The challenges team leaders face today are so vast that literally hundreds of books have been written about each one. Like a failing marriage, these problems often stem from team members moving in different directions and misaligned with the end goals and objectives. This also leads to a dejected team leader who frequently subconsciously “gives up” on the team and its ability to reach the heights it should.

If you want to recharge the relationship between team and team leader, try using the Cloverleaf Enneagram to create a cohesive and collaborative team that will shoot out the lights in no time.

Let’s take a quick look at the Triads, an aspect of the Cloverleaf Enneagram that can help us troubleshoot common team problems.

Cloverleaf Enneagram Triads

“The Triads are important for transformational work because they specify where our chief imbalance lies.” 
(The Wisdom of the Enneagram 1999 Riso/Hudson)

The Cloverleaf Enneagram Triads are made up of the Instinctive Triad, the Heart Triad and the Thinking Triad. These three energy centres stem from three parts of our brain, namely the brain stem (The Instinctive Triad), which acts immediately on incoming data, whose focus is on the present. This is where your flight or fight response is activated. Then, you get the limbic system, which is the emotional centre of the brain (The Heart Triad), which helps you create and store memories, which obviously has a focus on the past. And lastly, you have the neo-cortex (The Thinking Triad), which handles all your high-order thinking, including strategy and decision-making, with a strong focus on the future.

Teams are often made up of people in each triad, which offers the team many advantages. However, if the triads are imbalanced, this can also cause some common problems. Let’s look closely at three problems and see if any of these show up in your team.

All talk, no walk

Do you ever find that your team is great at innovative problem-solving but not great at actually implementing the solution? Maybe your team comes up with great ideas that excite the passions of everyone on the team, but the plan is never rolled out. Maybe you sit in meetings and discuss the same things repeatedly, but it never seems actually to happen or change.

This is a clear sign that you have a triad imbalance. It means your team members are overwhelmingly made up of the Heart and Thinking Triads, while the Instinctive Triad is underrepresented.

Cloverleaf Instinctive Triad 2

 

We know this because when a team is future- and past-focused, nothing gets done in the present. The Thinking Triad is planning for the future, and the Heart Triad is referencing the past, but no one is taking action now. The Instinctive Triad is great at taking action, so don’t forget to leverage the people you have in this triad.

By using the Cloverleaf Enneagram Tool, you will be able to identify the team members who are in the Instinctive Triad easily. By allowing their voice to be heard in the round-about discussion between the other triads, they will be able to steer the team towards action.

A teenager in love

Another problem commonly appearing in teams is leaping before you have looked. Like a teenager in love who decides to move to Paris with their new love after being together for two weeks, the team comes up with a passionate idea and implements it immediately. A great example of this would be Bud Light’s controversial marketing decision to make a trans-gender influencer the face of their product. While it was a wonderful sentiment from a diversity and inclusion perspective, some unseen consequences saw their shares plummet.

So, what triad imbalance is this? Well, this happens when your team is strong in your Heart and Instinctive Triads but under-served in the Thinking Triad.

Cloverleaf Enneagram Thinking Triad 2

The idea might have come from the heart, a passion project to correct the mistakes of the past, and it might have been executed perfectly by focusing on a current trend. However, because the Thinking Triad was not heard, there was little data research, no potential focus on future outcomes, and not enough planning.

By using the Cloverleaf Enneagram Tool, you can easily identify team members in your Thinking Triad so that you can consult with them on data, planning and potential pitfalls the rest of the team might not see coming.

The thinking, doing machine

Perhaps your team dreads work, each day is the same hum drum as the day before. Your team is ticking off their to-do list with the passion of a dishcloth. Maybe your team sticks to their cubicles and only speaks to each other if they absolutely have to.

This happens when your Thinking and Instinctive Triads rule the roost. The team is able to think, analyse, plan, and problem-solve and then implement the planning perfectly. The problem is that the team becomes a thinking, doing machine, and their emotional well-being is not being met due to the lack of the Heart Triad.

Cloverleaf Enneagram heart triad

Like the Tin-Man from The Wizard of Oz, the team lacks a heart. As a team leader, you might think that the team is performing, so why should I worry? Well, the truth is that we are humans; we are not machines. A human desires a purpose. A purpose is the only way to ensure happiness for a human, and sometimes, it needs to be bigger than just getting the work done. Happy workers with a purpose will increase their efficiency and creativity.

By using the Cloverleaf Enneagram Tool, you can identify team members in the Heart Triad who will help your team think bigger about the jobs they are performing. They can connect with other team members and show them the impact they have on one another. Most importantly, they connect the work you are doing with the emotions of the team members, giving the Tin-Man team a heart.

Written by: Nathan Ro

Written by: Nathan Ro

Learning and Development Manager

So, do you, as a team leader, relate to any of these problems? If so, please get in touch with Yellow Seed and book a demo of the Cloverleaf Enneagram Tool and get to know your team on a deep level, allowing you to create a high-performing team that will shoot out the lights!

Download our Free Guide:

8 Reasons your team
is underperforming

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