What is a Dominant Person?

Dominant Person DISC

When engaging with the DISC Personalities Assessment, you will come across the term “Dominant Person”.

What is the DISC Personalities Assessment?

The DISC Personalities Assessment is a personality behavioral tool that is used to show how someone is likely to behave within a set of circumstances. For example, when under stress, how will someone with a tendency for control act, versus someone with a tendency for harmony? A person can see how valuable this understanding is, both for themselves but also with understanding other people.

Within the DISC Personalities Assessment tool, there are 4 quadrants that make up each personality type. Everyone has a little bit of each personality style in their makeup, but some people are stronger than others in a specific type.

The lowest a person can score is 25% and the highest is 100%.tre

DISC stands for:

  • D = Dominant
  • I = Inspiring
  • S = Supportive
  • C = Conscientious

After completing the 25 question assessment, the person receives their results.

What does it mean to be a Dominant Person?

When someone scores 60% or higher as a Dominant, we say that they are a Dominant person. This means that they show the traits more strongly than someone who scores lower in that dimension. When someone scores 75%+ that means they are a high D, or very strong Dominant Person.

Dominant Person DISC Personalities

10 Traits of a Dominant Person

Dominant people have specific traits you will notice when interactive with them:

  • Extroverted towards task
  • Work fast
  • Like being in charge
  • Make and achieve goals
  • Competitive
  • Make decisions
  • Pushy
  • Come across blunt
  • Earned trust
  • Hate wasted time (foot tapping when meetings go too long)

Dominant Person in Leadership

Dominant people are natural leaders because they enjoy being in charge and achieving goals. These people will seek out roles where they have authority to make decisions and lead a team. They will courageously charge into the unknown!

Due to their focus on task vs. people, Dominant’s often struggle with EQ. They are less compassionate and observant to other’s feelings than the other styles (Conscientious style is similar to Dominant in this way).

They value action over planning, so often their goals will be large but they forget to exercise patience and planning. Once they hit roadblocks they can become frustrated with the slow down and focus their energy elsewhere. This can be confusing and frustrating for team members that are being led by them.

How to interact with a dominant person

Dominant people use less words than they should. They don’t want to waste time explaining things because they’d rather be working on getting something done. They do not value things like small talk or personal communication. They’d rather talk about the work to be done!

As leaders, they are extremely effective when they flex their style into the other styles. They are also effective when they understand their focus on task and hire other leadership styles to focus on culture and people.

How to be Effective with a Dominant Person

When interacting with a Dominant, it’s best to be brief and be gone! This looks like:

  • Giving them point form notes not paragraphs
  • Skipping unnecessary details
  • Keeping emotion out of it
  • Talking in terms of goals and action
  • Support them in their endeavors
  • Being forthright and honest, don’t beat around the bush, they won’t get it!
  • Not taking authority away from them (they are protective of their turf)

3 Stories of a Dominant Person

The Business Man

I once knew a very high Dominant in leadership, he was always working on some new business venture. He would bulldoze people in meetings and usually, the meeting intent was to tell the team what was happening vs. being an open dialogue. He would immediately shut down anyone’s view that differed from him. It was sometimes like having a conversation with a wall. He was immovable!

Though he had his quirks (as we all do) he was and still is loved for his determination and ability to lead the team through challenging times. He always found a solution!

Another strategic move this man did was to incorporate his wife into the business (this can be really good, or really bad- in this case it was good). She is an Inspiring/Supportive and a whole ton of fun. She cares deeply about the staff, stopping to chat, throwing parties and truly is the lifeblood of the business. She was the people side. Between the two of them, they made that company thrive and it has a fantastic culture.

The Grandpa

If you’ve been a part of Trevor Throness’ training before, you may have heard him talk about his Dad. This is my Grandpa! Grandpa was a VERY Dominant Person. Whenever I saw him growing up, he’d greet me with, “Why aren’t you at work?”

Towards the end of his life, Grandpa had a cane. He started hitting people’s legs with that cane when he realized it got them to pay attention faster. He had no awareness that it was totally uncalled for and considered to be rude by most people around him (one Dominant woman finally called him out publicly and that ended real fast).

