D stands for Dominance—getting the best out of your D style team members starts with fully understanding their strengths.

A Closer Look at the D Style

These folks bring so much to the table:

  • Highly driven and strong willed, they constantly look for new challenges and opportunities as they strive for Results. They are motivated by the need to make their mark and don’t let obstacles get in their way.
  • D style talent also puts a priority on Action. Assertively promoting their bold ideas, they tend to focus on achieving their goals quickly and forcefully, thriving in a fast-paced environment.
  • Independent-minded D style types also prioritize Challenge. Because controlling outcomes is so important, they often take a skeptical and questioning approach to ideas they don’t agree with or in situations where things are not totally clear to them.

People with a D style are often highly respected by the organization. With their direct, businesslike approach to opportunities and challenges, they are seen as go-getters who deliver on their promises. All good things, right?

While it is true that the strengths of your D style talent are critical to getting things done, folks with this style also can be extremely blunt and forceful. Their need to win, when overused, can result in situations that are more win/lose than win/win.  What’s more, under pressure, they can become very demanding and impatient.

The very motivators that drive positive D style behavior—results, action, challenge—can also result in unnecessary conflict with other styles.  Co-workers with the opposing S style, for example, may find it particularly challenging to work effectively with their D style colleagues. Even two very strong D styles can butt heads when neither is willing to flex their behaviors and find a way to accommodate the needs of the other.

Knowledge of Styles Is Power

Bottom line: Awareness of self and others is key to getting the very best from every member of your talent pool. The more individuals know about their own needs, motivators, stressors, and strengths—and those of others—the better able they are to adapt their behaviors in ways that build more effective relationships and contribute to building better workplaces. With the Everything DiSC Workplace solution, individuals at every level, in any role in your organization can begin to understand their style and appreciate the different priorities, preferences, and values everyone brings to the workplace, and how they can learn to adapt to the style of others.

Thanks to Robin Kellogg, an instructional designer and trainer with Wiley, for this content.

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