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Enneagram Type 6: Traits, strengths & potential careers


Enneagram tests are a quick and effective way to learn about your candidates’ and employees’ dominant personality traits. The results enable you to better communicate and coordinate cohesive teams to avoid potential incompatibilities. 

The Enneagram test uses a framework of nine personality types to determine individuals’ desires, fears, and working styles. In this guide, we look at Enneagram Type Six – a loyal, hard-working personality who uses analytical thinking to prevent negative outcomes. We share their top strengths, workplace behaviors, most-suited careers, and how you can support their growth.

What is Enneagram Type 6?

Each of the Enneagram’s nine types operates from either a “thinking,” “feeling,” or “intuitive” side while having different fears and desires.

Type Six individuals, also called “the Devoted” or “the Loyalists,” are in the “thinking” category, valuing relationships and security. They’re highly dependable, hard-working, and analytical, thriving in careers like teaching and finance management.

Enneagram Type Sixes are also skeptical and can act as devil’s advocates during discussions. They can be very dependable and humorous, but they’re not risk-takers.

Key personality traits

1. Skepticism

Type Sixes experience a lot of skepticism. They have doubts about their actions, compensating for them through hard work. They assume negative future outcomes, which brings them anxiety.

2. Safety and stability

They may often offer criticism for the sake of it, but Type Sixes avoid causing major disruption. They prefer security and stability, making decisions that minimize risk.

3. Value on relationships

Type Sixes seek safety in relationships, so they’re loyal and trustworthy. They can react strongly when they feel betrayed, turning against their loved ones or colleagues. However, they prefer long-term relationships, whether at home or work.

The strengths of Enneagram Type 6 – and possible areas for growth

The Devoted/Loyalist Enneagram type has the following positive attributes that make them a welcome asset for your organization.

  • Trustworthiness: A Type Six’s loyalty to others can create a strong foundation for collaboration and teamwork. They can also be counted on to show up on time and finish their work when they say they will. 

  • Attention to detail: A Type Six may notice details others don’t, which can make them adept at problem-solving in the workplace.

  • Research and analysis skills: They thrive on information and data and can anticipate obstacles and find practical solutions using the information they uncover.

  • Collaboration: This type works well in team environments and builds strong interpersonal connections.

  • Strong work ethic: They have a tendency to work hard and take responsibility for their actions and results.

  • Level-headedness: A Type Six tends to think logically and clearly. They usually prepare ahead, which helps them excel in high-stress situations.

What might hold an Enneagram Type 6 back in the workplace?

The main obstacle for Type Sixes is their core belief that things will go wrong. This results in not trusting their own instincts, being too analytical, and treating others with suspicion.

Like everyone, Enneagram Type Six individuals also have areas for growth and improvement like the following:

  • Overthinking and excessive worry: This can delay decision-making and hinder productivity. Open communication can encourage employees to share and manage their worries so they can move forward.

  • Feeling overwhelmed: This can happen when a Type Six is faced with excessive demands or when they struggle to juggle multiple responsibilities.

  • Reluctance to accept change: The stability of Type Six individuals can make them a positive asset for transitions if you support them by explaining the reasons for change and giving them time to adjust.

  • Need for reassurance and validation: This has the potential to hinder an employee’s independence. Clear expectations and regular, supportive feedback can give them the reassurance they need.

  • Pessimism: This can be tempered with clear communication and reassurance.

Enneagram Type 6 stressors at work

When Type Sixes become stressed, their personality can change. They often react with fear and move to protect themselves. This can mean they can act in a resentful, cold, and even aggressive way and may be resistant to help. 

Their biggest stressors include:

1. Arguments with others

Disagreements with loved ones and peers can make Type Sixes push others away because they fear being left behind. Arguments with authority figures can trigger resentment and isolation. 

2. Betrayal

Loyalty is such a powerful value for Type Six that they can feel devastated if they find out someone has been talking behind their back or acting immorally. 

3. Change

Type Sixes struggle with change and can be affected when technology, processes, or teams change in the workplace. They may become distressed about their job's relevance or their future at the company. 

Growth opportunities for Enneagram Type 6

1. Increase confidence levels

By becoming more confident, Type Six individuals worry less and take more risks. They can, for instance, practice positive affirmations, challenge self-limiting beliefs, and acknowledge their own accomplishments.

