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Enneagram Style Speak- Style 5 The Investigator


The way we communicate is a great indicator as to what Enneagram style we fall into. When vocalize our needs we tend to speak at a certain pace, inflect a certain emotion, choose gestures to match our communication, and have a certain tone and pitch to our voices–all in a way that generally fits into our type within the Enneagram.

Last week we talked about the Style 6 and how they are friendly and jovial when they speak, communicate about things to watch out for and avoid, and are looking for someone on the receiving end to encourage them. You can read more about that here.

Today in this video we explore the communication style of the Enneagram 5, The Investigator. How: 1).The 5 communicates at work and home; 2). How to speak their language of a 5 at work and home; and 3). What 5 needs the most from us.  Watch the video for a detailed account of the communication style of the 5.

How the 5 Communicates

The way a Style 5 communicates is understated. They speak generally at a slower pace than most others. You may even get a sense that they are carefully choosing each word as it comes out. Sometimes they speak in very short sentences, such as a one word “yes” or “no” when asked a question. They may not use hand gestures or facial expressions as liberally as most people. They usually are respectful of others’ space, and would be unlikely to be liberal with hugs, touching during a conversation, or big smiles.

Keep in mind, whatever a 5 shares verbally is usually a small fraction of what they consider mentally. 5s don’t want to waste words- “waste” to a 5 is the ultimate four letter word- it is something they avoid at all costs. I’ve noticed in the age of texting that this seems to be a favorite 5 medium. Finally, a way to communicate with people that is short, to the point, and without needless filler!

How to Speak The Language of a 5

To speak the 5’s language, be brief and to the point. Add your opinions and experiences if they are valuable as data points, but be wary of telling long stories or talking at length about a topic that doesn’t interest them. 5s tend to measure their engagement and will withdraw that engagement if they are feeling overwhelmed by a conversation.

What a 5 Needs Most From You

For a 5 to thrive they need space. They are actually very sensitive types and especially do not respond well to pressure or coercion. Try to think in terms of “invitations”: Invite the 5 to join you at a social event, invite the 5 to talk with you about your relationship, invite the 5 to join you on a work project. Be sure to allow space for them to choose and move at their own pace, and don’t push.

Those of you out there that are style 5s or have to communicate with them frequently, any tips you would like to share?


Related Articles:

Enneagram Communication Series: Style Speak

Enneagram Style Speak: Style 6 The Loyalist

Enneagram Style Speak: Style 7 The Enthusiast

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