How To Support An Enneagram Three At Work
Enneagram Threes are referred to as "The Performer" for many reasons, namely their deep-rooted desire to be acknowledged and appreciated for their achievements. This typically manifests in their ambitious nature, confidence, and goal-oriented mindset. At first glance, it's easy to see how these traits could be great assets to any workplace. However, when this desire for success becomes obsessive, it can lead to burnout. Truity claims that Type Threes make up 11% of the population, so the chances of interacting with a Three at your workplace are high. As a leader in your workplace, you want to be able to support every kind of person.
An Overview Of Enneagram Three
Enneagram Threes are part of the "heart-based" triad, along with Twos and Fours. The heart-based triad means this enneagram type is feeling-based, primarily motivated, and informed by emotional energy. Because Threes have an innate fear of being worthless, insignificant, or a failure, they tend to be very high-achieving, busy, charismatic and dedicated. This makes them very inspiring and great role models. However, the downside of this is that when Threes aren't feeling valued, they can veer towards competitiveness and insecurity.
How To Know When A Three Is Approaching Burnout?
There are a handful of tell-tale burnout signs to watch for with Threes, and it's important to quickly pick up on them when it comes to prevention. Because of their deep desire to be successful and accomplished, Threes can fall victim to workaholism and competitiveness. However, Threes are image-conscious and adaptable, so it may be hard to discern when they are overworking themselves. So, looking out for these signs can help you catch the burnout early on.
Enneagram Three Signs Of Burnout To Look Out For
To identify signs of a Three burning out, notice if they are:
1 | Acting overly-competitive
2 | Continually taking on a very heavy workload
3 | Gossiping and exhibiting signs of jealousy
4 | Making narcissistic comments
5 | Having trouble communicating their feelings
6 | Displaying contempt for others
Of course, no Enneagram Three is the same, but this is a good baseline for identifying signs of burnout. Because Threes are so capable and hardworking, it's possible to run the risk of leaning too heavily on them and giving them an unmanageable workload without realizing it. One of the best things you can do is remain cognizant of a Three’s actions and workloads in the workplace. Doing so will help you understand their stress levels and remind you to take action to help them prevent burnout.
Give Them A Compliment
Enneagram Threes fear being seen as a failure, so complimenting them when they're doing good work is key. They are very conscious of their self-image and consequently can be very hard on themselves, so it's better to offer positive reinforcement rather than pushing their limits. Threes tend to exhibit great confidence, but remember that it can be a mask for their insecurity. By showing admiration for their amazing work, you will help Threes see that they are competent and valued.
Encourage Them To Lighten Their Workload
Enneagram Threes are known for being hard workers with clear goals and ambition, which is a huge benefit for any work team. At the same time, Threes may bite off more than they can chew. Due to their high aspirations, it's likely they will valiantly and silently "get the job done," even if it is at the expense of their mental health. That's why it's important to be aware of a Threes's workload and remind them that it's okay to take breaks and replenish their energy.
Initiate A Vulnerable Conversation
Because Enneagram Threes are so concerned with how others view them, they often have a hard time fully being themselves. But, like most humans, Threes crave intimacy and understanding. That's why having a deep, emotional conversation with a Three can be a good idea–encourage them to be vulnerable, connect with their feelings, and embrace their authenticity. Threes can be absolutely unstoppable when they are in tune and at peace with who they are.Helping Enneagram Threes reach their fullest potential and avoid burnout can be challenging, so feel free to take a look at our resources on preventing and treating burnout. Plus, check out our brand new Enneagram X Burnout Card Deck, which has 108 mindful practices for all Enneagram types, including Threes.