Find Work Find Talent
an illustration of hazy flowers and plants surrounded by a border of purple and yellow

Illustration by Rhiannon Hare

Using Human Design to Understand & Work With Your Team

Written By Jenna Britton | Jun 15, 2022

I started a new job recently and was asked to share a fun fact.

I’m a trained Human Design reader, I shared…

…not to impress people or to garner a few new clients. I wanted to share something fun (that was the prompt!) and to give my new teammates deeper insight into who I am with a uniquely interesting personal tidbit.

But also, I think I was hoping that a few members of my team would be curious enough to ask what I was even talking about and offer to share their birth information with me.

I wanted to get to know my coworkers better — and understand how I might work with them best — by way of their Human Design.

Because that’s the thing about this system: It’s both an incredibly comprehensive and accurate self-discovery tool and it can be just as impactful when applied to other people in our lives; to the ways that we interact and relate and live and work together.

By looking at the individual charts of a small group of people, you can begin to understand how you all operate individually and how you might work even better together.

So, What is Human Design?

Human Design is a self-discovery system that shows you how you’re uniquely designed to operate in the world — to live and work and be, individually and collectively.

It’s also an apt reminder that we don’t all operate the same way. We each bring different energies, strengths, roles, and ways of being to the table, both personally and professionally.

The information in an individual chart — and the charts of the people who work with you every day — can be incredibly valuable for your company, for your team, and for every person who works alongside you.

In my last article, I shared about the five Human Design types and how you can use them to find work that feels fulfilling to you. And, as I wrote then, that’s just the start.

There is so much in a Human Design chart that can help you understand how the individual members of your team work best and identify the strengths you share together.

The information in an individual chart — and the charts of the people who work with you every day — can be incredibly valuable for your company, for your team, and for every person who works alongside you.

Let’s dig into a few more details that might be helpful to learn more about your team:

Authority: Making Aligned Decisions

In Human Design, your authority is what helps you make aligned decisions — the best decision for you as a unique individual — using the wisdom of your body.

And there are seven of them in Human Design:

Emotional: Experiencing an emotional energy that pulses in waves; you’re not here to leap into things, but to wait at least 24 hours for clarity
Sacral: Feeling a gut knowing; a full-bodied “yes” or “no”
Splenic: Sensing a quiet, intuitive, in-the-moment knowing that disappears as quickly as it came
Ego: Waiting to take action until your heart is in it
Environmental: Seeing your decisions reflected/projected through others to get clarity
Self-Projected: Talking through your decisions, and allowing clarity to emerge through your self-expression
Lunar: Waiting a full lunar cycle (30 days) to make a decision

By allowing that each of us make decisions in different ways — and allowing that our logic-brained minds aren’t always the ironclad authority we’ve historically assumed them to be — you also allow for new opportunities, new pathways, and new perspectives that you might not have considered before.

Giving your colleagues and team members space to make decisions according to their authorities will go a long way toward encouraging autonomy, self-trust, and proactivity.

By allowing that each of us make decisions in different ways — and allowing that our logic-brained minds aren’t always the ironclad authority we’ve historically assumed them to be — you also allow for new opportunities, new pathways, and new perspectives that you might not have considered before.

Centers: Accessing Specific Energies

Each of the nine centers (or shapes on a chart) in Human Design highlight an individual’s consistent or inconsistent access to specific energies, such as inspiration (Head Center), communication (Throat Center), willpower (Heart Center), and purpose (Identity Center), amongst others:

Ajna Center: Conceptualization
Spleen Center: Intuition
Sacral Center: Vitality
Solar Plexus Center: Emotions
Root Center: Stress

If someone has one of these centers defined (colored in) on their chart, they have consistent access to that energy; it will likely feel familiar and reliable to them. They may understand this energy — and how to process it — more fully.

If they have one or more of these centers undefined (white) on their chart, however, they will have inconsistent access to that energy and will often take in and amplify that energy (for better or worse) from the people around them.

But whether someone has a center defined or undefined, these energies can still be expressed in both healthy and unhealthy ways. We are all influenced by the people and environments around us in each of these centers, so it’s important to understand where we’ve been conditioned to act in ways that don’t align with how we’re designed to be.

The more people have the opportunity to align with the energies inherent in their design (in those defined centers) or tap into the wisdom of all they take in from their undefined centers, the more likely these energies will express in healthy and helpful ways for them and for your team.

Channels: Calling On Specific Strengths

The lines that run between centers are called channels and when defined (colored in), they represent specific energetic strengths.

There are 32 channels in a Human Design chart, each representing themes such as self-expression, leadership, and creativity. Of course, the ways in which these energies show up will be specific to each person — and the nuances created by every other part of their chart!

We are all influenced by the people and environments around us in each of these centers, so it’s important to understand where we’ve been conditioned to act in ways that don’t align with how we’re designed to be.

And it goes even deeper: In Human Design, when three to nine people come together in a group (or work team, as it were), they form what’s called a “Penta”. The idea is that when more than two people come together in a small group, their unique individual energies combine and collaborate in a new energetic form.

Within a Penta, there are specific channels (or strengths) that are best suited for working together toward material success, which can be especially helpful to consider in a professional setting.

Analyzing your team can determine which Penta channels are present — and which are missing — so that you can tap people on your team for their inherent strengths and work to fill in any gaps that might be missing.

Profiles: Highlighting the Roles We Play

Finally, there are also 12 different profiles in Human Design, each representing the role someone is designed to show up as in this lifetime.

There are six “lines” (correlating with the six lines of the hexagrams in the ancient Chinese divination text, I Ching) in Human Design profiles, and everyone’s profile will be made up of two of these lines — each characterizing a way of being that we’re designed to inhabit:

1st Line: You’re very curious by nature and need a foundation of information to feel secure.
2nd Line: You’re the quintessential introvert; craving alone time to recharge and focus on the things that come naturally to you.
3rd Line: Yours is an experiential, trial-and-error life process; you’re here to experiment with life and share what works and what doesn’t with the rest of us.
4th Line: Your network — the close circle of relationships that keep you feeling solid and grounded — are probably very important to you; you give and receive.
5th Line: You’re a natural problem-solver and destined to lead and help others — which others tend to naturally pick up on and project onto you!
6th Line: You have three distinct life stages that help you become a natural role model: From birth to around 30, you trial and error like a third line; from 30-50, you heal and integrate lessons learned; and from around 50 years old onward, you live as the fullest expression of yourself — the role model for the rest of us.

If someone on your team has a 1/3 profile, for instance, they may feel like a natural authority when they lead through the lens of their lived experience — while someone with a 5/1 profile might want to lean on their strong foundation of knowledge to provide the practical solutions that people need.

A 4/1 profile might be a focused and influential authority in their close network, while a 6/2 (like me) is waiting on a specific and special call that will allow them to bring out their gifts and embody their power as a role model.

Whether used personally or professionally, Human Design is about self-discovery and relational attunement. It’s also about permission; the permission to be the most authentic version of yourself in every area of your life — and to allow others the same.

Human Design isn’t prescriptive: It will never tell you exactly what the title of each team member should be or how to map their specific career path from A to Z. But it will help you understand yourself and others better; it will deepen your compassion for the complexity of everyone you meet.

Whether you lead a team or you’re part of one, Human Design can help you show up successfully, individually and together — because it gives you permission to be yourself, to trust yourself, and to honor the unique differences we all bring to the table.

This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-ShareAlike 4.0 International License.

Add New Comment

Your email address will not be published.