You wake up Sunday morning and you hear something odd. Guttural moans and groans are coming from your backyard. You rush to the window and gasp. Your entire neighborhood is under attack by flesh-hungry zombies! What do you do?
I present this scenario at most of my team workshops. Now, I admit some of the reason is selfish (I freaking love zombie movies), but I also think it's an interesting way to show how everyone sees the world in different ways.
When you boil it down to the basics, the Enneagram is about perspectives. This ancient personality typing system says that there are nine different ways people see the world. It says your core motivations (your main fear, desire, weakness, and longing) impact the way you interpret your life.
None of the perspectives are right or wrong. It's the awareness of the perspective that gives you a tool through which to see yourself and others better.
You may see those zombies outside and immediately gather your loved ones around you. Community is how you approach and survive impossible situations! I find this is usually the reaction of Type Twos, the most interpersonal type on the Enneagram, or Type Nines, willing to sacrifice anything to sustain connection with others.
Others leap into action. (Threes, Sixes, and Eights, I'm looking at you) You raid your arsenal of zombie-fighting weapons and prepare for war. Finally, all those rewatches of "I Am Legend" are paying off.
In one workshop I did, every person answered that they would bunker down at the residence of the sole Type Five in their organization. The Five was a technical engineer who smiled shyly at his coworker's confidence in his ability to protect and survive insane conditions.
Type Ones are usually the individuals who have some follow-up questions for me. Have the zombie breached the front door? Are we utilizing the skills we currently have or can we imagine a different set of skills that might aid in our survival? Where is the rest of my family located? Exactly how much food do we have stored in the pantry?
A rare individual might pose for a selfie with a zombie. (A thrill-seeking Seven, perhaps?) It may be the last selfie you ever take, but it's a once in a lifetime opportunity.
And I inevitably get a Type Four in every group who says, "I give up immediately. The zombies can have me. I wouldn't survive five minutes." Hey, I admire the authenticity!
If you want to see what each type's reaction would be in the event of a societal collapse, check out this YouTube video I made! 🧟♂️