People with an enneagram type eight 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.
Eights are afraid of being controlled or hurt by others. They avoid situations that make them feel helpless and tend to stand up for themselves in all circumstances.
Their basic desire is to guard themselves and remain in control of their own lives. They seek to protect themselves and others from injustice.
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.
In summary, Enneagram 8 personality types 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 8 personality type include...
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
Blind spots that are typically associated with the Enneagram 8 personality type include…
Being perceived as intimidating
Tendency to disregard others’ opinions
Difficulty following rules or orders
Taking charge when it isn’t their place
Communicating with a type eight
Be upfront and direct while remaining open to their ideas.
Meeting with a type eight
Remain logical and practical, allowing eights to share new ideas or suggestions.
Emailing a type eight
Avoid casual conversation—be clear and concise.
Giving feedback to a type eight
Share feedback respectfully and constructively to avoid defensiveness.
Resolving conflict with a type eight
Stand your ground and call them on inappropriate action, while also listening to and considering their side.
When people experience pain, stress, or dissatisfaction at work, 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.
Protectors 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
Protectors tend to be 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
Eights are individualistic and courageous; they can make tough decisions, while remaining fair and logical. They are advocates and leaders, thriving in an environment that respects their independence and encourages their advice.
Common jobs for people with the Enneagram 8 personality type are:
Enneagram types can sometimes share characteristics of the types above or below it. A type eight can have a seven wing or a nine wing. Click the links to read about the possible wings for a type eight.