Enneagram Type 1 — The Moralist

Quality Control Specialist, Reformer, Perfectionist, Judge, Administrator, Rule Keeper, Crusader

Worldview of the Type 1


You are a conscientious, hardworking, and ethical, person who strives to make things better. You are a fair and just person and love to be meticulous. Your attention to detail and careful adherence to protocols and procedures can be great assets to any team. On occasion, your high standards and need for constant improvement may be experienced by others as overly critical and/or controlling. Your keys to growth include recognizing and balancing your high standards with your desire to act fairly and considerately towards others, and seeing what is actually “right” in the present moment.

What You Are Great At

  • Identifying ways that things can be improved and upgraded.

  • Being very aware of what needs to be corrected.

  • Focusing on details and maintaining an eye for perfection.

  • Having strong ethics and striving for continuous improvement.

  • Maintaining high ideals, standards, and principles.

  • Working tirelessly for its own sake and seeing excellence as its own reward.

  • Taking initiative on the job and putting work before pleasure to do the job well.

  • Being well-organized, neat, and orderly.

  • Upholding responsibilities and following through with commitments.

  • Advocating for fairness and justice in the world.

  • Being self-disciplined and personally sacrificing for the greater good, team, or purpose.

  • Being practical, purposeful, proper, professional, well-mannered, and polite.

Core Wiring

You want to be accurate, honest, fair, and objective; but most importantly, you want to be respectable. You want to do what's right, and what you feel is appropriate. You have high standards and are methodical, ethical, and diligently striving for continual improvement. You believe that anything worth doing should be done properly. Under stress, you may show resentment and become angry, nit-picking, and overly critical. At your best, you are wise and noble. You act with integrity and offer sage guidance to the world.

What Drives You

Driven by the need for continuous improvement and high standards, you are diligent and hardworking in order to do what is right and avoid being criticized. You want to be accepted and respected for being responsible and ethical and for having integrity and high standards.

Inner World of the Type 1

Core Fears

Your core fear of being bad, wrong, or incorrect may express itself as being afraid of making bad decisions or being criticized because of your perceived faults and imperfection.

Core Desires

To be good, right, accurate, correct, and above reproach.

Core Needs

You need to know what is expected of you, so you can act accordingly and excel. You want to know what is considered appropriate, do things by the book, and avoid making mistakes. You continuously strive for self-improvement and expect others to do the same. You act in accordance with your high standards, moral beliefs, philosophies, and principles; you don't base your behaviors on another person's rules.

Core Beliefs

Everyone can and should strive to do their best and continually improve. There is a correct way to do things. We should all do what is right and do so properly.


  • Order, high standards, punctuality.

  • When everything has a place and everything is in its place.

  • When others appreciate and follow your good advice.

  • Responsibility, discipline, and working hard.

  • Setting up and streamlining systems and solutions.

  • Creating policies and operating procedures.

  • Everyone following the procedures and protocols.

  • Being responsible and doing your best.

  • Editing and correcting for accuracy.

  • Appropriateness and proper etiquette.

  • Making things better through continuous improvement.

  • Mentoring others to be the best they can be.


  • People that are late or inconsiderate.

  • Laziness, low standards, sloppiness, poor work ethic.

  • People being unprepared and making excuses.

  • Others not appreciating all your hard work.

  • Others not trying as hard as they can.

  • Inappropriate anger or emotional outbursts.

  • Being criticized (especially when the blame belongs elsewhere).

  • Taking shortcuts that compromise quality.

  • Anyone being irresponsible or inattentive.

  • Unfairness.

  • People without a moral compass.

  • Lack of clarity and focus.

Outer World of the Type 1


You adhere strongly to standards and codes of conduct to ensure appropriate actions that evade criticism. You may proactively criticize and judge yourself and others to enforce good conduct.

Impact of Strategies

Everyone notices how hard you work. As a result, they often believe you are correct and follow your orders.

What's Great About You

You are ethical, principled, hard-working, disciplined, thorough, prepared, and accountable. Others see you as someone who is very responsible, fair, and who will do what is right.

Attention goes to...

Your attention goes outward to the environment, to creating improvements, correcting imperfections, and righting what is wrong. In your search for what is perfect, you may become mired in details and lose sight of your original goal and intention. A growing edge for you is to recognize the value of completing a task over waiting for perfection.

Operating System of the Type 1

At Your Best

You are a principled, disciplined, thorough and responsible person who focuses on the ideal in any given situation You have very high standards, which motivate you to be hard-working, meticulous, well-mannered, and professional able to sacrifice short-term pleasures for satisfaction of reaching longer-term objectives. Others can trust you to be honest and accountable.

You may devote yourself to service and eagerly pursue projects that can improve life for others. You can be very dedicated to helping others, sincerely believing that others also want to improve themselves and do things the right way. Your integrity and desire to make things better can make you a gifted teacher, and an asset to any team in the areas of continuous improvement, quality control, and effective systems.

Under Stress

When your focus is so resolutely set on doing what is right you may forget what is needed. Your desire to improve yourself and others can give voice to a strong “inner critic” that never allows you to relax. This can be driven by a core fear of being criticized, or being seen as bad or wrong and can lead to you being overly self-controlled and critical of yourself and others.

You may also feel the need to suppress natural desires to be “good.” This intensive self-monitoring and need for improvement can be exhausting and can be challenging for co-workers or friends.

You may not understand others’ reactions because you truly feel you are doing the best you can for all involved. Your anger may also become a problem if it is repressed, because it may erupt when you are under stress.

What Holds You Back

Resenting others for not doing things properly. Feeling frustrated but not expressing it directly. Being critical of others and feeling the need to correct them. Becoming defensive and blaming others when given feedback. Driven to take what seems the “right” or “correct” action. Believing you are ethically or morally above others. Comparing yourself to others and anticipating criticism. Procrastinating for fear of making a mistake or wrong decision. Expending unnecessary energy correcting minor details and errors. Difficulty acknowledging others for positive actions and contributions. Difficulty trusting inner guidance because of intense self-scrutiny. Difficulty letting go of past hurts and holding on to resentment.

Coping Strategy

To cope with fears of being bad or wrong, you may develop and hold on to internal rules, procedures, and standards. You may rely on your “inner critic” as a trusted guide for good behavior.

Proactively criticizing yourself and blaming others may be strategies to avoid being blamed and punished. Striving to be “good” and “right” may be felt to be the antidote to being “bad” and “wrong.”

Defense Strategy

You use self-control to avoid expressing anger and other “unacceptable” emotions by repressing them and expressing a more “appropriate” emotion in its place. This usually gives rise to frustration and resentment that others are not working as hard as they should.

Hot Buttons & Triggers

  • When your hard work is not recognized or appreciated.

  • When your efforts to improve things are unsupported.

  • Being criticized or given feedback suggesting you could have done better or need to make improvements.