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Know your boss’ boss’ buttons

You can help your boss by knowing their boss’ buttons. You may not want to share your tools, but you can share your influencing patterns.

Feel free to type as many of the people at work (your own team, even) to give you some insight into how to push buttons. Political acumen is about the whole context, not just the little patch in front of your face!

Link to video on each type

The table below outlines one “button” for each type. This is an immensely complex model, and I feel somewhat of a charlatan for reducing it to less than 30 words. Google the Enneagram and you will find plentiful resources online or try these books: Enneagram Made Easy. The Enneagram has been applied to a lot of different contexts, many of which are quite esoteric.

For clearly corporate application, I like The Nine Ways Of Working: How To Use The Enneagram To Discover Your Natural Strengths And Work More Effectively. Michael Goldberg, who wrote that book also has a useful site (

Enneagram Number To get me on side tell me:To get under my skin tell me
1I’m rightI’m wrong
2I’m helpfulI’m making it hard for people
3I’m successfulI’m a fake
4I’m unique and specialI’m just like everybody else
5I’m wise and informedI don’t know my stuff
6I belongI’m an outlier
7I’m funI’m boring
8I’m strongI’m weak
9I’m fairI’m biased

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