Gut Triad: Types 8, 9, and 1

This article gives an overview of the Gut Triad: types Eight, Nine, and One!

Taylor Nash avatar
Written by Taylor Nash
Updated over a week ago

There are nine personality types within the Enneagram, each with its unique set of characteristics and specific motivating drivers. By understanding these different characteristics, team members can learn how to work more effectively with one another. In this article, we are specifically looking at the Gut Triad (8,9,1).

Gut Triad Overview

Triads describe your go-to emotion. Your Enneagram type determines which of the Triads you belong to. The Gut Triad (instinctual) consists of 8s, 9s and 1s. These teammates are concerned with justice and seek independence, which leads them to honor what is fair and to desire freedom in their work. These teammates don't like others dictating their decisions or trying to change the team culture that they've intentionally developed.

They make decisions based on past performance and previous strategies, liking guidelines and clear direction when solving problems. Because they use gut instinct (or the body’s unconscious signals) as a source of intelligence, a walk or stretch break could help them get in the right mind space to solve a complex problem or get the creative juices flowing.


When making decisions, the 1s, 8s, and 9s of the Gut Triad establish their own boundaries that the group feels comfortable with by creating new guidelines or reframing old ones. These teammates can operate independently and don't like being micro-managed. They can be extremely motivated to get the job done. When the mission is clear they are committed to it and believe in it. These teammates may also advocate for others who are on similar missions.


At the core 8s, 9s and 1s aren't willing to change their opinions or beliefs just because they're told to do so. However, it is important for these teammates to be flexible in considering the opinions of others. This does not mean being completely compliant with beliefs they don't agree with, rather it means allowing space to consider different opinions without preconceived judgment. When frustrated, these teammates may have a strong emotional response, and may need to remember to not take things too personally. Encourage them to channel this emotional intensity into passion about a project, particularly towards the completion of the project. 8s, 9s and 1s ought to be mindful to spend time looking at how team decisions will affect others and how well the team utilizes information.

Go-To Emotion: Anger

Eights externalize their anger, meaning, they act out their anger and instinctual emotions. They are often very accepting of seeing others' anger. Nines deny their anger, so they tend to be out of touch with their instincts and can act passive-aggressive. Ones internalize their anger, they want to control it inside. They keep their anger internal out of hope for goodness in themselves. Despite their differences, they all experience anger and use their gut to decide how to act.

Teammates of 8s, 9s, or 1s:

If you are not an 8, 9, or 1, make sure to express your opinions to these teammates by making space for discussion. Instead of demanding change, start a conversation about opportunities for improvement, as those in the Gut Triad may react strongly if they feel boundaries are being encroached or control is being exerted over them. If you're in the Heart Triad, don't take the potential directness of a Gut Triad personally. Speak directly to these teammates on what you value and what boundaries you wish to set while encouraging these teammates to be transparent about their own needs as well. If you're in the Head Triad, encourage these teammates to assess the risks of a project before making decisions.

Using Triads exposes patterns of emotions and decision-making, which can lead to greater self-awareness. Check out your team's Enneagram Triads on your Team Dashboard!

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