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Navigating Collaboration with an Enneagram Type 8

Date16 Aug, 2023
Type Team Optimization
Author Emily LePan

Learn how assertive leadership and empowered autonomy can move projects and people forward, for collective success.

In the intricate tapestry of human personalities, the Enneagram framework provides us with a captivating insight into the diverse ways in which people perceive and interact with the world. Among the nine distinct personality types, the Enneagram Type 8, also known as “The Challenger,” stands out as a formidable force. Collaborating with an Enneagram Type 8 can be a riveting journey, characterized by intensity, determination, and an unwavering pursuit of excellence. In this blog post, we’ll delve into the unique qualities of Type 8 individuals and explore strategies to foster a successful and harmonious collaboration.

Enneagram Type 8 individuals are characterized by their assertive nature, self-confidence, and unyielding resolve. They radiate a commanding presence and are natural-born leaders, driven by a desire to protect and empower those around them. Type 8s possess a profound aversion to weakness and vulnerability, often striving to control their environment to ensure their own and others’ safety.

Here are some things to consider when working and collaborating with an Enneagram Type 8:

Direct Communication: Honesty as a Foundation

When collaborating with an Enneagram Type 8, clear and straightforward communication is key. Type 8s value honesty and appreciate when others speak their mind openly. Engaging in candid discussions helps establish trust and ensures that everyone is on the same page. Avoid beating around the bush or resorting to vague language – embrace directness to build a solid foundation for collaboration.

Mutual Respect: Recognizing Strengths

Enneagram Type 8s are renowned for their self-assuredness and decisiveness. Embrace their strengths and allow them to take the lead in areas where their assertiveness shines. Acknowledging their capabilities fosters a sense of respect and cooperation. Simultaneously, offer your unique strengths to complement their leadership style, creating a symbiotic relationship that benefits the project as a whole.

Embrace Healthy Conflict: A Catalyst for Growth

Collaborations with Type 8s may witness moments of intense debate or conflict. Rather than shying away from these instances, view them as opportunities for growth. Enneagram Type 8s thrive on healthy challenges and robust discussions, which often lead to creative solutions and enhanced outcomes. Engage in constructive debates, focusing on the issues at hand rather than personal differences.

Providing Autonomy: Empowering Independence

Type 8s possess an innate desire for control and autonomy. Offering them the freedom to make decisions and drive initiatives can prove highly motivating. Empower their independence, but ensure a balance that allows for input from the entire team. By providing a platform for their leadership while maintaining collaborative input, you can harness their energy for better results.

Express Appreciation: Affirming Value

A genuine show of appreciation can go a long way in nurturing a productive collaboration with an Enneagram Type 8. Recognize their efforts and accomplishments, highlighting the positive impact they bring to the team. Expressing gratitude not only strengthens the bond but also reinforces their commitment to the project.


Collaborating with an Enneagram Type 8 can be a thrilling journey marked by ambition, determination, and vigor. By embracing direct communication, respecting their strengths, navigating healthy conflicts, empowering their autonomy, and expressing genuine appreciation, you can harness the power of an Enneagram Type 8 collaborator to achieve remarkable outcomes. Remember, beneath the assertive exterior lies a deep sense of responsibility and a fierce dedication to making a positive impact – qualities that can elevate any collaborative endeavor to new heights.

Every business benefits from every Enneagram type. The key is understanding the strengths (and pet peeves) of the individuals on your team so that you can maximize the power of the group as a whole.  The goal (for all of us) is to become more aware of our personality style, how we impact the people around us, and how to empathize with alternative perspectives to our own. If you are curious about what Enneagram type you and the members of your team are,  contact us to find out more about our Flipp Team Optimization Workshop. We use professional Enneagram assessments with a certified Enneagram coach to get you and your team to understand each other in a new way. Stay tuned for more in this blog series as we learn about the remaining Enneagram types and how to collaborate with each.