Enneagram Type 8

The Protector

What is Enneagram type eight (The Protector)?

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 hate being reliant on others.

Type 8 Personality Traits

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

Strengths & Blind Spots

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

Free Personality Test

How Enneagram 8 personality types like to work

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.

Motivators & Stressors

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

Best jobs for an Enneagram 8

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:

  • Lawyer

  • Politician

  • Director

  • Advertising Executive

  • Financial Advisor

  • Business Owner

  • Marketing Strategist

  • Sales Director

Wings

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.

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