People with an Enneagram Type 8 personality tend to be self-confident, powerful, and assertive in their behavior. They love engaging in debates and are skilled at making difficult decisions. They are fiercely independent and dislike being reliant on others.
The most basic desire of the Enneagram Type 8 is to protect themselves and remain in control of their own lives. They seek to defend themselves and others from injustice. Eights often tend to advocate for the underdog, as they work to protect those they feel are unable to protect themselves.
Protectors defend themselves by avoiding and denying vulnerability. They believe, somewhat subconsciously, that vulnerability will make them appear weak; therefore, they avoid it at all costs.
The basic fear of the Type 8 is that they might be controlled or hurt by others. They tend to avoid situations that make them feel helpless and stand up for themselves in all circumstances. When stressed, they may guard themselves more from others.
In summary, Enneagram
personalities tend to...
Stand up for themselves and those around them
Be skilled at making hard decisions
Fear being controlled and losing their autonomy
Struggle being vulnerable with themselves or others
Be perceived as argumentative
Every personality archetype has strengths and blind spots, and these are often amplified in professional settings where we often encounter a diverse group of people with vastly different backgrounds and value systems.
Strengths that are typically associated with the Enneagram
Ability to express themselves in every situation
Acting quickly and decisively
Effectively leading others to success
Defending and protecting other people
Fair and logical decision-making
Weaknesses that are typically associated with the Enneagram
Being perceived as intimidating
Tendency to disregard others’ opinions
Difficulty following rules or orders
Taking charge when it isn’t their place
Growth opportunities that are typically associated with the Enneagram
Listening attentively to and considering others’ ideas
Sharing and expressing how they’re feeling
Recognizing when to step back and allow others to lead
Be upfront and direct while remaining open to their ideas.
Meeting with an Enneagram
Remain logical and practical, allowing eights to share new ideas or suggestions.
Emailing an Enneagram
Avoid casual conversation—be clear and concise.
Giving feedback to an Enneagram
Share feedback respectfully and constructively to avoid defensiveness.
Resolving conflict with an Enneagram
Stand your ground and call them on inappropriate action, while also listening to and considering their side.
When people experience pain, stress, or dissatisfaction, it can usually be attributed to energy-draining activities. Therefore, it’s important to know what kinds of activities energize each personality type and which activities drain them.
s tend to be motivated and energized by...
Taking charge and leading others
Feeling free, understood, and respected
Making decisions that help other people
Physical action and exercise
Logical and practical ideas and solutions
s tend to be stressed and drained by...
Being controlled by or subordinate to others
Feeling unimportant or insignificant
Facing vulnerable or emotional situations
Others’ dishonesty or misdirected blame
Feeling out of control or helpless
Type Eights tend to thrive in an environment that respects their independence and encourages their advice. They enjoy fast-paced, energizing work that allows them to lead others.
s feel energized at work when...
They are asked to weigh-in on a decision.
Their boss respects their opinions.
Their peers look to them as a leader.
Their direct reports work efficiently.
s feel drained at work when...
They are ignored or overlooked.
Their boss demands complete authority.
Their peers refuse to engage in discussion about an issue.
Their direct reports need to be consistently guided in the task.
Eights are individualistic and courageous; they can make tough decisions while remaining fair and logical. They are consistently strong advocates and leaders.
Common jobs for people with Enneagram
When type Eights work alongside people who are more relaxed and reserved, they can help them make decisions and advocate for themselves. If they work with another Eight, it’s important that they work together to effectively balance the power and avoid frequent clashing.
s tend to work well with others who...
Respect their opinions and ideas
Stand up for themselves
Remain open to new ways of thinking
s may hit obstacles in professional relationships when they...
Defy or disrespect an authority figure
Feel unreasonably blamed for a situation
Need to be emotionally honest or vulnerable
Type Eights can be dedicated, protective partners, especially to those who are typically quiet, laid-back, or altruistic. When in a relationship with another Eight, it’s important that they learn to de-escalate tense discussions and balance their powerful dynamic.
In a romantic relationship, Enneagram
s bring strengths like...
Dedication to open, honest communication
Working to protect their partner from physical or emotional harm
Giving their partner plenty of independence
In romantic relationships, Enneagram
s may have trouble...