Feb. 22, 2022

The Insider Secrets to Solving Your Teamwork Dilemmas with Matt Schlegel

The Insider Secrets to Solving Your Teamwork Dilemmas with Matt Schlegel

Confidently learn not just how to hire the right person, but also the team communication and hiring tips you need to lead a thriving, productive team now. Today’s guest, Matt Schlegel, is sharing all of this PLUS the most under-utilized leadership tool for solving teamwork dilemmas.

How confident are you in your knowledge of how to hire the right person to support your growing team?

New team members can enhance your business immensely, but if you’re struggling to find hiring tips that actually work, today’s guest is for you!

Matt Schlegel has been helping business owners solve team dilemmas since 2003 when he discovered an underrated personality typing system and started applying it to team communication and dynamics.


  • The most under-utilized leadership tool that will help you learn how to hire the right person for your team
  • The hiring tips and tools you need to make growing and building your team a joyful experience 
  • The psychology of teamwork and how open team communication can enhance your team’s performance

If this episode inspires you, leave a review and share your biggest takeaway with me. And while you've got your phone out, make sure to follow me on Instagram @thecourtneyelmer for more quick tips on how to streamline your business systems and spend more time in your zone of genius.

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© Copyright 2022 | The EffortLESS Life®


Courtney Elmer 

Welcome back. It's The System's Made Simple™ Podcast. This is episode 110.

Today, I've got an expert that you are going to love because he is going to show you how to leverage the power of the Enneagram, which is a completely underutilized leadership tool that's going to help you while hiring the right people, solve any teamwork dilemmas that come up and unlock your team's full potential. So you can build a high performing team that other people are going to envy. It starts with the Enneagram and hiring the right people.


Courtney Elmer

Have you ever hired someone only to have it not workout? If you have ever been in that position, then how much that stinks. The pain of the wasted time thinking you were hiring the right people, the wasted energy and the wasted effort trying to find someone and interview, onboard them and train them only to have to let them go. Because either they're failing to meet expectations or for them to maybe move on to another position because this air quotes wasn't the right fit. 

If you've ever found yourself not hiring the right people, then you are going to love this episode. This episode was made for you because my guest today, match legal has been helping business owners solve teamwork dilemmas since 2003, when he discovered this personality typing system, commonly known as the Enneagram, and started applying it to team dynamics and helping business owners start hiring the right people.

Essentially what he's done is he has transformed this Enneagram into a leadership tool that you as the visionary leader of your business can use within your company to help your team work together effectively. And today, he's going to show you how to utilize it to make hiring the right people and building a team a joyful experience.

Courtney Elmer 2:50  

Matt, welcome to The System's Made Simple™ Podcast, I am so excited that you are here today. I have been looking forward to this conversation because I know what you have to share is going to be so valuable for our listeners who are interviewing and hope they are hiring the right people.

Matt Schlegel 3:10  

Well, thank you so much for having me, Courtney Elmer!

Courtney Elmer 3:14  

As an Enneagram expert, and an expert in team dynamics and in leadership, for those that are listening that maybe have never heard of the Enneagram before, can you explain to us what the Enneagram is?

Matt Schlegel 3:33  

Absolutely Courtney Elmer. The Enneagram is, commonly understood as a personality dynamics system. I came to it, as I was a engineering manager and I was leading teams, hopeing I was hiring the right people, and as a part of that, I was always interested in learning new tools to help my team become more effective. Along that journey, you get introduced to a lot of different tools, Myers Briggs disks, Strength Finders, there's many of them. And, and one of those was the Enneagram. 

Now, the Enneagram, Courtney Elmer, is absolutely, , fantastic at this. It has nine distinct types, and each with its very distinct motivation and approach and perspective. And I started using the Enneagram with my team, and it was remarkably accurate at how well it gave me insights into what was going on and why people were responding to situations in their unique way. You might assume that everybody would respond the same way, but they don't. And the Enneagram actually gives you a lot of insight into why people respond differently to different things. This will solidify that you are hiring the right people.

Courtney Elmer 

I remember when I first learned about the Enneagram, I felt that same sense of fascination because I had never seen information about ourselves presented in such a way before. And it did that accuracy that you're talking about. It really felt that way. Because I remember when I learned about my type, and I'm going to have you go through the types quickly in a moment, too, because I think that'll be helpful for our listeners as well, you bet. 

