Enneagram Personality Types: Threes

If you look at the Enneagram model, you’ll find at point 3 the type that needs to succeed. This type is in the Feeling group, those who relate to the world through their feelings for others. From this type come some of the most high-profile and also some of the most deceitful people. This type shows us how to use appearance to get on in the world. 1. Threes are Achievers Threes, known as Achievers, are the sales people of the Enneagram. Their need to be liked and admired means that they have a deft ability to promote themselves and anything that they are selling: product, service, team, project, the organisation, themselves. They feel at home with promotional language and the current fashionable idiom. They work hard to look good and attractive to others. Threes can often be the stars of the organisation, their own desire to win being reflected in the rewards they bring to the organisation. Unfortunately, this desire can sometimes be at the expense of other values that matter and that Threes may overlook in the race for success. 2. A Summary of Threes Group: heart or "feeling" group Label: achievers, winners, producers Roles: the golden boy or girl, the star, the hero or heroine, the status-seeker, the con-artist, the trickster, the image-builder, the marketer, the networker, the spin-doctor Drive: the need to be successful Orientation: moving against others competitively Childhood orientation: a positive view of having been loved unconditionally by their mother or mother figure Problem: out of touch with their feelings Preoccupation: being better than others; winning prizes that prove their success Sin: deceit; lies Symbols: the colours yellow and gold; animals like the chameleon and peacock Countries: the United States of America Routes to growth: honesty Characteristics: competitive; active; goal-oriented; ambitious; self-confident; glamorous; popular; sexy; enjoy physical exercise; emotionally controlled; keep feelings back; tuned in to what's "in" Strategy: the charming-manipulative character. 3. How to Recognise a Three Threes are easy to recognise because they look so good. Threes have a highly-developed instinct for creating an appearance that others will admire. They are physically attractive, having turned themselves into the embodiment of what passes for the current desired male or female image. They dress to please. Their speech is full of positive, self-confident, "can-do" words. They smile a lot. They glow with self-assurance. Threes divert so much energy into creating an appealing image that it is hard for them to see that there's little left for anything else. For the image can indeed hide a lack of real feeling, an absence of depth to their understanding and little concern about anybody but themselves. 4. The Three at Work Threes are a highly motivated group. They try hard and work hard to achieve public recognition. They expect their efforts to win them prizes especially favoured status, high profile jobs, promotion. They are simple, sleek and direct. Because Threes are so motivated they seem like a godsend to any organisation. There is no need to push them, they will push themselves. When any job needs done and nobody else is willing to do it, Threes will volunteer just to look good at saving the day.The outward success of Threes covers up a lack of much depth. They are highly superficial, have few opinions of their own and tend to believe in their own success so much that they lack the willingness to test themselves and grow. 5. The Three-type Organisation A Three organisation has the following characteristics: a. work is a source of power and money b. work defines social status and life success c. work is part of an upward life progress d. a win-lose life view in which they are winners e. constant benchmarking of themselves and their teams ("How do we rate compared to...?") f. networkers g. a belief in the value of branding (themselves, their products and their service) h. prepared to do anything to come out on top i. like to set and be set targets that prove how well they are doing j. adapt what seems to work elsewhere k. motivated by tangible results. 6. Noteworthy Threes Some noteworthy Threes include: a. Icarus who flew too near to the sun and fell to earth b. Roman emperor, Julius Caesar c. Midas, the king who turned everything he touched to gold d. Walt Disney, film maker e. Paul McCartney, Beatle f. Tony Blair, UK Prime Minister g. Bill Clinton, president of the USA 7. "I Wanted So Much to Win" Ian Wright is a footballer who enjoyed huge success at London clubs, Crystal Palace and Arsenal, and played 33 times for England. He is a Three personality type. He says of his overpowering desire to win, "I've always wanted to be the best at whatever I do. When I was a builder, I wanted to be the best builder. Now that I'm a footballer, I want to be the best footballer. I've always pushed myself to go that one step further. When I used to play football as a kid, I would cry if I didn't play well because I wanted so much to win. I'm the only one in my family like that. My brother Maurice was a better footballer than me and that drove me to be better than him." To discover the Threes on your team, ask yourself: "Who always appears confident with new people?"; "Who likes to be in fashion?" and "Who tends to volunteer when nobody else does?”


Eric Garner is Managing Director of ManageTrainLearn, the site that will change the way you learn forever. Download free samples of the biggest range of management and personal development materials anywhere and experience learning like you always dreamed it could be. Just click on ManageTrainLearn and explore.

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