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 3.



TYPE 3 - THE achiever

Also called the Performer, Succeeder,  Initiator and Producer

Psychological defences focus on need for success, achievement and positive image.
Self –esteem based on personal productivity (what they do / have achieved).


  • Focus upon image and success.
  • Characterised by hard work, efficiency and competition.
  • Focus on keeping busy.
  • Goal focused.
  • Avoid failure and negative feelings. 
  • Feelings can be suspended until the work is completed.
  • Can adapt behaviour to make connections or to gain approval of others (the chameleon).  


  • Slow down.
  • Take time each day to get to know yourself.
  • Feel the feelings. Ask yourself how you are feeling.
  • Understand that you are loved for your being not your doing.
  • Move to point 6 relax point. Ask: “What can I do as part of a group to meet group goals?
  • Stop doing, pause, reflect on your motives, do you really have to win? Is what you are doing “right” action?
  • Realise that failure doesn’t mean you are unworthy.
  • Don’t defer gratification until you achieve.
  • Allow those you care about to get behind the mask.
  • Throw away your list occasionally and just “be.”
  • Allow yourself to make “feeling” choices instead of status ones.
  • Let people love who you are, not your image.
  • Understand that not everyone wants to work as hard as you do.
  • Prioritise people as much as tasks.
  • Be prepared to get honest feedback.
  • Practice becoming more communal and inner-directed.
  • Ask – am I being completely honest with self and others?
  • Practice mindfulness.
  • Get regular exercise


Daily activity:  Spend the time to get to know yourself, learn to avoid over-identifying with your work, acknowledge your weaknesses. Be authentic in your conversations. Engage in an experience for its own sake with no outcome / product necessary.



Author: Veronica Lunn

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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