Enneagram Type 8: The Challenger

Let's dive deeper into Type 8 on the Enneagram, the Challenger!

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

When you discuss Enneagram types at work, you open up the possibility for empathy, compassion, and understanding. A team that works well together performs better, improves communication, and enjoys more purpose-filled work.

Type 8: The Challenger

Motivated by the need to be self-reliant, strong, and independent. Loyal, caring, positive, playful, truthful, straightforward, committed, generous, and supportive. Good at taking the initiative, wanting to be in charge, and having the freedom to choose the right course of action. Capable of imparting a feeling of strength to others as well. Has a sixth sense for justice and truth, is instinctively aware of when something “stinks,” and isn't afraid to stand up to authority. Can be a rock of reliability for others, likes to protect the weak, and develops a tremendous sense of responsibility. Unafraid to seek out conflict or create it.

These individuals stand up for what they believe in and care about justice. Eights

find motivation in remaining in control and fear of appearing weak or vulnerable. Eights often emerge as natural leaders because they are action-takers and can sometimes overstep boundaries to move work forward; however, this can cause relational strain with teammates.

Type Eights are self-reliant, strong, and independent. They can also be loyal, caring, cheerful, and generous. Eights will take the initiative and prefer to be in charge to exercise the freedom to choose what they believe is the right course of action.

Eights can also give others a sense of strength through their positive support. They instinctively know when something is “off” within the environment and do not hesitate when sharing their opinion. This type often is a source of strength for others, likes to protect the weak, and develops a tremendous sense of responsibility.


  • 7: The Enthusiast: The Seven wing can influence an Eight to become more extroverted, outgoing, energetic, and fun. On the downside, it can foster impulsive and even reckless behavior in an attempt to get the most out of life.

  • 9: The Peacemaker: The Nine wing can influence an Eight to become more approachable, cooperative, gentle, and quietly strong. On the downside, it can cause Eights to become increasingly stubborn, obstinate, and secretly mean-spirited.


  • 2: The Helper: Becomes more open, caring, tender, and concerned for the well-being of others by moving toward the positive qualities of Twos. Grows increasingly comfortable with vulnerability, and embracing the support of others. Listens well to others and maintains an open mind. When Eights feel secure, they become relatable to others, exhibiting warmth and compassion.


  • 5: The Sage: Can become more withdrawn, secretive, and out of touch with emotions by moving toward the negative qualities of Fives. May experience feelings of depression and self-aggression. Quick to neglect self-care and instead focuses on policing others and sniffing out betrayal. Stress causes Eights to withdraw and become rigid. They will lose touch with their emotions and ignore signs that it is time to take a break.

Communication Style

Authoritative, direct, bold, and strategic. Eights communicate in a straightforward, passionate manner. They are comfortable with debate and rarely avoid conflict. To connect with an Eight, share honestly and openly, without hesitation.

Your work habits and communication strategies depend primarily on fear and internal motivations. When you identify these in yourself and others, you will have better self-awareness and a heightened appreciation for teamwork.

For more help with Cloverleaf, check out these articles:
Gut Triad: Types 8, 9, and 1
My Assessments
What is the Enneagram?

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