Balance the negative with the positive

Sixes can learn to include positive aspects in a balanced analysis. For example, when giving feedback, managers can use the sandwich method, with constructive criticism offered between two positive statements.

2. See the bigger picture

Those with a Type Six personality focus on details to control outcomes and often overlook the bigger picture. To overcome this, they can be shown how their task contributes to the project goals and how results are affected by factors beyond their control.

Type 6 work preferences

Enneagram Type Six individuals prefer workplaces where they feel safe and can tackle problems logically.

1. Feeling trusted and appreciated

Sixes appreciate trust within their team. They prefer dependable coworkers who deliver tasks as expected. They want to be trusted and receive recognition when they hit objectives.

2. Taking an analytical approach

Type Sixes enjoy using their analytical skills. This can include planning projects, managing schedules, and following clear instructions. They have great attention to detail and tend to avoid big-picture thinking.

3. Making cautious decisions

Sixes don’t enjoy tasks with a degree of risk – such as giving sales pitches or making supplier decisions. They can, however, handle risk management tasks well. This can include finance, compliance, and operational tasks.

Potential careers for Type 6

Type Sixes can thrive in many career paths because of their analytical and relationship-building skills. However, they avoid taking big risks, which can limit their choices unless coached to increase their confidence. 

Among the many options available, Sixes can thrive as:

  • Finance managers. Type Sixes perform well in finance departments using risk-management skills and attention to detail.

  • Personal and administrative assistants. Assisting an executive or senior manager helps Sixes feel useful while not taking on risks.

  • Health and care workers. Working in health and social care lets Sixes support others while building patient or client relationships.

  • Middle-management roles. They also make great middle managers by advocating for their teams while letting senior staff make big decisions.

  • Teachers. As teachers, Sixes use their analytical and people skills to support their students.

  • Non-profit team members. Non-profit work energizes Type Sixes because of their loyalty to meaningful causes.

  • HR managers. Sixes grow in HR roles where they look after their team’s well-being.

How to support a Type 6 in the workplace

1. Offer validation and support

Help Type Sixes build up their confidence by validating their achievements and reminding them of their team’s support. As analytical individuals, they need evidence of past success to trust their own decisions. Also, more generally, create a safe, supportive culture in the team.

2. Explain tasks clearly

Type Sixes want to understand plans in detail to prepare for possible outcomes. So, break tasks down and answer their questions clearly and concisely. At the same time, define the limits of their role to prevent them from taking over other team members’ responsibilities.

3. Prevent overworking

Devoted personality types can become very loyal to their workplace, working tirelessly toward the company mission. However, this can cause burnout. Remind Type Six employees to take regular breaks and stick to business hours where possible to prevent overworking. 

4. Offer socialization opportunities

Sixes feel energized by trusting relationships and having a sense of belonging. So, offer them plenty of opportunities to interact with their team. This can include events like team building exercises and voluntary activities such as charity days. To encourage one-on-one relationships, you can assign a mentor or buddy.

Workplace communication with Type 6s

Below, we outline top tips for communicating with Type Six individuals in various workplace scenarios. 


Meeting in person can benefit this personality type because it lets them engage with others and provides reassurance. 

  • Create a welcoming, safe environment. Explain what you’ll discuss beforehand, so your employee can prepare. Focus on what is working and skip the small talk to make them more comfortable.  

  • Create a space for questions. Address any uncertainties or potential concerns your employee may have.

  • Offer reassurance. Recognize your employee’s efforts and provide positive feedback to build their confidence. This can be especially important if you’re providing constructive criticism. You’ll want to ensure they feel valued and have a clear plan for improvement.

  • Emphasize open and honest communication. Encourage your teams to share their thoughts and worries. Type Sixes may need more support to share something they perceive as negative.


Type Six personalities love collaboration and working with others, and meetings let them shine. One-on-one meetings and team collaborations are both important for this type.

  • Structure meetings. Sixes feel more confident if they can prepare. Structured meetings with clear goals and agendas help them to excel.

  • Encourage participation. While this type may hesitate to speak up, they gravitate towards collaboration. Break-out sessions in larger meetings and practical teamwork within meetings let them participate comfortably.

  • Build in reflection time. They sometimes need time to process information before sharing their ideas. After asking a question, consider requesting a pause of one to two minutes to let everyone brainstorm before speaking.