Before Grandpa died, my Uncle decided to interview him to continue his story and legacy. After every question my Grandpa would respond with, “Well, you know.” My uncle would prod, “No, Dad, we don’t know, tell us.” He’d shrug and smirk and just repeat the words, “Well.” Needless to say, the interview as a bust. Like a true dominant, he used very little words!

The Customer

I worked as a server in a restaurant to pay the bills while I went to University. One day, I had a customer come in with two women and they sat down at a table right before closing time. I went over, took their drink order and brought the drinks to them. I left and went to roll cutlery in the back.

When I went to check on them, the man snapped his fingers at me. He did not look happy. I walked over and he said,

“WHERE’S MY NACHOS”.

I responded with, “What nachos?”

He pointed at his watch, “The nachos, that we ordered 20 minutes ago.”

I told him I didn’t hear him order them and apologized saying I’d rush them.

He responded with, “LISTEN TO ME. GET OUT YOUR NOTEPAD. WRITE #1. NACHOS. GOT IT?” His eyeballs were the size of saucers and I realized this guy was suffering from LMS, being hangry, and a very mad dominant.

He yelled word for word as I was walking away, “TIME IS MONEY!!!” That our slogan for the dominant person!

How Different Styles Relate to a Dominant

Dominant Person traits DISC Personalities

Inspiring styles usually get a long with the Dominant because they both like to vision for the future. The dominant will act on the vision of the Inspiring and when the two work together they are a force to be reckoned with! Sometimes, the Inspiring can irritate the Dominant when they talk too much and waste valuable time. The dominant can bother an inspiring by not enjoying the ride.

Supportive styles benefit from the Dominant’s focus on action. Supportives can have issues getting started, and will often enjoy the take charge attitude of the Dominant. The supportive is usually happy to do the practical work of the Dominant’s goals in the team. A Dominant can lose the trust of a supportive by being insensitive to other’s emotional needs. When the Dominant is blunt it can hurt a Supportive and they will think about it excessively! The supportive can be frustrating to a dominant when they don’t take action quickly enough.

Conscientious and Dominants work well together. The Conscientious can bring structure the the Dominant’s actions. Often, the Conscientious will help with the plan. Both of these styles are task vs. people focused, so they will get a lot done and stay focused as a team. The Conscientious may get frustrated with the Dominant’s lack of planning and attention to detail! Perfection is what the Conscientious style is seeking. The dominant can get annoyed by the Conscientious’ tendency to get bogged down by the details.

To learn more about what your style is, be sure to take our FREE DISC Personalities Assessment today!

FAQ’s

What is Dominant Behaviour?

Dominant Behavior is behavior that is associated with the Dominant DISC Personality traits. It’s behavior that includes: assertiveness, blunt communication, focus on time and persuasive language. They will try to get you on board with their view.

What is a Dominant Woman’s Personality?

Traditionally, women have not been taught to have the dominant traits to be more agreeable. This means that they may mask their personality to be more in line with an inspiring, supportive or conscientious. Often, a woman will ‘show up’ differently than what they score on their assessment. Dominant women like to be in charge, they are assertive, goal oriented and self-managing. They are task oriented and doers! They will show the same traits as male dominants.

How can you tell if a Guy is Dominant?

Observing the behavior of the guy will tell you whether or not he’s dominant! Generally, dominants are non-verbal because they are focused on getting the task done. They will talk about goals, objectives and ignore details. They will be driven, blunt and sometimes aggressive. When trying to decipher between a Dominant Vs. a Supportive (both are non-verbal), the Supportive will be more approachable and warm than a Dominant.

What are the Negative Traits of a Dominant Person?

Like any DISC Personality Style, Dominants have their negative traits. When they are under pressure, they can ignore the feelings of others. They will bulldoze people to get what they want. They can be manipulative in order to achieve their goals and can move too fast for the team, with little concern for others. Often, they will become aggressive and will not flex into other personality styles to be more effective at communicating. They will lose fewer words and come across ‘heartless’.

Written by: Heather Nickel, Certified Professional Coach and CEO of Professional Leadership Institute

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