Looking into the 'Personality 1' type

Background to the Enneagram


The Enneagram is an ancient tool for personal understanding, development and transformation. It is a personality profiling system that can provide data that helps us understand that we need to go beyond our habitual responses in order to better understand, relate to and connect with other people and the world we are a part of.

Each personality has its own unique defence mechanism. Each of us believes that our strategy for survival is the right one. These strategies feel right. Sometimes, though, they lead us and others astray. The Enneagram provides a framework to guide and support a personal shift away from the survival strategy to an understanding of the other positions and more conscious behaviour. It is useful to be in a community (or team) where constructive feedback can be provided to help us better manage our defence mechanisms. 

We will be looking at strategies for development for each of the types, starting in this issue with Type 1.


Type 1 - The Perfectionist

Also called the Reformer, Crusader, Moralist, Idealist or Improver

Psychological defences focus on law, order and compliance.
Concentration on eliminating mistakes.

  • Focus on eliminating imperfection and what is wrong in the world. Doing the right thing is very important. 
  • Responsible, self-disciplined, conscientious and hard working.  Great eye for detail.  Work before play.
  • High personal standards. Highly self-critical.
  • Value thrift, fairness, honesty and being responsible. Can resent unfairness or be critical of those doing the wrong thing.


Strategies for Development for Type 1

  • Let go, let go, let go, let go.
  • Reduce the dominance of the critical mind.
  • Be more tolerant of self and others and schedule time for pleasure.
  • Move to point 7 relax point. Ask: “What brings me joy?”
  • Self-observe, accept what you cannot change.
  • Search for what you really want – not for perfection.
  • Focus on what is right (not on what is wrong).
  • Do some play before work.
  • Schedule free time. Take a few days away and relax.
  • Forgive yourself.
  • Remove concerns by checking facts.
  • Forgive others.
  • Reduce your use of “should” and “must”.
  • Try to judge yourself and others kinder.
  • Be more accepting.
  • Allow for differences.
  • Focus on the bigger picture.
  • Look for the positives in everything, including self and shift your attention to that.
  • Exercise your body regularly.
  • Have a regular massage.
  • Practice mindfulness.

    Daily activity: pay attention to patterns of right/wrong thinking, use feelings of resentment as a clue to deep-seated anger. Learn to appreciate what is positive in everything. Leave something to be fixed alone. Relax more often.


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Author: Veronica Lunn

Veronica has had significant experience working with large and small organizations, industry groups and individuals, providing workshops, seminars, forums and one on one coaching. With a strong background working with local government and state government, as well as the private sector, Veronica is an accredited Enneagram practitioner and teacher and brings high level facilitation and relationship skills to Griffith Consulting.


Breegan Gloury