and space to think, facts, compartmentalization, and validation of their expertise. 


What irritates them: Having their thoughts/ideas dismissed, Meetings (particularly brainstorming/open-ended discussion), being manipulated to give energy to other's agendas, being put on the spot


Self-assigned role on the team: From all that I have observed I could share ideas that would help our team if they would just take the time to have a thoughtful conversation with me.


Want to learn more? Check out these resources on the type:


Enneagram Institute:


CP Enneagram:

Still not sure?

If you have read through the types you were given in your typing session and are still not settled, please send me an email and I can offer some follow up questions and resources.

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