TYPE SIX: The Questioner

Motivated to mitigate risk.

The basic goal of the Questioner is to reduce risk. A six has the mind of a lawyer, engineer or psycho-therapist, constantly analyzing a situation and probing for potential weaknesses in a system. Examples of risks they are looking for could be legal liability, a vital defect in a design, a bug in software, a disorder in someone's personality, etc. Of all the types of people in the world, the Sixes feel fear the most palpably and frequently and their minds often go to worst-case scenarios. When a Six thinks through a worst-case scenario, he usually feels better because he can formulate a plan as how to handle the situation if it arises. A Six likes to put detailed plans in place that will help mitigate risk.

The Six will lean toward one of two different styles of mitigating risk. It is sometimes difficult to identify a Six, since there is not just one style. These two styles can be explained in terms of "fight or flight" reactions to external threats. The "fighting" style is aggressive and daring, whereas the "flight" style is timid and phobic. For the Six who naturally favors the "fighting" style, to people around her, she is not obviously feeling fear. This type of Six is perceived as daring, strong and at times overly aggressive. While others cannot always sense this in her, the Six is usually aware of a pervasive sense of uncertainty or anxiety. The second type of Six, the one who naturally favors the "flight" style, appears more obviously timid to others. This person might act openly shy or worried and often double-checks with others for certainty. Think the hypochondriac. A media image of the "flight" type of Six is Woody Allen with his frequent questioning and expression of worry.

Authority is another theme for Sixes. Some Sixes admittedly do not do well with authority and like to buck the system because they don't trust those in power. They fear abuse of power. Other Sixes cower to authority out of fear of harm. Many are loyal team-players because they feel safer on the team in a harmonious environment under the protection of a strong leader. Finally, some Sixes vacillate back and forth between all the above-mentioned styles depending on the situation and the authority figure.

Sixes have strong investigative capabilities. They will especially excel in careers that rely primarily on their analytical skills. They will also excel in situations where either they have high confidence in their boss or where they do not have to answer to a boss.

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