DISC D personality style is task and action-oriented. All of us have some D style in our personality. Some are considered high D’s and some are low D’s

The Dominant “High D” Behavioral Style

High D’s are driving, determined, ambitious, aggressive, and pioneering. Low D’s are conservative, low keyed, cooperative, calculating, undemanding, cautious, mild, agreeable, modest and peaceful.

The Dominant ‘D’s Style says: “Move Over and Let the Big Dog Drink”.

Dominant ‘D’ Styles are awesome at their best, insensitive at their worst. They are the dominant, driving people we often think of as “natural leaders”. They are not shy or, usually, modest. They often make good football coaches, army generals… and dictators!

Challenge-orientated and decisive, D’s are propelled by an inner need to be in charge. A good life for them is spent achieving, overcoming obstacles, and accomplishing results.

A Dominant ‘D’ Style’s motto: “Winning isn’t everything, it’s the only thing.”

Dominant ‘D’ Styles are the worst listeners of the four styles. They don’t have time.

Besides, they already know the answer!

What Excites DISC D Personality?

Action! Dominant ‘D’s are not afraid to challenge people or rules that stand in their way. They are more interested in meeting their goals than pleasing people.

What is D’s Greatest Asset?

They can out-accomplish anyone!

High-energy people, Dominant ‘D’ Styles demand and get results. They’re able to focus intently and are very task-oriented. They love to work hard and often thrive during crisis and controversy.

What is D’s Greatest Limitation?

Can’t Stand Weakness.

They are frequently frustrated when others aren’t as able or motivated as they are. They may take themselves too seriously, unwilling to curb their competitive streak even when it benefits them.

The #1 Fear of D Personality Style

Being Viewed as “Soft” or Being Taken Advantage of.

D’s like to deal quickly with practical problems. They are rarely interested in abstract ideas.

It’s not a matter of IF the Dominant ‘D’ Style will take over, but WHEN. They are very much into efficiency, but not into giving praise.

Favorite negotiating tools of a Dominant ‘D’ Style: control and endurance.

To achieve greater balance and to develop behavioral flexibility, Dominant ‘D’ Styles need to practice active listening, pace them to project a more relaxed image, and develop patience, humility, and sensitivity.

They need to show concern for others, use more caution, verbalize the reasons for their conclusions, and participate more as team players. Dominant ‘D’ Styles can benefit from gentle reminders to laugh at themselves or to take time to slow down and smell the flowers.

All about DISC D Personality – “The Dominant Director”

DOMINANCE: how we deal with problems and challenging styles:

  • High D = Direct, forceful, decisive.
  • Moderate D = Competitive, self-reliant, unassuming.
    Low D = Cautions, mild, modest.
  • High D’s need to control, maintain power and assertiveness, and fear being taken advantage of. They are very active in dealing with problems and challenges. Low D’s are people who want to do more research before committing to a decision.

High D’s Goal: Results, Control

High D’s Fears: Losing control or being taken advantage of by others.

Emotional Expression: Anger

High D = Quick to anger

Low D = Slow to anger

Overview of D Style

Dominance is the left-most factor on the DISC graph. Like all the factors, people high in D have a blend of both “positive” and “negative” traits.

Highly dominant individuals are independently-minded, motivated to succeed, and generally very effective at getting their own way. People high in D tend to be tough-minded, independent, enterprising, hostile, and rebellious rather than caring, adapting, and structured.

They want to maintain success to support their goals.

People with high D energy tend to operate from the big picture and they look to see if the situation is favorable or antagonistic.

They seek to meet their needs by controlling their environment through direct, forceful action, often overcoming opposition if unfavorable or antagonistic situations are at hand. They gain their security by keeping control and their greatest “fear” is loss of control.

D Personalities At Work

High D people are very business-like. Their workspace is busy, formal, functional, efficient, and structured.

Fast, decisive individuals can be very verbal and more blunt than tactful because they focus on the task and getting bottom-line results.

