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The Competency Group- 1, 3, and 5


Wrapping up this set of blogs on the Enneagram, let’s talk about types 1, 3 and 5 and what they have in common. This triad of types is called the competency group which describes how they approach conflict and disappointing circumstances. In contrast to the reactive and positivity groups, which deal by emotionally processing and keeping a positive attitude respectively, the competency group is about attacking the problem. They want to set emotion to the side and solve the issue using logic and best practices.

The strength of this group is that when the pressure is on they can remain cool and focused and complete the task at hand. They can effectively take emotion out of the discussion in order to come to a resolution. This of course is also their challenge, as it can be difficult to get back in touch with repressed and/or denied feelings if/when they need to be dealt with in the resolution. Each type uses logic and structured thinking, but they all have a different type of thinking they prefer. Specifically,


Ones: Want to learn and obey the rules, and use the rules to solve problems. Their thinking revolves around learning best practices and carefully applying them.

Fives: Reject the rules and want to go their own way, using their powerful thinking and insight to solve problems. Their thinking revolves around innovation, intuition, processing all aspects of the issue and coming up with original solutions.

Threes: A mix of both approaches, Threes want to learn the rules but reserve the right to find a more efficient solution on their own. That new solution may or may not be orthodox and could involve some reinterpretation of the rules. Their thinking is part best practices and part innovation.

The competency group effectively resolves disputes using sound thinking- as you can imagine they are particularly impactful in work environments where in most cases emotion needs to be checked at the door. Utilize their expertise the next time you need to puzzle out a solution to a challenge!



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