People with a COMPETENCY CONFLICT STYLE, also known as the methodical style, respond to conflict by taking a problem-solving approach, focusing on objectivity, rationality, logic and reason. They have an unemotional approach, focusing "on the matter". They value cognitive efficiency, analysis and getting things done as opposed to what they see as ‘irrationality’ expressed in emotional reasoning.
Although efficiency is an effective problem-solving strategy, avoiding or denying emotions can have detrimental consequences. When people with a competent conflict style go into problem-solving mode they may come across as cold and lacking empathy, especially if others have an emotional responses to the situation.
The Competency pattern consists of Enneagram types 1, 3, and 5 and they all have different ways of relating to systems and rules.
Enneagram type 1’s place emphasis on being competent by being correct and sensible, calling on higher moral values and integrity. They manage feelings by repression, channeling their feelings into activity. Enneagram type 1’s work within their belief systems, valuing moral law and ethical fairness. They want to follow the system and can get upset with those who don’t. They are especially dismissive of others if they transgress some deep ethical rule they may have about life or if others’ behaviour directly impacts them negatively.
Enneagram type 3’s place emphasis on competency by being efficient, effective and outstanding. They manage feelings by ignoring them and focusing on tasks and goals. Work ethics are very important to them. Enneagram type 3’s mainly want to resolve chaos smoothly without impacting their own or others’ opinions of them, as long as they come out looking good. Enneagram 3’s have little patience for rules that may not suit them.
Enneagram type 5’s place emphasis on having information and answers to everything, thereby demonstrating their competency. They manage feelings with detached objectivity, staying cerebral. They value deep reflection, seek knowledge and strive for a complex understanding and higher perspective of the problem. They often move outside of the systems and group norms, working alone.
If competency is your dominant conflict style, remember that dealing with feelings, instead of denying or repressing them, increases our empathetic connection, helping to develop a better and deeper connection with others. People feel heard, seen and validated when their emotions are taken into consideration, especially the intense reactive conflict style types.
The Enneagram Conflict styles / Harmonics Patterns comprise a person’s defense or coping mechanism in response to stressful situations, whether faced with conflict, obstacles, difficulties or disappointment. It is an emotional regulation pattern for coping with unmet needs.
People may have different patterns in different situations or contexts, whether at work or in interpersonal relationships. Even if it is not their dominant response, other Enneagram types might be connected to a specific conflict style through the wings or the inner connecting lines and express themselves in this manner in specific triggering situations.
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