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  1. #1
    Senior Member hilo's Avatar
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    Default Any Ennagram references for dealing with particular types?

    Understanding types is important, but I guess I'm looking for practical advice.

    My boss is an e6, probably a 6w5. (Also an ISTP if that matters). We do academic science (I'm a grad student). My problem, and I realize enneagram might seem like an odd place to turn, is that he is a really really regressed 6.

    Bordering on paranoid at times, he gets completely stuck in fear-based logic short-circuits, which have caused his career to go quite badly (he can't conquer his fear of being wrong long enough to turn out useful research let alone publish it).

    I'm in a typically powerless position, as unless he does something that really crosses an ethical line, I've basically got to put up with him to graduate. I've managed to stay on his good side, and do research with outside people in order to get my own requirements in. But now that he's likely to get fired in the next year or so things are getting worse (as in, trying to present my work as his own, trying to take authorship cred, not even pretending to care what happens to my career, etc). I guess I am looking for advice on how to work with a totally f-ed up 6 in order to help them move forward (and also, how not to piss them off while being assertive about not being taken advantage of). I'm really worried that he will start blaming me for how things turned out for him, or give me a bad reference out of spite, as he seems jealous of the fact that I'm actually doing ok. I don't think he's a bad person, just a desperate one that needs some help.
    I have come to believe that the whole world is an enigma, a harmless enigma that is made terrible by our own mad attempt to interpret it as though it had an underlying truth.
    - Umberto Eco

    INTP e9 (sx/so/sp)
    Ti = Ne (41.3) > Si (31.2) ~ Ni (31.1) ~ Te (30.1) > Se (24.1) >> Fe (21) & Fi (20.1)

  2. #2
    insert random title here Randomnity's Avatar
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    I'm also an istp 6w5 in science, although I'm a grad student. hit me up if you like.

    I'm not really sure how to deal with a really messed up person of any type, though. That's always hard. Sounds like a shitty, shitty situation, especially for a supervisor....
    -end of thread-

  3. #3
    Senior Member hilo's Avatar
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    hi random, thanks for replying. You are his exact type, which is useful! (Now I have to think of a question...)

    I haven't figured out how to disagree with him, especially about the major stuff (like authorship) without him basically turning it into a power struggle and feeling like I'm threatening his authority.

    Any advice on how to get a 6 to lighten up a bit? What sorts of things irritate you when you're having a disagreement?
    I have come to believe that the whole world is an enigma, a harmless enigma that is made terrible by our own mad attempt to interpret it as though it had an underlying truth.
    - Umberto Eco

    INTP e9 (sx/so/sp)
    Ti = Ne (41.3) > Si (31.2) ~ Ni (31.1) ~ Te (30.1) > Se (24.1) >> Fe (21) & Fi (20.1)

  4. #4
    insert random title here Randomnity's Avatar
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    for authorship, a lot will depend on what's normal in your field. The conventions can differ a lot between different fields of science and I'm not sure what is the norm for you (for us the norm is 2-6 authors: the person/people who did the lab work and the supervisor(s)). Are you in social sciences by any chance? I've heard a few horror stories from that field. I just went to a workshop in January where this came up - trying to remember the advice. I think it was to go to your department head/dean/supervisor's boss as soon as you realize what's going on. I don't think there's all that much you can do once it's published though unfortunately - so if you can, it's important to sort that out beforehand.

    If there's another prof that you trust, you could talk to the person if you don't want to go to the department head (or whatever your equivalent is), and they'll be able to give you more specific advice depending on how your school normally does these things. Even if you don't tell that prof your specific complaints or even your supervisor's name, they should still be able to point you to where you should bring complaints and issues with your supervisor. I'm at a medium-size university in Canada so your school may have different ways of handling complaints, but there definitely should be someone you can talk to that can help you in an official capacity.

    from a type side of view, I can say a few general tips, although it won't necessarily help if he's just being a douchebag (which kinda sounds like the case from what you've said):

    -listen to him first, and find out what his logic is for his point of view
    -find some legitimate points to address, if you can
    -provide him with the logic for your point of view, without adding emotions/anger. Email may or may not be best, depending on his personality (I'd prefer it, but an older person may or may not)
    -if you can lay it out visually or in some kind of organized way, that usually helps.
    -get to the point - concise bullet points > rambling/rationales

    that said, he may not be causing problems for any rational reason and may not budge. Particularly if you've had issues with him before, or if he has some strong reasoning (logical or otherwise) for his decisions, he may be stubborn and refuse to listen. In that case not much you can do without external help IMO.
    -end of thread-

  5. #5
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    My advice: Choose better. Unfortunately you are now stuck with an ISTP to micromanage. I don't envy you.

  6. #6
    Junior Member Assailant's Avatar
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    A book resource that would help you greatly would be: The Enneagram in Love and Work: Understanding Your Intimate and Business Relationships by Helen Palmer.

    • If he gets emotionally reactive (by venting), stay calm. You have to give him space to vent because if he doesn't, he'll just get more emotionally reactive.
    • Try to give him feedback regardless because since you both need guidance, so it would be better if you would approach him to work on guiding each other.


    Hope this helps.

  7. #7
    Senior Member hilo's Avatar
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    Thanks for the book, I will definitely check it out... and let my story be a warning to all those who enter graduate school: Choose f&$#ing wisely.
    I have come to believe that the whole world is an enigma, a harmless enigma that is made terrible by our own mad attempt to interpret it as though it had an underlying truth.
    - Umberto Eco

    INTP e9 (sx/so/sp)
    Ti = Ne (41.3) > Si (31.2) ~ Ni (31.1) ~ Te (30.1) > Se (24.1) >> Fe (21) & Fi (20.1)

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