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Which Strengths Are Absent in the Top 5 of These Personality Types?

Last week we released our study on the associations between CliftonStrengths® themes and Enneagram Types. According to the research, there are two Enneagram Types that share the same five missing strengths themes. In other words, none of the people who identified as these two Enneagram Types have these themes in their Top Five.

What are the Enneagram Types and what are the absent CliftonStrengths® themes? That’s the subject of today’s post.

(By Enneagram types, we mean the nine personality styles of the Enneagram system and by Strength themes, we mean the 34 CliftonStrengths®, the talent assessment and methodology by the Gallup Organization.)

Enneagram Types 

First, let’s talk about the Enneagram Types. The two types in common are the Type 2 and Type 9.

Type 2

The core drive or motivation of Type 2 is to help.

Think of Type 2 as a life preserver:


Type 2's are driven to help others, feel needed, and do things for people. They are loving, sacrificial, and approachable.

They live from the Heart/Feeling Center of Intelligence.

Type 9

The Enneagram Type that matches Type 2 in its missing strengths themes is Type 9. 

The core drive or motivation of Type 9 is to be at peace.

Think of Type 9 as a peace dove.

Type 9’s are driven to maintain peace, see multiple perspectives, and go with the flow. They are agreeable, flexible, and accepting.

They live from the Gut/Instinctual Center of Intelligence.

Missing Strengths Themes

Next, let's talk about the missing strengths themes. None of these themes showed up in the Top Five themes for Type 2 and Type 9's in the study:

  • Command: speaks up to create situational clarity
  • Competition: seeks to win against self and/or others
  • Self-Assurance: possesses extreme inner confidence
  • Focus: pushes aside distractions to focus on priorities
  • Analytical: searches for reasons and causes

These Strengths themes can be grouped into categories by the type of work they accomplish:

Influencing: impacting others to move forward (Command, Competition, Self-Assurance)

Executing: getting the work done (Focus)

Thinking: putting forth intentional thought (Analytical)

Unpacking This Finding

So, what is it about these five themes that make them not appear in the top themes for Type 2 and Type 9? Here are some observations:

Type 2's and Type 9's are similar in behavior

These two types are sometimes confused for one another, so it makes sense they'd share theme characteristics, even absent themes. Both can be sacrificial, flexible, self-forgetting, and unsure of their own needs and feelings. 

Type 2's and Type 9's associations with domains

According to the research, both Type 2's and Type 9's are most strongly associated with Relating themes. You see no relating themes in the missing themes. For the remaining three domains, which are seen in the themes, Type 2's have a negative association to all three. Type 9 has a slightly positive association with the Executing domain and has negative associations with the other two.

Focusing on themes

By looking at the five missing themes for Type 2's and Type 9's, you can understand why they're missing:

Command is speaking up: Type 2's are looking to meet needs and will often wait to see the need first, while Type 9's often develop an opinion later and are unsure in the moment what they think or feel.


Competition is seeking to win: Type 2's want to serve others and aren't that interested in winning, while Type 9's want to seek peace and stability instead of upsetting others thru competition.

Self-Assurance is having extreme confidence: Type 2's often gain identity from others' finding their help valuable, while Type 9's struggle with their own sense of self and sovereignty. 

Focus is fixing on priorities: Type 2's scan for needs to fill and can get sidetracked by seeing a felt need, while Type 9's merge with other perspectives and agenda and lose track of what's important to them.

Analytical is searching for reasons and causes: Type 2's seek to meet current needs and aren't concerned about why or how they came to be, while Type 9's go with the flow and adapt to what is now.

So that's what we discovered about Type 2's and Type 9's. What else should be mentioned about them? Leave a comment below.

If you're interested in learning more, the study is available now.

CliftonStrengths, Gallup, and each of the 34 CliftonStrengths theme names are trademarks of Gallup, Inc.

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