When I learned about our, my type, I was like, Oh, my gosh, I'm sitting there reading this book, and I'm laughing to myself, my husband's in bed next to me sleeping, and I'm like laughing out loud going, this is too accurate. Like, there was this example, in the book that was used about, you'll know, if you are this type, if you have a problem with how other people stack the dishwasher, and I'm laughing to myself, because I'm like, definitely that person that goes behind whoever puts dishes in the dishwasher and rearranges them. And, the whole thing.

Matt Schlegel 6:08  

That is totally me Courtney Elmer. 

Courtney Elmer 6:13  

As I'm going through the book, people were coming to my mind, as I read them, each type, I was instantly picturing specific people who I thought, they must be a seven, or they must be a type nine, or they must be a type five, or whatever the different types were. And suddenly, it gave me this whole new window of insight into the human person. 

With a background in psychology, of course, this is something that I've always been fascinated by how we're wired, how we operate, how we work. But this took it to a new level. So I would love if you would share, what are the different types? And for those listening, they might start to go, maybe that's me.

Matt Schlegel 6:58  

I had exactly the same experience when I learned about my type Courtney Elmer, which I'm a type six. And, and it gave me more insight about how I was working and feeling than any other system had. And so it's remarkable. Really quickly, the, I'll work around in order to type one is the perfectionist. And, and they're the ones that are drawn to making things, right, they're often the first to see, hey, that's not right, it shouldn't be like that, it should be like this, and then they're compelled to go in it, like, hey, those dishes aren't stacked correctly in the dishwasher, I need to fix that.

So then type two is often called the helper. And they're the ones who have the sense of wanting to go in and help people. And so when they connect with people, they're connecting kind of on an emotional level, and they're wanting to understand, how I can help you. And, and in return for that help, what they really want is appreciation. And so they get into these relationships where they help, and they get the the appreciation, and that makes them want to help more and more. And so you see a lot of, of type twos, in service roles, like nursing and firefighting, and maybe police work or military work, where they're serving, and then they get that appreciation.

The type three is often called the achiever. And they're the ones who are always thinking about how I can succeed how we can achieve some goal and achieve some success. And one of the hardest working of, of all types it, they're the ones who come in early in the morning, they'll stay late because failure is not an option. And so they work very hard to make sure that they don't fail, and they succeed.

Type fours really fascinating because they are, it's it's often called the eternal internal feeling type or an emotion type. If you ask a type four, Hey, how are you feeling? They're gonna look at you and say, I'm feeling fine. But what they're really thinking is, what idiotic question, How can I tell you how I'm feeling when I'm feeling the warmth of Courtney Elmer's voice, I'm feeling the sound of the coffeemaker going in the background and feeling all these things. But if I told you that you think I'd nuts, so I say, I'm feeling fine. 

Now we're switching over into the, what the Enneagram calls the head group, and that's the five, the six and the seven. So the five, they are our analysts, they're the ones who want to analyze ideas and take things apart and put them together and categorize things. And they love reading, they love books, They tend to be on the quiet side, they tend to be very reserved. If they're sitting in a meeting, they're going to be the last ones to speak up. And so you need to call call them out. But but not too directly, in order to get them to share.

Type six, that's me Courtney Elmer. We want to kind of know what's going to happen. We're one of the things that's centered with sixes is anxiety. And so the way that our anxiety goes down, is if we know what's going to happen, the anxiety goes down, when things when I don't know what's going to happen, and things kind of go off track. And that's when my anxiety goes up. Sixes are always kind of thinking ahead, looking into the future, trying to minimize risks, trying to create predictability. We make really great project managers and planners.

Type seven, and these are our network. Networkers are enthusiast. They, they want to be around other people, they want to have fun, they're always looking for the next fun thing to do. They get people excited about doing it. And so that's the the function of the seven.

The eight, these folks are there. They love to be in control, and they love action, they love doing stuff. And so they're the ones who wanted like, stop talking, let's go, let's get things going. They're they're all about action. And they're all about wanting to essentially that one of their innate issues is like controlling their environment. So they want to control the environment, and they want to get to action to kind of build a secure environment for everybody.

