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Enneagram Type Seven: The Optimist in a PLC

Enneagram and Professional Learning Communities, Type Seven

According to the Enneagram, a Type Seven is sometimes known as The Optimist or The Enthusiast. Motivated by a desire to be free and happy, The Optimist seeks to avoid pain and replace it with fun.

In a PLC, the Type Seven is the one who generates collective excitement. Whether it's celebrating a success, brainstorming a new idea, or creating a positive outlook around some disappointing data, the Optimist loves to lift your spirits. In a team, someone has to be the black hat thinker--but that someone is never a Seven!

Type Seven's worst case scenario would be a team with fixed, negative mindsets around student and teacher ability. A Seven can handle a teammate who is stubborn; what they can't handle is a teammate who is perpetually stuck in boring, ineffective practices that disengage students. To have to implement boring, ineffective practices would stifle (and slowly kill) a Seven.

For a Type Seven to thrive, utilize their bursts of energy, their bold ideas, their excitement and enthusiasm. If allowed, a Type Seven can turn any task into a fun game or project--so ask them to do just that! It is possible to teach a common curriculum and have fun with your students, and Type Sevens know how to bring the magic.

Remind your Type Sevens that teaching in alignment does not have to mean teaching in boring alignment. In fact, part of the PLC process is to give them space to share their awesome, exciting ideas for everyone to use. Still, there may be times when their big ideas are too big, or there isn't enough time to put them into action. Assure your Seven that their energy and sparkle is needed--even if it cannot be acted upon at that moment by the team.

Enneagram Type Seven and Professional Learning Communities

A Type Seven at their best may be an inspiring, captivating member of their team. They can remind their teammates of the joy of teaching and offer a deeper connection back into the minds of student-learners. Sevens need to be mindful of their fear of becoming stuck in a rut--which can lead them to jump from idea to idea, or initiative to initiative. Just because a strategy has been done before does not mean it's old news or ineffective.

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