Whether you are a bookkeeper yourself, or currently interested in one; whether you are getting along just fine with the bookkeeping people in your finance department or not; whether you are in Human Resource Development / Management, or seriously thinking about hiring one by outsourcing globally online, bookkeeping and its peculiarities demands a certain amount of understanding of what makes a bookkeeper click and what keeps them so interested in keeping the balance just right. The Enneagram is one of the more popular tools that psychologists and HR managers use to determine personality types and temperaments.
The best credentials are not enough to find the candidate with the talent and skills that best fit the particular job situation in a variety of companies. Even if HR has the same job openings within the same company, in different branches, countries or subsidiaries, differences of culture within multinational corporations has waylaid the career of a would-be yuppie often enough.
In order to avoid this, with the rising import of Emotional Quotient and people skills, managers have often looked to the Enneagram and other psychology tools to determine basic personality types and hone their searches for the best bookkeeper for a particular job.
According to Wikipedia the word Enneagram is a combination of two Greek words ennea (meaning “nine”) and grammos (meaning “something written or drawn”). The nine different but interconnected behavioral types are simply numbered 1 to 9. These 9 “enneatypes” embody distinct patterns of thinking, feeling, and behaving; each with its own unique path of personality development and preferences.
These enneatypes are defined and ascribed the following characteristic roles:
- Type 1, The Reformers
- Type 2, The Helpers
- Type 3, The Achievers
- Type 4, The Individualists
- Type 5, The Investigators
- Type 6, The Loyalists
- Type 7, The Enthusiasts
- Type 8, The Challengers
- Type 9, The Peacemakers
The theory is that each of us has just one basic personality type and this basic personality type remains the same throughout your lifetime, with the characteristics of a certain type evolving, increasing or decreasing in its intensity of manifestation, depending on the person’s life situation.
Scores of sites online and articles by both hobbyists and psychologists alike about the Enneagram have flooded the web. Many offer standard tests that ask you to choose between behavioral approaches that one would take or that one has usually taken in the past whenever confronted by sticky situations. Certain types are pinpointed for their leadership skills, creativity, perfectionism or ability to pursue ambitious goals.
Of the nine Enneagram types, two stand out for their appropriateness to the skills and personality needed for a bookkeeping job: Type 6s, The Loyalists and Type 9s, The Peacemakers.
Sixes typically want certainty, meaning and support in their lives. Their core values are: loyalty, support, honesty. So, it isn’t too much of a surprise when their job choices factor in time for family and friendship groups since these are important to them. A small but closely knit bookkeeping office pool would be a perfect environment for them to thrive, especially if they’ve been to the office for an interview and a chat.
They’re interested in solving problems and enjoy the challenges that come with managing risks. They get bored quickly and feel like they are wasting their time on a job if they are not stimulated by problems to solve and risks to assess; with too much risk, they become overly anxious and make impulsive choices that may not bode well for any business. Their ability in assessing motivations and merits of other people make the valuable contributors to a group. As a watchdog, they can scan the business environment and sniff out potential problems/
Once you have their loyalty and commitment, they prove to be very diligent and responsible. These engaging troubleshooters are likeable, easily building alliances and partnerships to help steer the company’s course and with this skill, they easily get things done with everyone happy to pitch in. They like predictability and shun rapid change, are attracted to sound plans, clear structures and leadership with foresight. So if your management style clearly shows these qualities, having a Six on your bookkeeping and finance team secures your business.
In Part Two we will examine how another type contributes greatly to your team, as well as suggest how these two types can best be utilized in an outsourcing environment.