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Enneagram Type 3 Description And Key Characteristics

Enneagram 3’s are called The Achiever. They are motivated by the need to be productive, achieve success, and avoid failure. Three’s can also be playful, giving, responsible, and well-regarded by others in the community. 

Type threes are often hardworking, goal-oriented, organized, and decisive. Threes can radiate confidence that others find assurance and inspiring. They like their work to convey their competency. 

Type threes are efficient at getting things done. They aim to achieve personal goals and have a keen ability to size up tasks and understand the dynamics within teams.

Enneagram 3 Strengths

  • Drive

  • Efficiency

  • Optimism

  • Pragmatic

  • Confidence

  • Adaptable

  • Focused

  • Charisma

Threes enjoy motivating others to greater heights of success and are appreciated for their many successes. They enjoy finding ways to make it possible for others to get ahead.  Their growth direction helps them to embrace honesty, commitment, and loyalty to others.

Development Opportunities For Enneagram Type 3s

Threes may need to monitor their willingness to be charitable and cooperative in their relationships. One way they can do this is by taking time to pause during a busy day to connect with an individual to learn more about their goals, cares, or desires.

Type threes may struggle with taking a  break. Their strong drive for achievement can lead them to exhaustion with a relentless pursuit of their goals. Ambition and self-development are

good qualities, but threes must temper their drive with rest. Something as simple as taking a few deep breaths is enough to recharge their batteries and improve their outlook. 

Another way type threes can transcend their personal interests is by working cooperatively with others toward goals. This effort can be a powerful way of finding their true value and identity. 

Threes can also grow by being mindful of how often a desire for acceptance drives their actions.

Enneagram 3 Blindspots

  • Impatience

  • Scheming

  • Image-Driven

  • Lacking Transparency

  • Self-Promoting

  • Insensitive

Unhealthy threes are very self-conscious. They want to be admired and accepted according to social norms. In stress, threes become performance-driven to receive praise and attention.

The temptation of a three is efficiency at all costs. While type threes are often perceived as being highly relational, relationships can be in service of their need to be successful and drive for achievement.

An unhealthy three is mechanical, calculating, impatient, chameleon-like, scheming, image-conscious, self-promoting, success-driven, slick, political, and ignores feelings.

Identifying your type is not an excuse for specific behaviors. Such as, “I can’t restrain my drive for success; I’m a three.” Instead, threes can consider, “Perhaps I am allowing a need for recognition to get the best of me. Am I reacting to this to feel safe?”

Enneagram 3 Wings

A three can have a two or a four wing. 

Threes with a two wing tend to be more people-oriented. They can be helpful, socially adept, and tuned in to others while using their charm. In stressful situations, they can become possessive, flattering, and manipulative.

Threes with a four wing tend to have a strong imagination. They are creative, introspective, and more subdued. Under stress, they can be moody, arrogant, and pretentious.

Enneagram Type 3 At Work

Threes bring excellence and adaptability to teams. Often extremely polished, threes can excel in roles that require selling, marketing, or going above and beyond to help and serve the target audience.

Threes work best in teams when given a role where their impressive results are valued. However, team members may find type threes challenging if they become too possessive of the work rather than exercising collaboration or delegation. 

The Enneagram Guide to Healthy Teams in the Workplace Ebook Mockup


Inside this free guide, you'll learn:

A Coaching Tip to Help Enneagram 3s On A Team

In groups or teams, threes may experience frustration if others don’t automatically get on board with their proposed goals or plans. Threes need to recognize the differing perspectives or ideas that team members have for getting to the end goal.

As a practical tip, threes can consider using questions rather than statements when they don’t understand or disagree with a team member’s approach. For example, “Can you share more about the rationale behind that approach so I can better understand it?”

Threes can be a valuable asset to their team, realizing that not everyone will share in my drivenness but that everyone has a unique talent to contribute.

Type threes can also attend to the needs of others with energy, recognizing that interruptions may be a way of gaining new insight to reach a goal collaboratively.

Continue To Grow As An Enneagram 3

The Enneagram is helpful because it identifies fears and challenges related to each personality type. The goal is to recognize and use the insights to experience transformational growth.

A healthy three learns to balance their drive for efficiency and success with compassion and transparency. Threes can experience transformation by letting go of the belief that their value is dependent on the positive regard of others. 

In some cases, a three will need to risk losing the approval of others to follow their own heart and to live truthfully. Healthy threes value genuineness above accomplishment and believe they are valuable for who they are, not what they have, produce, or achieve.

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: 1, 2, 4, 5, 6, 7, 8, and 9!

Enneagram Type 3
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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.