There are few people known globally by only a single name, and “Oprah” is certainly one of the icons on that list. An ambitious talent with an empathetic heart to match, she’s the sort of leader and voice that many have turned to for an extra dose of wisdom through her long-running talk show, network, books and film work.

Based on an analysis of her observed behavior and motivations, Oprah is an Enneagram Three and an ENFJ personality type. A media darling in every way, here’s more about her compelling personality. 

Oprah’s Enneagram: Type 3: The Achiever 

Enneagram Threes are classic, Type-A overachievers who simply don’t know how to fail. With passion powering her ambition and mission, Oprah Winfrey has created a sphere of influence enjoyed by a rare few. 

Over the past several decades, she has boasted a highly-rated (and extremely influential) talk show, launched her own television network, been nominated for Academy Awards and earned 20 Emmys. 

Outwardly: Spotting the Three

  • Oprah is one of the most accomplished women in history. She has numerous honors, including a Peabody Award, Tony Award, two Academy Award nominations, and 20 Emmy Awards.
  • Constantly pulled together, Oprah is keenly aware of how she comes across. She is kind, thoughtful, engaging, and exhibits a great sense of style. She is always poised and prepared for interviews and public appearances. 
  • Energetic and enthusiastic, Oprah may struggle to sit still. After 25 seasons on air for The Oprah Winfrey Show, she barely took any time off before launching her own network. She launched OWN the same year she ended her daytime talk show.
  • Charismatic and charming, Oprah always puts best foot forward. She is funny, socially-savvy and comfortable in the limelight. 
  • Driven and purposeful, Oprah is very focused on excelling and creating influence. She has a net worth of $2.5 billion, and has been lauded for “The Oprah Effect.” For years, her book and product recommendations, as well as the experts she’s tapped as notable voices in their fields, have all been hugely successful. 

Inwardly: Understanding the Three

  • Biggest fear: Threes like Oprah often experience a fear of failure or the feeling of worthlessness, and thus pursue influence, status and success as a means of countering it. 
  • Biggest driver: Threes need to feel they are admired by others for their works and positive qualities. They enjoy praise for their accomplishments.
  • Biggest desire: Threes always want to be at their best, continuously improve their areas of mastery, and maintain their relentless ambition toward their goals.
  • With her ambition, poise and passion to build purpose into her work, it’s no wonder Oprah has become one of the greatest media moguls of her generation. 

Oprah’s Myers-Briggs Personality Type: ENFJ

E: Extraverted

Oprah has the ease, warmth and confidence of an extravert. From the start of her career, she was comfortable tackling public mediums like talk radio and television, and one of her first gigs involved interviewing locals for a Baltimore TV station. She once said of bouncing around the city, “It’s good PR for me.” Obviously, she would go on to become a seasoned professional skilled in the art of human interactions. 

N: Intuitive

An abstract thinker, Oprah has a great internal barometer for how others are feeling, what’s right and wrong, and the next steps she needs to take in her own life. She has spoken openly about her deep spirituality as well. "When you don’t know what to do, do nothing,” Oprah said in a 2011 issue of O Magazine. “Get quiet so you can hear the still, small voice—your inner GPS guiding you to true North."

F: Feeling

Oprah is non-judgmental, compassionate, and always seeks to make others feel comfortable first. Building a career as an interviewer on her highly rated talk show, Oprah was great at connecting with guests, making them feel comfortable, and interviewed billionaires, entertainers, activists, world leaders and regular people with the same level of care.

J: Judging

Oprah has big plans, and is always chipping away at them; she’s incredibly goal-oriented, especially when it comes to her career, which extends to her overall mission to pursue positivity and philanthropy. "Passion is the log that keeps the fire of purpose blazing,” she has said.

ENFJ Cognitive Functions

Fe: Extraverted Feelers like Oprah are compassionate, empathetic types who love to make others feel appreciated, help them be heard and seen, and help them process greater truths. She once compared The Oprah Winfrey Show to her own personal therapy “It was the greatest classroom and it was my greatest therapy. I came out of it a better human being having listened to everybody's stories…” she said. It was a feeling she regularly extended to viewers, and interviewees on her couch.

Ni: With her strong Introverted Intuition, Oprah moves the chess pieces in her life toward a greater vision. “I've come to believe that each of us has a personal calling that's as unique as a fingerprint,” she once said, “and that the best way to succeed is to discover what you love and then find a way to offer it to others in the form of service, working hard, and also allowing the energy of the universe to lead you.”

Se: Extraverted Sensors are often ahead of the trends, whether it’s fashion, gadgets, fitness classes, or food sensations. Oprah has pioneered trend-setting with her “Favorite Things” specials. 

Ti: Introverted Thinkers like to take time to uniquely process events and actions before making sense of them. Sometimes, they may be prone to overthinking; in an essay for her magazine, Oprah talked about practicing how to let go so she’d master it. 

Fast Facts About ENFJs:

  • ENFJs are relatively rare; ~3% of the general population, 3% of women, 2% of men
  • Most likely of all types to believe in a higher spiritual power
  • One of the least likely types to struggle in school
  • Among highest in job satisfaction
  • Score high on these traits: Active, Pleasant, Sociable, Demanding, Impatient, Appreciative, and Compromising
Jenna Birch
Jenna Birch is a content and brand strategist for startups, entrepreneurs and VCs. Before moving into consulting, she was a prolific journalist for national magazines and websites, and author of The Love Gap: A Radical Plan to Win in Life & Love (Grand Central Publishing). Her work has been published in The Washington Post, Vogue, Cosmopolitan, Marie Claire, Harper's Bazaar, InStyle, HuffPost, and more. She lives in Ann Arbor, MI with her EXTP fiancé and the best pup around, Ollie.