TYPE FIVE: The Observer

Motivated to acquire knowledge.

The Observer wants to be knowledgeable. Typical roles for Fives would be scientists, professors, research analysts, and librarians. The Fives are on a constant quest to learn as much as they can on a topic and to go as deep as possible with it. The Fives are the quintessential subject matter experts and the world looks to them to provide us with information. Fives enjoy conducting extensive research and studying systems—the more complex the better—for maximum intellectual stimulation. Fives make themselves invaluable to an organization by tackling vast amounts of data and making sense of it.

While you might on rare occasion meet an extraverted Five, almost all Fives are introverted, needing time alone for reading and thinking. Fives jealously guard their time and space. They usually prefer to meet briefly with others to discuss a problem, and then to be able to retreat to their own space to work on it. After they have worked out solutions to the problem, they can reconnect with people to share their findings. Alternatively, many Fives prefer roles in which the bulk of their communication with others is through writing, such as through research reports, medical journals, peer-reviewed publications, and best-selling novels. It is possible for Fives to be "on" in public settings, or even be stellar public speakers, but they still need their alone time for preparation for these events.

Fives especially excel in roles where they are valued as keepers and synthesizers of information. The ideal role for a Five allows plenty of alone time for research.

Under stress, the Five will act much like a Seven. When relaxed the Five can act like an Eight. While the skills of the Seven can help the Five excel in certain areas, developing the characteristics of the Eight can be extremely beneficial to the Five's career success and overall well-being.