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Elizabeth Wagele

Why You Should Hire a “Helper” Personality

"Helpers" love to draw out others’ personalities.

Who else will try to resonate with as many people in the office, offer as much sympathy and advice, send as many get-well cards and make as many hospital visits, take time out of a busy day to have coffee with co-workers having problems?

Helpers make harmonizing with others their business and can help a company run more smoothly internally or in the customer-relations department. Healthy Helpers are full of love and wonderful to have around. They expect nothing in return for their good deeds. As with all types, there are also less healthy versions. Unhealthy Helpers can "give in order to get" and may be manipulative or over-controlling.

In "The Career Within You" we give examples of famous Enneagram figures, but it's not easy to find famous Helpers because, as their name implies, most of them prefer to be in a supporting role instead of out acquiring fame. Nancy Reagan is a good example of this. Bill Cosby (especially as humanitarian and attentive father), homemaker Rachel Rae, teacher and human rights activist Desmond Tutu, and lover and diplomat Pamela Churchill Harriman might have Helper personalities.

Since Helpers can be good at understanding what makes people tick, they make good therapists, human resources directors, receptionists, teachers, medical practitioners, and chiefs of staff. More than half are probably extraverted. The introverts usually prefer to help behind the scenes. Helpers can engage in a wide range of careers, including sciences, but will not be happy in a job where they are completely isolated.

Some Helpers are artists. Many make an art of their own appearance, dressing attractively but usually not overly provocatively. They want themselves and their surroundings to be pleasing to the eyes of their family, clients, and co-workers, so they'll pay attention to decorating their home and workplace.

Helpers are fascinated with their fellow humans and energetically draw out others' personalities. Some are especially attracted to quiet or shy people, as though on a mission to save them by introducing them to the world. Helper children get a head start on this by trying to save animals in need or raising money for starving children in far off lands. Other types do this too, but Helpers seem to volunteer more than most types (Perfectionists may be a close second) to help poor families from other countries, pitch in at PTA events, go on runs to raise money for AIDS and cancer research, etc.

Read about Helpers as children on my WordPress blog of May 11, 2010: "What Enneagram Type Makes the Best Friend?"
The drawing "Feelings" is from "The Career Within You" by E. Wagele and I. Stabb. (It's in black and white in the book.) See for more on "The Career Within You."
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