Two coworkers having a conversation at the office.

Sevens are known as the Enthusiasts of the Enneagram because that’s exactly what they are—optimistic, curious, pleasure-seeking and always on the lookout for the next big idea. If you want to picture a type Seven boss, think of Al Pacino’s character in the movie Any Given Sunday and that rousing locker-room speech where he urges his players to give all they have in order to win.

When working for a Type Seven boss, you’ll appreciate the positive energy they bring to the team. You’ll definitely get a lot of encouragement from this manager, which can be highly motivating as you set about your work tasks. 

But no Enneagram type is perfect. As upbeat as type Sevens are, you might also feel frustrated by their need for constant excitement or how they jump from one task to another.

Here are some truths about working with Sevens, and how to deal with them effectively. 

What’s good and bad about a Type Seven boss?

The pros:

  • Sevens are upbeat and optimistic. You can feel their can-do attitude from the second they walk into the office. They will rally the team around your goals so you’ll feel inspired when working on projects.
  • They’re information hubs. Sevens gather knowledge about many topics, which means they’re skilled at helping team members solve problems and find innovative ways to succeed.
  • They don’t do failure. If a project tanks, Sevens will find the silver lining and move on to something else. You won’t feel like you’re being blamed or told off for the failure, like you might with other managers.
  • They’re appreciative. When they’re at their best, Sevens show appreciation easily. They’re the type of boss who will give you praise and compliment you for a job well done.
  • They’re excellent problem-solvers. Sevens are great at coming up with novel solutions to problems and brainstorming ideas during meetings. They also excel at reframing problems into creative opportunities, so you can expect them to tackle challenges with a proactive mindset.
  • They’re easy to get along with. Sevens can deal with different personalities easily, including the “difficult” ones. They’re often charming and fun to be around. 

The cons

  • They get bored easily. Sevens can be stressful to work with because they need a lot of variety to be happy. They might make changes to projects, schedules or teams unnecessarily to quench their thirst for excitement.
  • They speak quickly. Sevens have the tendency to speak really fast because they have so many thoughts zipping around their brains. They don’t always listen and may talk about their own interpretation of a situation, which is another communication blind spot.
  • They like to befriend employees. Sevens are charismatic and sociable, so people are naturally drawn to them. It’s common for Sevens to want to build strong bonds with members on their team. If you’re an introverted or private person, you might struggle with this.
  • They multitask on ideas. Sevens are curious and want to try multiple ideas simultaneously. While there’s nothing wrong with this, working for them can mean you’re asked to put your energy into different projects at once. If you struggle in situations where there’s a lack of focus and clarity, you could find this challenging.
  • They hold themselves to high standards, which can cause them to be critical of themselves and others. At their worst, Sevens can feel imprisoned by restlessness and anxiety from trying to reach their too-high expectations, and this can negatively impact their team members.
  • They brush problems under the carpet. Sevens secretly want to avoid pain, so they could try to ignore problems in the workplace, such as conflict, because they’d rather focus on positive things. The downside of this is that it can make them seem dismissive to their team members. 

Seven tips for dealing with a Type Seven boss 

1. Bring your enthusiasm to the table. 

Sevens sometimes struggle to be attentive during conversations because they lack focus and get bored easily. Bringing enthusiasm to conversations and meetings is a great way to catch their attention and keep them interested in what you have to say. 

2. Focus on the details. 

Sevens tend to focus on the big picture and may neglect the nitty-gritty details. This can be stressful for team members who need greater clarity around roles, tasks and expectations. Prevent misunderstandings by communicating the details early on, ensuring a more stable, clear structure for everyone involved.

3. Engage in self-care. 

Sevens might have such a strong work ethic that they neglect their team members’ needs, such as by expecting them to work overtime or move from one big project to the next with no downtime between them. To prevent burnout, it’s essential to look after yourself and relax in your spare time.

4. Be open to compromise. 

Sevens are always eager to share, so let them know you appreciate their open-door policy while informing them of what you need to work at your highest potential. Be clear about this, while staying open to their creative solutions, as they’ll appreciate the compromise.

5. Give positive feedback. 

If you’re trying to influence your Enneagram Seven boss, try giving them some positive feedback. Be tactful, such as by using “I feel” statements. This helps them to feel enthusiastic about their abilities to lead the team and also allows them to see that their hard work is appreciated, ensuring they’re more likely to continue with this type of behavior.

6. Stay organized with lists.

Sometimes, dealing with a Seven can be dizzying because they have so many ideas going at once—especially in meetings and brainstorming sessions. A good way to help you keep track of everything is to make use of a list app on your phone. Chances are, they’ll appreciate how organized you are!

7. Help them to focus their thoughts. 

Sevens can seem scattered during conversations, but you can help them to train their thoughts by communicating in a quiet place without distractions and speaking succinctly. By preparing your thoughts in bullet points beforehand, the conversation will be clear for everyone involved. 

Final Thoughts

There are pros and cons to having a boss or team leader who’s an Enneagram Seven. They’ll be enthusiastic and engage with you on a personal level, but they can also be flighty and disorganized. Knowing how to communicate with them effectively can help you to reduce your stress levels while encouraging a positive and productive workplace. 

Giulia Thompson

Giulia Thompson is an Italian-South African freelance writer and editor with several years of experience in print and online media. She lives in a small town in South Africa with her husband and three cats. She loves reading, writing, and watching thrillers. As an Enneagram Type 4, she’s creative and loves surrounding herself with beauty.