Increase self-awareness for effective engagement: Part 2 – Strong Advice

Increase self-awareness for effective engagement: Part 2

Understanding how behavioral preferences and priorities influence personal and workplace effectiveness of the ‘D’ Style!

The previous introductory article on the DiSC style explained the overview of the DiSC theory. Now we will look more closely at the characteristics of the ‘D’ style, its strengths and limitations and how to recognize people with this style. Finally, we will offer some tips on how to manage a relationship with such a person.

Foundational Principles of Applying Personality Profiles

Before we dig deeper into the personality styles, we need to apply some foundational principles for any profile and personality that will be discussed. Please remember the following as we discuss the different styles:

  • People are a mixture of all the four different styles, they usually have strong preferences for 1-2 of the ways they relate to others.
  • There are no innately good or bad styles. Each has its positive side and limitations.
  • There is no one style that is superior to others. Some styles may be more suitable for certain situations or work conditions.
  • An individual’s experiences, education, professional training, maturity, culture and self-awareness affect the way they express their styles.

With these principles in mind, we start with the ‘D’ personality.

The DiSC style ‘D’ or “Dominance” represents the behavioral style of people who assume that they are more powerful than the environment and at the same time perceive the environment as unfavorable in most situations they find themselves.

The ‘D’ – Dominance Style

The key to understanding the ‘D’ style personality is remembering their basic assumptions. These assumptions include being confident about their ability to change the environment and their dissatisfaction with the current situation. This leads them to work hard to change the environment to a more desirable outcome.

For the ‘D’, they make it their purpose to continually seek to change what they view as unfavorable to something new that improves the situation. They are always in the process of trying to shape and reshape their environment. They usually want whatever change is occurring to happen as quickly as possible, so any obstacles in their path are viewed as negatives in accomplishing the desired result and must be removed as promptly as possible! This general disposition results in a number of observable characteristics that are common among the ‘D’ styles.

Characteristics of the ‘D’ – Dominance Style

The most prominent characteristic of the ‘D’ style personality is their active and questioning nature which results to the desire to change whatever they can. They are the catalyst for change! They are usually bold and brief about what changes they deem necessary and often short on details. It appears to others as maybe being too blunt and insensitive. They are strong-willed, firm, fast paced, active and result-oriented. Anyone that has the ‘D’ style of behaviour usually wants control so they can fix the problem. They are competitive and eager to accept challenges and to challenge others. The ‘D’s are high – level, big picture people and thinkers. They know how the dots connect but are impatient to consider all the details, especially if these details contain reasons why the change can’t be done. Details, for the “D” should be handled as they come, and planning ahead may be considered as a time-waster and an obstacle to action toward achieving results.

As the label of dominance implies, these personalities are forceful and direct – quick to speak their opinions and unmovable in pursuit of an agreed end. Another characteristic is their self-assurance in bringing about the end result. The ‘D’s are risk-takers who love competition and challenges. They can be very decisive –readily making a decision and sticking with it. ‘D’s are daring, adventuresome and willing to try something new. Sometimes they appear to be ruthless and brutal in their approach to problem – solving. Tom Peters (author and management consultant) and Donald Trump (entrepreneur), show characteristics that exemplify modern day ‘D’ styles. In conclusion, the ‘D’ is very powerful and especially useful in turbulent times; best utilized for daring and challenging situations and tasks.

The tendencies and environmental preferences of the ‘D’ Style

If any of the above characteristics or the behavioral tendencies below are observable in an individual, such a person is most likely a ‘D’:

A ‘D’ style personality is observed when they are:

  1. Constantly questioning the status quo, managing trouble, solving problems, pushing for immediate results.
  2. Seeking places where their power and authority are recognized, affirmed and given freedom to thrive. They look for prestigious and challenging situations and would just prefer situations where concise and direct answers are easily available.
  3. Enjoying a variety of operational issues to juggle more than one thing at a time. Focusing on one issue for too long can be boring to them.
  4. Accepting new situations or opportunities so that they can be recognized or rewarded for their individual accomplishment.
  5. Desiring independence and freedom from controls and supervision so they can make quick decisions without being delayed by others.

The above observations are associated with a high level ‘D’ personality. Not all ‘D’ personalities perform at the highest level, as there are varying degrees of strength practiced by individuals. Many who have medium strength as a ‘D’ will exhibit the above strengths to a lesser degree and rely on other personality characteristics from another ‘DiSC’ profile.

Strengths and Limitations of the ‘D’ Style

Like everyone else, the ‘D’s like to succeed, so when they find something they do well (like directing, controlling, daring, acting quickly, or challenging others), they often find as many opportunities as possible to use those abilities. They soon come to discover the strengths that are associated with their style, how these assets help them succeed, and they capitalize on them.

As a case example, let me introduce “Don” (or Donna) who is a ‘D’ that loves challenges, focusing on results and acting quickly. His daring nature, fearlessness, and forcefulness makes it easy for him to take on very challenging and difficult projects successfully. People gravitate towards him because he is self-assured and wants to make important changes. Don becomes aware that he can leverage the strength of his personality to achieve good results so he begins using this strategy more frequently.

However, Don sometimes notices that overusing this personality trait can actually hinder his progress over time. The overuse of a strength can become a limitation. For instance, Don’s quick-paced tendency and direct approach will cause him to be insensitive to the feelings of the people around him – he becomes autocratic and overly controlling. Followers become discouraged by his insensitivity and failure to see important details that affects the outcome of his project. Don will need to learn to adjust his ways of relating if he wants to be successful at work or at home.

Managing a person like Don

Quite possibly you may know a person like Don who is an important person in your work or home life. To manage that relationship, we have some “Strong Advice” to help you succeed with Don:

  • When asked a question, give answers that are brief and directly to the point. Avoid a lot of details.
  • When asking a question, focus on what result is wanted. Avoid asking “how or why”?
  • Be formal, business-like and acknowledge his position of authority or responsibility.
  • Don’t speak of problems but highlight opportunities or challenges.
  • When recommending, emphasize the specific benefits of your proposal.
  • When agreeing or disagreeing, focus on the facts not the person.
  • Share your suggestions in a sure and confident manner.
  • Pay attention to how they respond to you and adapt your relational style as you learn more about friends like Don and more about yourself.

Did you recognize yourself in the ‘D’ style? If not, the next article will define the ‘i’ style and future articles will discuss ‘S’ and ‘C’. Every person has a very unique combination of DiSC styles. We hope that this article helps you in learning about others and how best to relate to them according to their unique personality. To learn more about yourself, we recommend that you obtain your personalized DiSC profile report and schedule a session of personal coaching on how to apply these valuable insights about yourself (signup for our Coaching Solutions). There is also the option of registering for an upcoming workshop where you can learn from other participants. These “Strong Advice” sessions will assist you in unlocking the power of self-awareness and give you the keys to more effectively engage with others!

A Strong Advice staff member will respond promptly to any comments that you leave. We welcome your thoughts!

Next article- The role and impact of strategic leadership on organizational performance

By Mike Strong Founder of Strong Advice

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