TYPE SIX: THE LOYALIST
Sixes believe that the uncertainties of everyday life require them to be constantly vigilant and to seek security and stability in trusted people, methods, and organizations. Consequently, in the workplace they believe that:
- organizations are successful when they are run according to established, traditional and time-proven ways of doing things
- organizations should provide security and a sense of belonging to those who work hard for them
- caution and preparation for all eventualities are essential for a sense of security
- acting responsibly is an expectation, not an option
These beliefs are an expression of an underlying set of values that focus on dependability, commitment, cooperation and organizational stability. At high functioning levels, their dedication and sense of duty will prompt them to take on roles of responsibility that others might not. They are excellent at organizing and planning, and frequently go beyond the call of duty to ensure that every detail is seen to and that everything goes just right. Sixes are naturally attracted to the underdog and are generally very supportive of their cause. Team efforts, rhythmic routines, clear procedures, and explicit directions engage the Six.
However, when their routine is disturbed, or changes are introduced, or the rules are not clear, Sixes tend to become anxious. If their reliance on predictability and established procedures has been disrupted and is replaced with uncertainty and anxiety, Sixes can become rigid and inflexible. They struggle with their inability to trust and their fear of the unknown, and may become suspicious of the motives of others even when, to others, there is no apparent reason for such suspicions. Before coming to any conclusion or committing to trying something new, Sixes will weigh all the pros and cons and question all sides of the issue intensely until they have satisfied for themselves that they can trust a “new” person or course of action. Often, Sixes will seek an expert resource or a trusted authority to validate their position. The Sixes’ natural fear and insecurity translates into a low tolerance for ambiguity, and a high need for clarity and detail.
Sixes grow when they acknowledge that they can and do make good decisions. Their self-confidence and self-esteem are enhanced when they let go of their compulsion to search for every possible downside of an issue. When they embrace change and release their adherence to old, traditional ways of doing things, the experience can be life-affirming and exhilarating for them.
At their best, Sixes are confident, assertive decision makers who trust themselves and others. They are the “glue” that holds communities and organizations together. They are a courageous, warm, caring people who foster a sense of cooperation and responsibility among all who come in contact with them.