Then the nines. They're called the peacemakers. They probably understand our perspective, better than anybody else. Even better than ourselves. They are able to kind of put themselves in other people's shoes. If you ask a nine, hey, where do you want to go to lunch? They're not thinking, where do they want to go to lunch? They're thinking, Where do you want to go to lunch? Because they're trying to avoid any conflict. And so if they actually assert their own opinion, that might be create a conflict. So what they'll try to do is figure out what you want, and go along with it. That's the role of the the nine. To harmonize the environment and reduce conflict.

Courtney Elmer 13:51  

Even if you're listening right now, and you've known nothing about the Enneagram until this episode today, can you see how these different types and understanding how these different types operate, how they think how they work, could be helpful to know, for you as the visionary leader of your business, in growing a strong team and hiring the right people.

Each of these different types have unique strengths. bBefore I was really skilled in hiring the right people or interviewing, and really, I was coming from that place of desperation. 

I need some help get someone in this position as quickly as possible. I would often mismatch people for the role that I wanted them for, and I would choose someone based on their skill set or based on how they presented in the interview and also from, again, my desperation to get someone in that role quickly. Not focused on hiring the right people.

It never worked out because it was like fitting a square peg into a round hole. It didn't work out in terms of communication on the team, the health of the team, overall the morale of the team. I wasnt hiring the right people. And so I'm sure for those listening, there's probably many kind of nodding their heads like, yeah, I've hired people to and it hasn't worked out. And this could also be one of the underlying reasons why. 

For me, I'm I love this. Because when you could understand how people are wired, then it helps you while not only hireing the right people, put them in the right positions, but utilize their strengths to help you grow. So I would love to hear then how you've essentially taken this personality dynamic typing system, and turned it into a leadership tool that leaders can use in growing their business and hiring the right people.

Matt Schlegel 16:06  

Yeah, so this reminds me Courtney Elmer, of a time when I read the book, first break all the rules, and in that book, they talk about, wanting to hire the right people, someone has a superhighway for the activity that you want them to do. , you can hire somebody especially in American culture, we're all kind of taught that, hey, if you really try hard, you can do anything you want. But one of the rules that first break all the rules is saying is that is true only to a certain extent, because we all have our innate superhighways.

if you hire somebody to do something, but they only have a bumpy country road, instead of a superhighway, it's going to be more difficult becase you werent hiring the right people. That makes total sense. The book Never said, Hey, how do I identify what people's superhighways are so you can be consistently hiring the right people? Right after that, I discovered the Enneagram. I'm like, this is it. This tells me what everybody's superhighway is. It's so important, as a leadership tool for leaders, who are working on hiring the right people, and they they are thinking about how can I find somebody identify somebody who I know is going to be innately good at it. 

And a really quick story. So when I was hiring an editor for my book, Courtney Elmer , I said, I really want a type one, to be the editor, because I want it to be perfect. And so I started interviewing editors, and and I would ask them, Hey, do the Enneagram? And it wasn't until one of them said, Oh, yes, I love the Enneagram. I'm a type one! I'm like thank you, im hiring the right people, perfect. And it was such a remarkable experience. She was so dedicated to making the book, perfect and really understanding what that meant to me.

Then really channeling all that one energy into making it perfect. Then I got the bonus of her, giving me additional insights as a type one. She was essentially validating everything I was saying about that. Type one dynamic. So it was a really joyful experience. And it really spoke to hiring the right people for the job.

Courtney Elmer 18:59  

Yes. And I could see how a type one would be an excellent book editor. , he's so interesting, because as a type one myself. if that is not dotted, and that t is not crossed, you better believe I'm gonna notice. And this drives some people up the wall, like my husband, who was like, Why do the dishes have to be that way in the dishwasher? It doesn't really matter, 

At the same time, in certain roles, that that can be a strength that can be really utilized. For someone who may not have that attention to detail. To become very complimentary. So how did you then figure out that the Enneagram was more than a personality dynamic, and that it really was a process you mentioned for hiring the right people. Right, what the numbers mean, can you go into a little more detail about that with reguard to hirinig the right people?

Matt Schlegel 19:42  

I have an engineering background. I am a type six. So I like processes. And so when I when I looked at the Enneagram what one of the things I saw was, wow, kind of looks like a clock. It's a circle. It has has a bunch of numbers around it. Why? Why is it? , why are they numbers? , why aren't they let letters like Myers Briggs or, , colors or , some other thing. And as I did a little more research, I discovered that, oh, the Enneagram actually is a process as well. And those numbers represent the steps, the order of the process. 

