The First Behavioural Style - D - Does Not Stand For Detail

Managing employees

Just as society is like a tapestry woven from different types of people, so are our business environments.   The differences between the types of people on our staff, four customer base and in other stakeholder groups, means that knowing how to effectively communicate with as many as possible is a powerful key for success.

In an earlier article, I discussed how at a high level, there are really only four types of people you will ever meet, and once you can spot them, you have an important key to improving your business outcomes.

In this article, I will share tips on how to spot the first group, but before that, I must stress that there is no right and wrong style, no one is better than another.  In business we need all styles to make things work. What varies however, is the proportions of each type that are needed across differing business sectors.  This will become clearer as I explain the style characteristics.

The first group (“D” or Dominant ) is fairly easy to spot.  They tend to be in the minority, only about 15% of the population but are usually have strong opinions, so you will notice them. 

They make quick decisions, hate lots of details, and tune out to lengthy explanations.  You may notice them getting impatient and just wanting to get on with things. So if you are selling to a D – give them the big picture and let them ask you for more information – they will tell you if they want more.  In some ways, they are an ideal customer – they will decide quickly and are generally comfortable taking risks.

If you are presenting information to this group or sending a proposal, keep it orderly and to the point and keep it unemotional.  Answer their questions directly.  For a “D” employee the traditional feedback sandwich won’t resonate.  They will know what you are doing, and are unlikely to react positively to it – just get to the point.

They will often be in charge, and if they aren’t they will be the person pushing the team along to get results.  If you are managing someone who is a D, you must keep challenging them – if they are not challenged, they will get bored. Do not micro manage them.  They are self starters and will not respond well to intense management.

Dominants don’t see failure as something to internalise or hide – they can add considerable value to a business because of this.  They will persist and keep looking for alternate solutions, just getting on with it, rather than brooding or giving up.  Donald Trump is a classic High D in this regard and this willingness to get up and have another go, is an essential part of his considerable success.

D’s will sometimes forego diplomacy because they just want to get things done – they don’t see this as rudeness and if you take it personally, they won’t understand why you feel the way you do.   As an employer of a D, you may find yourself from time to time needing to remind the D that the rest of the world does not see things quite the way they do. By making sure that the team comes to understand the value in diversity and the power it brings to the business you create a significant source of competitive advantage so it is worth persevering with making this happen.

In my next article, I will share tips on how to spot the next style – “Influencers” and how you can  start to use this information to build high performing teams.


Narelle Lee

Owner at The Performance Masters

My passion is decoding human behaviour, especially in the workplace. I use the latest research in neurosciences, developmental psychology, and neuro-leadership to help people understand people and through this maximize the results in their business. I blend formal post graduate business education, more than 20 years in senior roles including board experience and my passion for the behavioural sciences to offer my clients pragmatic and innovative solutions that drive results.

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John Belchamber

John Belchamber , Owner & Senior Consultant at Invoke Results

Very well said Narelle. I must tell you the full story a time I took a trainee DISC Consultant out on a sales call to a High D, but in essence, the prospect's apparent rudeness and disinterest led the consultant to blurt out only the bullet points of their usual sales pitch assuming the prospect didn't want them there...deal closed! It'll be interesting to see how many High Ds take the time to read this article...unlike how many High Is will read your next one ;)