The Transmitting Nine

Mario Sikora
Feb 19, 2013

The Transmitting Nine, commonly referred to as the “sexual” or “one-to-one” Nine is among the most misunderstood of the subtypes. The strategy, which is more restrained, and the instinctual bias, which is more expressive or assertive, are in some degree of conflict with each other. They are often misidentified as Threes and Eights. Below is the text from the ELI one-page description of the subtype, which is available on the Enneagram Learning International Facebook page. (pdfs of this and the other pages are available by sending an email to me at

Overview: T9s express the instinctive behaviors related to attracting and bonding through a strategy of striving to be peaceful. Like all Transmitters, they are instinctively attuned to understanding how to position themselves to be noticed by others and how to leave a legacy. Due to the contradictory nature of the easy-going strategy and the assertive instinct, T9s demonstrate a complex demeanor—outgoing and charming in most situations, but also possessing a retiring and private side. They usually seem more extroverted than other Nines and are often charming, expressive, and dynamic. They love to tell stories and entertain others, but do so in a way that mixes subtle self-deprecation with tales of their exploits. They are often ambitious, and can seem like Threes. They often seem very self-confident and assertive, but they can also have difficulty addressing conflict, though this is something they are often in denial about. They have a tendency to seek to merge deeply and intensely with a handful of significant others—spouses, coworkers, confidants, etc.—and maintain a genial distance from others. They can seem engaged and enraptured one moment, but distant the next.

When viewed from the perspective of Enneagram wing theory, T9s are usually labeled as having an “Eight wing” because the transmitting instinct domain has an assertive quality that people often associate with Eights.
At work: T9s work hard and play hard, even if their “play” is a more-relaxing activity such as golf, sailing, or playing music. They are often ambitious and willing to work long hours in an effort to be successful, becoming very identified with their work. They tend to be great networkers and “schmoozers,” building relationships far and wide. They are often drawn to customer-facing roles such as sales and marketing but their combination of people skills and assertiveness can make them effective general managers. They tend to be friendly to everyone, unassuming, and approachable; in fact, others are often drawn to their likeability and charisma. They generally have a good intuitive understanding of how to make others feel recognized and appreciated.
Leadership Style: T9s can be good leaders because they can be persuasive and inspiring, and they are driven to work hard, which sets an example that others will follow. They have genuine concern for the people that work for them, which, combined with a need to be liked, can make it difficult for them to make decisions that adversely affect others.
Working with T9s: Their easy-going charm makes most T9s a pleasure to work with, but the contradictory quality of their personality can be confusing to people. They can seem both humble and boastful, aggressive and passive, engaged and remote. Understanding the conflicting drives of their strategy and instinct can help coworkers understand and accept these contradictions. Managers should ensure that T9s have the opportunity to use their people skills, but also get support in working through decisions that negatively affect others. 

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