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Enneagram Type 1 Description And Key Characteristics

An Enneagram Type 1 is called The Reformer. They are motivated by the need to live rightly, and driven by a longing for a true, just, and moral world. 

Type ones are loyal, dedicated, conscientious, helpful, well-balanced, and often good-humored. They are efficient, organized, and trustworthy in completing tasks. 

Ones prefer to do things in a professional, honest and ethical manner. They are people of practical action, always concerned with doing the right things in the right way. Ones are naturally gifted at bringing order to chaos and creating structures that help others to thrive.

Enneagram 1 Strengths

  • Honest

  • Reliable

  • Productive

  • Principled

  • Idealistic

  • Fair

  • Orderly

  • Detailed

  • Self-disciplined

Ones are known as reformers because they want to improve the world. They strive to overcome adversity — go after higher values, and always remain honest.

Development Opportunities for Enneagram Type 1s

Enneagram Ones can learn to relax by designating some time for themself. They should be mindful of their constant irritation with their own “shortcomings.” 

Practicing awareness can help them recognize their bouts with perfectionism and how they undermine rather than help them. For a one, getting in touch with their feelings, particularly their unconscious impulses, is important. It can also be beneficial to keep a journal or participate in a  group to develop your emotions and to see that others will not condemn you for having regular needs and limitations.

Enneagram 1 Blindspots

  • Rigid

  • Controlling

  • Aggression

  • Uptight

  • Critical

  • Demanding

  • Impatience

  • Moralistic

Ones do not experience themselves as uptight, rather they feel as if they are sitting on a pile of impulses and desires that need to be kept under wraps, or they may regret it. A one may also struggle socially when required to be adaptable because of emotional rigidity.

Type ones can be strict on themselves and find it irritating if things are out of place or disorderly. Therefore they seek to create order to make their environment right from their perspective. 

Identifying your type is not an excuse for specific behaviors. Such as, ” I can’t help that I’m a perfectionist; I’m a one.” Instead, ones can consider, “Perhaps I am being demanding and judgmental. Am I reacting to this to feel safe?”

Enneagram 1 Wings

A one can have a nine or a two wing. 

Ones with a nine wing nine wing tend to be more easygoing, objective, calm, and moderate; when under stress, they can be impersonal and stubborn.

Ones with a two wing tend to express their feelings more and be more empathic, warm, and sensitive to others; however, in times of stress, they can become image-conscience , controlling and need approval.

Enneagram Type 1 At Work

Ones bring principle and discipline to teams. When inspired by great vision, they can help ensure everyone is ethically working toward the team’s goals. Ones work best in teams when given a role where they can bring structure and pragmatism toward improving results.

The Enneagram Guide to Healthy Teams in the Workplace Ebook Mockup


Inside this free guide, you'll learn:

A Coaching Tip to Help Enneagram 1s On A Team

In groups or teams, ones will likely encounter various work styles and opinions that differ from theirs. It’s important for ones to intentionally affirm the value of different approaches, even if they seem less than ideal.

As a practical tip, ones may consider practicing acknowledging team members who contribute something unique to a task or project, even if they may have approached it in a different way.  

Type 1’s view their work as something they believe in and connect deeply to their efforts. They are great at managing all the details of a situation and can take on a lot, sometimes too much. 

As mentioned, they desire things to be done the right way, but this can lead to taking on more than they can handle rather than delegating or asking for help. If a one becomes stressed by their workload, they can become resentful of others if they feel that others are not as hardworking or committed.

Continue To Grow As An Enneagram 1

Growth happens for an Enneagram one when they decide to move past their rigidity. They accept that they are not right about everything and become open-minded toward others’ viewpoints. A healthy one can see their point of view as a part of the whole and willing to adapt when necessary.

A healthy one practices becoming discerning rather than judgmental. They realize there is a right and wrong, but they are committed to living, not in their ideals, but in reality and applying the best of moral goodness to life’s circumstances. They choose not to become obsessive about being right but with being good to themselves and others in the best possible way, no matter the circumstance.

Did you know that Cloverleaf can help you use your Enneagram results to sharpen your professional development and work environment?

Click here to learn more about how to apply assessment insights to help your team thrive.  

Are you unsure of your type or want to validate your number? Take our free Enneagram Test to help clarify your specific type. You’ll also receive an in-depth, accurate report to help you understand your number.

Want to learn about the rest of the Enneagram Types? Read more about the Enneagram: 2, 3, 4, 5, 6, 7, 8, and 9!

Enneagram Type 1
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Evan Doyle

Evan Doyle serves as the Content Marketing Manager at Cloverleaf. He is an Enneagram enthusiast and creator of Recognized for his insightful writings, his work has been featured in publications such as Truity, Catalyst, and Creative Results Management, touching on topics from leadership and people development to teamwork and conflict resolution. He's also the author of the "Enneagram Career Guide," a digital workbook aiding transformative career changes. Evan is dedicated to helping individuals delve deeper into their self-awareness and leverage their strengths.