  • Practice active listening. Active listening means staying deeply focused on what someone is saying and providing thoughtful feedback after sharing their ideas. It can help make Sixes feel heard.


Email, texting, and communication through project management platforms (such as Basecamp, Trello, or Asana) is an opportunity to craft clear messages for your team. 

For this type, though, online messaging lacks the interpersonal connection they seek.

  • Keep it organized. Draft online communication clearly to emphasize your idea’s purpose, goals, and timelines to ensure Type Sixes understand what you expect of them.

  • Make communication actionable. When communicating online, be clear in your instructions and provide the next steps to reduce ambiguity.

  • Offer reassurance. Express gratitude for your employees’ dedication and loyalty to the team. Encourage peer-to-peer recognition by giving your employees a way to acknowledge and praise each other.

  • Link your ideas to a larger purpose. Share the common goals your team is working towards and encourage Sixes to collaborate and work towards these aims.

  • Offer criticism gently. Provide positive, constructive feedback. Offer specific, step-by-step instructions for growth and improvement and reminders of what’s working. Also, offer online training and resources to help your employees improve.

Personality types Enneagram 6s work well with

Enneagram Type Sixes can work well with a variety of personality types. They’re especially likely to foster collaborative relationships with Type Ones, Twos, and Nines.

  • Type One: Attention to detail and commitment to excellence resonates with Type Six's meticulous nature. They share a dedication to quality work.

  • Type Two: These individuals are caring and supportive, helping them create a strong bond with Devoted types.

  • Type Nine: Their calm and harmonious demeanor complements Type Six's need for stability. They can work together to create a peaceful workplace.

Types Enneagram 6 may have trouble working with

On the flip side, there are some Enneagram types that are more challenging for Sixes to work with. 

  • Type Four: Their focus on individuality and expressing emotions can be a mismatch with Type Six's preference for stability and practicality.

  • Type Seven: These individuals desire new experiences, which could create tension with Type Six’s need for stability.

  • Type Eight: Their assertive and direct nature may clash with Type Six's cautious approach.

These types can still work effectively together, but being aware of potential conflicts lets you plan ahead. Clear communication, trust-building exercises, and balancing the needs of different personality types can also encourage all types to pull together.

Type 6 wings

Enneagram wings are the influencing personalities that lie on either side of the dominant type. 

Type Six wings are Types Five and Seven, which also sit in the “thinking group.” All three have a core fear that something will go wrong. 

A Type Six with a Wing Five is hard-working and loyal but withdraws when feeling overwhelmed. They’re highly analytical and more focused than other Sixes. They’re also independent and don’t mind what others think of them.

Meanwhile, a Type Six with a Wing Seven is extremely sociable and loyal. They’re less committed to promises and suppress negative emotions with humor. Sixes with a Wing Seven are more risk-loving and laid back than other Sixes.

How to determine a candidate’s Enneagram type

Whether you want to better support your employees or understand your candidates’ personalities before interviewing them, it’s easy to identify and interpret individual Enneagram types.

TestGorilla is a pre-employment platform that offers free Enneagram tests. Our 10-minute Enneagram personality test is quick and easy to complete, with candidates asked to select their preferred descriptions across relationships, work styles, and other themes.

The test results give you an overview of individuals’ Enneagram type, how it influences their behaviors at work, and how you can best coach them, plus personalized interview question recommendations.

With TestGorilla’s Free plan, you can combine the Enneagram with other personality tests such as Big 5 (OCEAN) and DISC tests for a broader perspective on candidates’ potential behaviors at work. Custom questions and tests let you further tailor assessments to the roles in your company.

Assess candidates more objectively with TestGorilla

Employees with an Enneagram Type Six can be a real asset to your business. They’re devoted and hard-working, and they prioritize relationships with their team members. They crave security and use their analytical abilities to protect themselves and those they love from negative future scenarios.

However, their risk aversion and self-doubt can delay their growth. So, you can coach them to trust their own decisions and see the bigger picture. Among many career opportunities, Type Sixes can thrive as finance professionals, health workers, personal assistants, and middle managers.

Curious to learn more about personality tests? Read our useful guide to personality tests and how to use personality tests in the hiring process.

Or, if you’re ready to get started on your first assessment with TestGorilla, book a free 30-minute live demo with our friendly team of experts. You can also watch our pre-recorded demo on our product page.


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