They have high ego strength and are the shake-rattle-and-rollers of any organization because they are competitive, like change and hate the status quo. Their ideal environment includes freedom from controls, supervision and details.

They want an innovative and futuristic-oriented environment, and a forum to express their ideas and viewpoints.

How do you sell to a D personality?

Stress the result and bottom line and how it will bring results or solutions. Get to the point quickly, be business-like, and answer “what” questions.

Use rapid pace, limit emotional expression, and enthusiasm. Respond to their concerns by accepting their bluntness.

Give evidence of results. Gain their commitment by outlining their options and letting them know the decision is theirs.

Follow up with efficiency and deliver as promised. As action-oriented, adventuresome individuals, they value direct answers and immediate results.

Their impatience may be seen in finger tapping, chair swinging, and general restlessness.

It’s important when selling to a High D to adapt the presentation to acknowledge that they seek productivity. They need to know “what it does,” “by when,” and “what it costs.”

Value D adds to the team

They are a bottom-line organizer, forward-looking, and challenge oriented. They initiate activity and are innovative.

They achieve acceptance from others by their leadership and love of competition. They like others to be direct and to the point and are irritated by inefficiency and indecision.

What makes a high D less effective?

Possible limitations include overuse of their position, setting standards too high, lacking tact and diplomacy, and taking on too much, too soon, and too fast!

They don’t respond well to routine work for long periods; rather, give them work with challenge and opportunity.

THE “D” STYLE – Dominance

(Responding instinctively to problems and challenges)

Emotional Expression: Quick to anger Fears: Being taken advantage of 

What works about High D’s:

  • Goal-oriented – High ego strength
  • Gets things done quickly
  • Seeks change
  • Wants to win
  • Wants direct answers
  • Can move/act fast

The limitations others observe:

  • Impatient Ego – Resists criticism.
  • Seldom slows down, overworks
  • Self-reliant – Makes changes without checking
  • May occur as blunt or harsh
  • May be an impatient listener
  • May seem to move too fast

Affirmative statements to empower a High D:

  • “I see you set your mind on something and then go after it.”
  • “I like that you are so capable of taking things on yourself.”
  • “You sure accomplish a lot when you make up your mind!”
  • “You are a winner!”
  • “You know what you want and go after it!”
  • “I admire your courage.”
  • “I like how honestly you express how you feel about things.”
  • “You are a leader – quick to respond to a situation and seek a solution.”

What motivates High D’s?

Give DISC D personality opportunities to do tasks that involve seeing the big picture and solving problems. They have a strong ego, are quicker to see a problem and react to solve it, can act confidently, and at the same time may tend to overlook details and be insensitive to other people’s needs.

Give them support teams of people they can delegate these things to. Acknowledge their natural leadership.

Stress indicators for High D’s

DISC D personality people may become overly-assertive, autocratic, unbending, over-controlling, strong-willed, or dictatorial, attempting to impose their thoughts and feelings on others.

Their defenses go up if they think they are not in control or are being taken advantage of. If under extreme stress, they may vent their feelings by making demands on others, blaming others, or exploding in a fit of anger temper.

Help them to pace themselves and tune in to their own biological indicators. D’s need a “physical time out” whenever the stress is imminent.

The LOW D: The emotional scale moves from the high D’s “quick to anger” to a low D’s “slow to anger”.

Everything in the emotional intensity of how a low D solves problems is the opposite of the high D. Low D’s are calculating, mild, unassuming, deliberate, cautious, predictable, detail-oriented, or slow in becoming involved in new areas.

They weigh the pros and cons of decisions, like predictable environments with standardized controls, policies, and procedures. Low D’s like the EXACT OPPOSITE of the High D.

The lower the intensity or point on the D column, the lower the need to dominate. In fact, the lower the point the higher the need to be around others who will take charge and make the decisions.

Interpretation Tip

It is always important to ask questions to see why a profile may be the way it is. Once seen, anything can change. We are only talking about generalized principles here. 

If you’d like to apply DISC to become a more effective leader, get a copy of the DISCovering My Leadership Style Report.