How to Identify a Dominant Personality Type

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Dominant Personality

Dominance is one of the four DISC personality styles. Here’s how to identify if you or your coworker is a D-style personality.

What’s your DISC type? What about the people you work with? 

Understanding the different personality types can be the key that unlocks better communication, collaboration, and productivity in any workplace. However, many people do not know their own personality style, let alone the styles of the people they work with five days a week. 

With four main personality styles as well as sub-categories that people can fall into, the DISC model gives us the tools to better understand ourselves and others. The four personality types are Dominance, Influence, Steadiness, and Compliance.

This article will explore Dominance, also called the D style, and help you identify whether you or your coworkers fit into this category.  

First of all, what is DISC?

First proposed by psychologist William Moulton Marston, the DISC model categorises people into four main personality types: Dominance, Influence, Steadiness, and Compliance. Marston first wrote about the types (with slightly different names) in 1928, but it wasn’t until the 1950s that the first self-assessment was created to test an individual’s type.

The first ever DISC assessment was created by industrial psychologist Walter Clarke. Today, an updated and enhanced version of this DISC assessment is used by over a million people every year, and it has become one of the world’s most popular and ubiquitous psychometric tests. 

While some people fall purely into one of the four personality types, others may exhibit a mix of two behavioral styles. For example, on a team, you might have a person who is a mix of Steadiness and Compliance or a mix of Dominance and Influence. An individual who falls mostly into a single DISC category such as Dominance or Influence will be called a ‘High D’ or a ‘High I’.

This article will primarily talk about the characteristics of High D individuals, although many traits will also be relevant for people with the DI or CD personality types. 

Strengths of the Dominance personality type

Direct and decisive, people with the Dominance personality type thrive when they’re solving problems and getting stuff done. They often consider themselves natural-born leaders, enjoying taking charge of situations with their assertive manner.

As big-picture thinkers, they like to focus on the important stuff while delegating the details that bore them to other team members. This bold, go-getter attitude makes them a great addition to any team. When you have a high D personality around, you know that the job is going to get done. 

Because Dominance types are happy to speak their mind and contradict others, a high D will often be the first to speak up if they think a task isn’t going to plan. They’re very flexible, focusing more on results than procedures, so they don’t mind changing the plan or trying something new in order to achieve success.

Struggling to make a decision? Don’t worry – a high D type is great at making tricky decisions and taking risks when necessary. Just make sure they’ve thought it through first! 

Goals of the Dominance personality type

People with the D personality style are driven by results – they want to see success and they’re willing to work hard to achieve it. D types are competitive by nature and their goal is to win at everything they do.

As a result of this, they’re happy to challenge and contradict others if they think that they can better lead a team to success. 

In their work, D types want to see bottom-line results that show the real impact of their hard work. They want to be recognised for their accomplishments and to be able to have a say in the direction of the team, project, or business. Often, they don’t mind taking big risks that would scare other people if they think it will pay off in the end.

Because of their focus on the end goal rather than the process, D types are good at keeping a team on track with enough momentum and motivation to smash those KPIs. 

Limitations of the Dominance personality type

Every personality type has its own limitations, and Dominance is no exception. The High D individual’s assertive and competitive style can sometimes be alienating to others.

Because of their focus on achieving big goals and their willingness to throw the status quo out of the window to get there, D types may act impatiently with anyone else who doesn’t share their sense of urgency. 

Because of their direct manner of communication where they boldly speak their mind, sometimes other personality types can find them blunt or abrasive, and this can damage a working relationship.

D types probably don’t think they’re being rude – they just like to speak plainly and efficiently. However, to other personality types, this direct manner can sometimes seem cold or insensitive. 

Fears of the Dominance personality type

People with a Dominance personality style like to see themselves as winners, so one of their biggest fears is not meeting their goals. The thought of getting bogged down in the details and losing their independence or control over a task scares them. 

They’re also afraid of being taken advantage of by others. This desire to not be taken advantage of can sometimes manifest as a refusal to ever seem vulnerable or ‘soft’, which can isolate them from other people on their team.

If D types are unable to admit to their limitations or failures, they may struggle to form strong working relationships with other people, which can damage their work. Learning to display vulnerability and sensibility is a great way for D types to improve the way they work with others for all-around better results. 

Identify your DISC type

If any of these strengths, goals, limitations, and fears resonate with you, it’s likely that you might fall into the Dominance personality type. The only way to find out for sure is to take a DISC assessment. These short self-assessments only take a few minutes of your time but can provide a wealth of insights and resources.

Understanding your DISC type can be a great way to evaluate your capabilities and identify areas for growth in order to unlock your full potential. 
Interested in finding out your personal DISC style or those of your team members? DISC Group provides in-depth DISC assessment reports to help you better understand yourself and others.

Choose one of their unique DISC reports or take their DISC training to embed valuable psychometric testing in your organisation.