And it is the process by which humans solve problems. So what's the first step in problem solving Courtney Elemr? It's identifying that, hey, that's a problem. It shouldn't be like that. It should be like this. Well, what's the dynamic of type one? Hey, that's not right. It shouldn't be like this, it should be like this. Right? So that's the first step in problem solving. And the one speaks directly to that dynamic. 

And type two is, who cares? Who has an emotional connection to the problem. And that's, that's exactly type two, that's that, that helper dynamic of having that emotional connection, and on around each dynamic that we know about the Enneagram, from a personality point of view, is exactly the dynamic that is associated with that next step in problem solving.

So now, you have this wonderful system for hiring the right people, that essentially good maps, steps in problem solving human problem solving with a personality dynamic. And once you have that framework, then , I can go in, I can look at a team. And if I assess what Enneagram types they are, I can say worth what types, they're going to do well at what types they're not going to do well, well at what types they're, , if there's too many of one type, what, what what step they're going to stick on, , like too many fives is going to be paralysis by analysis, or not enough fives means you're going to skip the analysis step, and, and then you're going to have trouble down the road. This helps you balance the time while hiring the right people.

And so Courtney Elmer, it really speaks to the importance of having balance on your team as you're working through problem solving and hiring the right people in the beginning. So that you do put energy into each of those steps, so that you end up with effective, lasting solutions for whatever you're trying to do.

Courtney Elmer 22:45  

That is so interesting. I had no idea that the different numbers could be used as a process like that essentially mirrors the problem solving process and all goes back to hiring the right people.

Matt Schlegel 22:55  

Exactly right Courtney Elmler. And, and it's such a a little understood aspect of the Enneagram. And that's why I was compelled to write the book, because look at there's plenty of books out there on the Enneagram. So I didn't need to write another book about that, because that that space is completely covered, that what's not covered is this whole other very powerful aspect of the Enneagram. That is so practical, even for an engineering type like me, it's like this gives me the framework to, build highly, highly effective teams while hiring the right people.

Courtney Elmer 23:39  

So your book is teamwork. 9.0. And tell us a little bit more about that. Because that was my next question for you is for those listening today, they might be like excited about this. They're like, Wow, I have a practical way to use this and growing my team and hiring the right people. I know, I feel excited right now. But then it comes the next step. Right. What is the first step to really applying this for those of us who want to use the Enneagram while hiring the right people? Aside from reading your book? Of course?

Matt Schlegel 24:03  

Yes. Well Courtney Elmer. I encourage people , as a first step is to hiring the right people, is learn more about the Enneagram. The Enneagram is, is it's a little more complicated process than some but it's really worth the effort. Especially when hiring the right people.

Because as a leader, Courtney Elmer, you really want to understand your team. You want to be able to connect with them, you want to make them feel heard, right. And, and so if you are hiring the right people, living in your type, and thinking that other people will adapt to that you won't be able to connect as well as if you kind of meet people where they're at. I'm a six, but when I'm dealing with the one I know, look at, it's all about getting it right, I know, that's what you want to do. 

So I'm going to have a conversation about how I can help you get it right, from your perspective, because that is going to provide you the information you need, I'm going to provide it in plenty of time, because I know, you want and need the time to get it right to your level of satisfaction. 

So that's why, Courtney Elmer, and that's true for all the types, right, learning all the different types, outside of your own type allows you to connect with your team, and and help them become more effective in what they do. And help you while hiring the right people for your team.

Courtney Elmer 26:37  

Yes, the metaphor that comes to mind for me is almost like learning how to speak their language. And if we don't know how to speak someone's language, and there's going to be communication issues, there's going to be miscommunication, there's going to be Miss firings and things that happen that cause communication to break down when you aren't hiring the right people.

But as you're saying, so it's so well said that when you're looking at it from that person's perspective, and you have an understanding of how that person thinks and how they operate, then it can only enhance communication, it can only enhance the dynamic of that relationship, , whether it's you to an employee or a team member from team member to team member, right, for team members that have to work together. Right, and it can take your team to a whole new level. So make sure you are hiring the right people.

Matt Schlegel 27:23  

Exactly. Yeah Courtney Elmer. It reminds me one of the chapters in the book is about time, about how each Enneagram type thinks about and processes time. are you thinking more about the past, the future, or are you living in the present? Are you acting with urgency? Or are you acting with patience, and, in each Enneagram type has a distinct take on time. And I noticed when I watch teams work together, how a lot of conflict comes around, that, mismatches in sense of urgency and patience, and mismatches. In terms of thinking about the future or thinking about the past. This is helpful to think about while interviewing and hiring the right people.

It's another aspect and tool that you can use Courtney Elmer. Understand that, oh, the type twos, they there are reminiscing years, they're the ones that are always reminiscing about their the past experiences they've had with others, they're kind of reliving those emotional connections and feelings that they had. And so that's where they dwell. And then and that's what they bring to the group is how people relate to emotions, as they are working through problem solving. And so it's another fascinating part, how people work together when they're solving problems.

Courtney Elmer 29:16  

Absolutely. I mean, that the time aspect is huge. I love that you touch on that in the book, too, and actually go there, because that is one of the biggest causes of frustration in team dynamics and hiring the right people. And let's face it in any relationship that we have, because if someone has this timeline in their mind, and your timeline is different, and those timelines are not lining up, there's gonna be problems.

First, learning how to understand that while hiring the right people. Second, how to navigate that and utilize that right and use it to our advantage while hiring the right people, rather, as opposed to , thinking oh, gosh, time it's something that's always working against us. 

Matt Schlegel 30:03  

Thank you so much Courtney Elmer. It's such a joy to be speaking about the Enneagram and hiring the right people with you.

Courtney Elmer 30:09  

I can hear your enthusiasm and your passion for the Ennegram and hiring the right people, because I know how much it can help, especially business owners who might be in that place right now, where they're feeling frustrated, they've tried hiring, it hasn't worked out. They wish they were hiring the right people.

They see themselves running a big team one day, a strong team, a team that gets things done a team that communicates well. I know that you have given us so much insight into how we can do that. How they can confidently be hiring the right people? So I would love for you to share how we can get a copy of your book where we can find you online, because I know our listeners are going to want to reach out and connect with you about hiring the right people.

Matt Schlegel 30:46  

Thank you for that Courtney Elmer. The the book is available on Amazon, and you can find it. It's called teamwork. 9.00. And, and then you can find me at www dot evolutionary teams.com. That's my website. And there's links to the book there. There's also a free Enneagram assessment if you're interested in that. Find out who is on your team so you're hiring the right people who fit with your team. I have a blog, and I am doing interviews with leaders of different Enneagram types so that you can get a an appreciation of the different styles each leaders of each type.

Courtney Elmer 31:35  

Awesome. We're gonna link to all of that in the show notes. For you listening, check out the show notes on this episode. And you can tap right through and find out more about Matt and get a copy of his book. Matt, thank you again for your time today. This has been great.

Matt Schlegel

Thank you, Courtney Elmer!

Courtney Elmer

If you learned something new today about the Enneagram and hiring the right people I want to hear about it. I want you to get out your phone right now. Do it right now. Open up your Instagram.

Follow me there at Courtney Elmer xxxxx if you're not following me there already, and then simply share this episode to your stories, and the biggest takeaway you got from it and tag me. And when you do, I'll feature you on my Instagram to my community of nearly 7000 entrepreneurs. 

Now coming up next week on this show we are talking about your messaging. If you've been in business for any length of time you know messaging is important. How do if your messaging is actually resonating? You'll find out when you join me back here next Tuesday. Until then, go live your EffortLESS Life®.

Matt Schlegel Profile Photo

Matt Schlegel

Bestselling Author

Matt Schlegel discovered the secret as to why some teams succeed while others fail. As a system thinker, Matt realized that successful problem solving was contingent more on effective teamwork than technical prowess. The path began with his studies in general engineering from Harvey Mudd College and electrical engineering from the university of California San Diego providing formal training in problem solving, especially in solving technical and engineering problems. As Matt worked on bigger projects and being fascinated by team dynamics, he began studying the Enneagram in 2002 and started applying it in corporate settings in 2003. Soon thereafter, he began developing the tools that Schlegel Consulting now uses to optimize team-based problem solving for innovative companies. Matt’s realization that the Enneagram can be applied to teams as well as individuals led to the tools and strategies for work-team effectiveness described in his book Teamwork 9.0.